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Chad Dykstra - 2014-06-03

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Why I Run
Chad Dykstra - 2012-10-03

It's All About the Injera
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Chad Dykstra - 2011-09-13

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Hangin' Out

Chad Dykstra - 2010-12-08
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We have been together for 2 nights now!  So far everything is going how we had hoped it would.  Zinabu and Abatu are both very happy little boys.  They have been sleeping well at night and we're able to communicate enough to get by.  I'm still working on my "essential" Amharic - getting a list of words and phrases necessary for children, such as bathroom, what is this, come here.  There are also those more specific to active 4-6 year olds...sit down, calm down, be careful!  I would like to continue to learn Amharic.  I think it would be special if when we return sometime to visit their family, they would still be able to communicate with them.  It won't be very likely that I could learn Kambaata (their native language) because there aren't any resources out there for learning it. 

Speaking of language, we had a funny language experience last night.  I had been sitting on the couch studying my Amharic sheets, and Abatu walked up to me and said something in Amharic.  One of the words he said was Zinabu and pointing at him.  Zinabu was holding some bubbles that we have only asked him to play with outside.  I said "Abatu, are you saying that Zinabu is playing with the bubbles inside?".  He shook his head yes.  Everyone proceeded to bust out laughing, in amazement that we had this beatuful conversational moment.  For a minute or two Lora actually thought that I understood him.  Of course I was just assuming, and Abatu was probably just shaking his head yes.  :)

In 2 nights, we still haven't seen tears from Abatu and only one time from Zinabu.  We get lots of smiles though, which is a great alternative!  The boys have the cutest little smile that just melts your heart.  They share toys well also.  There are still boundaries that they need to learn, like not digging through our bags to find what they want or grabbing anything that they'd like to play with.  They do a good job in the bathroom by themselves but the bathroom at the orphanage didn't have a toilet seat and they flusher was out of their reach, so we need to retrain them to put the seat up and to flush when done.  As well as things are going, we will definitely have our hands full!  Zinabu is every bit as active and inquisitive as we had expected.  Every time one of the social workers, nurses, nannies, or doctors says his name, they laugh.  His reputation definitely precedes him.  Even the security guard at the US Embassy said "Hello Zinabu" when we walked out.  We're still trying to figure that one out!

Our U.S. Embassy appointment was yesterday afternoon.  That was a little different than we had expected.  It's a little more like going to a bank teller or ticket counter.  There's a nice American man standing behind a big sheet of bullet-proof glass who goes over some paperwork with you, has you sign a few forms, and asks a few questions.  In 5-10 minutes, it was finished and we were back outside playing.  The Embassy was like being in the US.  It was a very nice building with a drinking fountain and a bathroom that would have been capable of flushing the toilet paper.  The small things you take for granted!

Today we will go to the Morning Coffee guest house where we stayed last time we traveled.  We are going to have lunch and then we will have the opportunity once again to meet with our sponsored child from Yelzelalum Minch and the sponsored children from some families in our church.  We will take a few pictures of them and distribute the gifts that sponsor families sent with us.  We have one more night in Ethiopia!  Tomorrow we get the Visa required for entry into the US, and then we fly out tomorrow night!  In 48 hours, we will be in Amsterdam on our way home.


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