For all of you who were wondering, we are still alive in mekele, but unlike all of you who are on vacation we are actually roughing it, like real missionaries. :) We don't shower (about every 4 days), our toliets don't flush (manually only), we have power every other day (or so), we dont have clean drinking water (we fliter it), we poop in a hole, and we wash our clothes in buckets, which we also use for showers sometimes.
Other than that the kids are awesome. We are at the youth center from 9-12 in the morning and come back around 2:30 and stay until around 5:30. There is a team here from North Carolina and while they have been here we have been in charge of running activites to keep the kids company. We attempted to run the mekele olympics tuesday, but it involved a lot of shouting and chaos. It was a lot of fun, but not something we plan to do again. We have taught the kids 4 square which they love, sharks and minnows, double dutch, and american football. The only problem with organized sports is that the kids dont care too much about winning, all they want to do is get out the forenjis (foreigners). So they talk in tigray and conspire against us. Table tennis is very big here and kids will play all day long, they are pretty intense.
Justin caught Jason's flu bug today but is feeling better. He loves table tennis and the kids like to refer to him as shrek.
Jason is having a rough time with his living situation. He is sharing a house with 2 Canadians..pray for him.
Alyssa has only gotten sick once, stubbed her toe while running to see donkeys, and likes playing ultimate frisbee.
Amber gets pretty into 4 square and likes to threaten the children when they try and get her out, she is the only one who hasnt gotten sick, and is constantly outcasted by justin. Pray for team dynamics.
People here love Michael Jackson and are quite upset by his death. They constantly ask about how much we love him and if we are sad he is gone. We say that we do not like him and we are actually quite glad he is gone.
But really our time here has been amazing, and God is expanding our minds to the Ethiopian culture. About 95 percent of people here are Orthdox and we have been learning lots about what this means to them and how we can apply it to our own understanding of God. People are very content and extremely friendly here with everything they have even though they are living in extreme poverty. The children love any second of attention we give them and we pray that we have enough energy to pour our love into them for the rest of our time here.
Prayers for water and rain on Ethiopia, health and sickness, and continued team dynamics. So far things are going awesome and God has been working wonders in all of our lives. Hope all is well with you.
Just remember as you heading to the beach in your bikinnis or swimming in your pool we are here in mekele hanging out with dead dogs and burned cats.
Lots of love,
Alyssa, Amber, Justin, Jason
***Editor Nolan's note - the above entry is filled with enriched sarcasm. It is up to you to decide what is real and what is not. End of note ***
*** Actually, you guys should know that everything we said is true... to some degree - Team Ethiopia ***