africa: day 1 & 2

I am neither caught up on grading nor laundry, but here's the start of our trip... I took over 1600 pictures, so you're just going to get a sampling.

Our team consisted of:
-Kevin & Janni (founders of Charis Foundation)
-Jamin (their son)
-Travis (his friend)
-Ellie (Director of Outreach at our church, Sara's mom)
-Sara & Dave (our friends, youth directors at our church)
-Scott (World Orphans, trip leader)
-Me & Doug


Friday 11/6 - Depart from Detroit @ 5:55pm.

Saturday 11/7 - Arrive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia @ 10:10pm (6hr time change).

This is the girls' room in the guest house we stayed at while in Addis:

Sunday 11/8 - We left early in the morning to drive 2 hours to Woliso for church. Here is my first taste of an Ethiopian morning (from inside the van):

On the way, we stopped at a little cafe thing and I had my first taste of Ethiopian macchiatos. Sweet, sugary bliss. Ethiopia has the best macchiatos in the entire world.

We arrived in Woliso and attended church at the Woliso Kale Heywet Church. Before church started, we tried to get to know some of the children playing outside. The native language of Woliso is Amharic... there are 33 letters in their alphabets with 7 vowel sounds each, which totals basically 264 letters. So yes, communication was a little interesting. We got really good at improvised sign language.

Scott (who works with World Orphans and led our trip) gave the message while Pastor Teshali (the pastor of WKH) interpreted. The church has about 1500 attenders each Sunday. Here's their choir singing.

And here's the children's home that they're building on the property.

After church, we went to the hotel where we were staying. Well, "hotel" - it served its purpose. The bathrooms were really interesting because the shower was just a tiled spot in the corner - with no curtain, which resulted in water everywhere after each shower. We got lunch and then visited two church plants that WKH has started. Both were literally in the middle of fields and would be able to hold about 50 Americans comfortably. The first church regularly holds 300 each Sunday, and the second, 200.

Pretty much everywhere we went, children flocked to us...

Then we went to the location where they're going to build a Bible school.

We went back to the church and played with kids.

That evening the women of the church made us an authentic Ethiopian meal. The rolled up things are "injera" - moist, sponge bread that tastes like vinegar. The other dishes are different sauces for the injera - usually spicy beef or sheep. It wasn't too bad, but I don't think I'd be able to eat it for every meal the way Ethiopians do.

After dinner, we had a "coffee ceremony" - our friend Sisai (not sure if I spelled it right - it's pronounced "see-sigh") roasted coffee beans and everything! We had a bonfire with sugared popcorn and barbequed lamb. The elders of the church were all there, and we sang songs and danced around the fire - it was so funny to see these reserved men loosen up and just "hang out".

Afterward, we went back to our hotel, worked on preparing crafts for the next day, discussed theology, showered & crashed.


  1. Miss you... any way to get any pics bigger when you click on them? I wanna see those food dishes up close

  2. i just love all those kiddos! and i remember showering in the corner with no curtain. and no hot water to boot!

  3. okay, and did i miss something? why is it nov 2006 (header)?

  4. A coffee ceremony, yum, why don't we have those here?