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Reincarnation of the Dykstra Family Blog
Chad Dykstra - 2014-06-03

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Chad Dykstra - 2013-04-29

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Chad Dykstra - 2013-01-07

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Chad Dykstra - 2012-10-03

It's All About the Injera
Chad Dykstra - 2012-03-09

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Chad Dykstra - 2012-02-15

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Chad Dykstra - 2011-10-25

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Chad Dykstra - 2011-09-13

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Monkeys, Hippos, and Together With the Boys!

Chad Dykstra - 2010-12-06
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After leaving the visit with the family in Halaba, we stopped in Awassa for the evening.  On Sunday, we went to a park where we were able to feed monkeys and take a boat ride to an area where hippos were lounging in the water.

Originally, we were all strong and were NOT going to feed the monkeys.  The Bethany travel packet says not to feed the monkeys.  It took all of about 30 seconds for all of us to cave.  Before long, they were sitting on our shoulders and eating from our hands.  Sorry, Belinda!  Not to worry, nodobdy got hurt.  I didn't feel too bad, because we have a picture of our social worker with a monkey sitting on her shoulder.  :)

The hippo boat ride was a neat experience.  We all wore life jackets and it's understandable why.  The boat was taking water on about as quickly as they could bail it out.   As Alan Jackson says, however, "You can't beat the way an old wood boat rides".  We went about 3 miles by boat to the hippo lounging area, took some pictures, then headed on back.

We have been able to take a few pictures of all of this, but it's limited because the batteries on both of our cameras are now dead.  I have a spare battery for my main camera, but unfortunately I packed it in our luggage, which still has not arrived.  As you can imagine, we are extremely tired of wearing the same clothes.  We are now on day 5. We're just hoping that they arrive before we leave.  We really don't want to bring all of our donations back home with us!  They tell us tomorrow might be the day we get our luggage.  They told us that yesterday, too.  Thank you, Delta! The other families and several of the Ethiopians here have been gracious enough to lend us all some clothes and for other things, we've done a little shopping.  If anyone has any suggestions on how to approach Delta on this issue, please let me know!  We better be getting something good out of this ordeal.

Another downer about no luggage is no camera chargers.  Both of my cameras are now dead.  I have a spare battery for my main camera, but it's in the luggage with the charger.  Fortunately today we found another family who is traveling that had a Nikon camera that used the same battery.  I took his spare battery, and gave him my dead one.  He's going to charge me up and get me back in business.  What a blessing!

This afternoon was the goodbye ceremony at the orphanage.  All of the children who are adopted were dressed in traditional Ethiopian clothing.  They had cake, pop, and other students sang them a song.  We played for a while, and then time to go!  We have been back at our guest house with Z & A for about 30 minutes.  Things have been going great!  I am trying to learn some Amharic words and so far that has been going well.  I'm glad that I have at least some aptitude for foreign languages.  The boys are very happy and fascinated by every aspect of their new surroundings.  Their friend "M" is here also, who we found out on our family visit is actually not just a friend, but is a second cousin to A & Z!  The best part - he is going to live in Holland!  A & Z will have family just a few minutes away.

We're excited for what the next few days are going to hold.  It's surreal to step off the bus and walk down the driveway to the guest house holding A & Z's hands.  No more orphanage.  No more visits.  No more leaving without them!  As one of our friends here said..."Hey, guys, we're no longer people that are going to adopt!  It's finished"!  We aren't exactly finished...tomorrow is our US Embassy appointment.  After that, then we are finished.  Two day wait for a Visa for the boys to come home, and we're back on a plane on Thursday!

PS - due to the fact that I haven't been able to blog in a while and for length purposes, I split this most recent blog into two entries.  Be sure to read the next one down - "A Visit to Remember".

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