I picked up a book called the Last Arrow at my in-laws over the holidays. I am pretty sure the book is meant for fifty-year-old men, nonetheless I sat in the bath with a glass of wine and cried my eyes out. It was just what I needed. This last season has been hard and confusing and sometimes I just wanted to retreat because it sure seemed like we were losing the battle.Read More
I’ve since moved to this beautiful country, and as I rooted myself into Ethiopian culture, I discovered it not only looks like how I imagine Old Testament times, but that God has always sought out Ethiopians, starting with the old covenant.Read More
Raising my first baby in a foreign culture has been an interesting experience. I didn’t know anything about babies when my girl was born. I remember thinking as the nurse ushered us out of the hospital, “Are you sure you want me to leave the hospital with this baby?” Read the rest of this blog on the Taking Route Blog.Read More
The word ‘fashion’ immediately makes me think of New York or Milan— and more, how I don’t have very good fashion or measure up to people that do. Fashion seems to be divisive in its very nature. I am as guilty as anyone of perpetuating the division as I try to one-up friends and find worth walking around in new pair of boots. Interestingly, I have had a very different experience with the fashion culture here in Ethiopia.Read More
Hike: Moderate, 1 hour to reach the church.
Church Structure: Completely rock-hewn.
Paintings: Well preserved, sometime between 13thand 17thcenturies.
Views: Open view of the Hawzen plain.
What I like: Moderate hike, great view, and unique church.
Overall Experience: Top five.
Hike: Easy, 1 hour to reach the church, no climbing.
Church Structure: Only partially rock-hewn.
Paintings: Vivid, end of 18thcentury beginning of the 19th.
Views: No views but beautiful landscapes and farms.
What I like: Great for people who can’t do hard hikes.
Overall Experience: Top ten.
Ethiopia has been an amazing place to start a family. We have been so lucky to have had amazing adventures in this place. Here are the top ten things I will miss most about Ethiopia.Read More
In the last ten years, I have lived in four countries and six states. At one point I had my belongings stored across three states and one country. I have no permanent residence—unless you consider four boxes in my parents’ attic a permanent residence (that is where I get my mail). In the hypothetical situation that I am moving, I decided to make a step-by-step list to keep me on task. Read the rest of this post on the Taking Route Blog.Read More
Food is a central part of my family living overseas. There aren’t movie theaters, nice parks to stroll through, or hipster roof top hangs to watch the sunset from; so, we spend our time eating. And when we aren’t eating, we are figuring out how to create the food we don’t have access to. We have gotten good at it—a little too good for our waist lines. Read the rest of this blog at the Taking Route Blog.Read More
Working out is the blight of almost any mom—we put on weight to have these precious babies, and then these adorable babies leave us with no time to ever go to the gym again. Working out seems especially hard for moms living overseas. In many western countries there are workout classes that incorporate the kids and help to keep the moms motivated. But where I live—and I am sure where you live too—there is no such thing. Read the rest of this post on the Taking Route Blog.Read More
Hike: Moderate, 1 hour.
Paintings: 14th century, lower paintings faded, but the ones out of reach are still vivid.
What I Like: Different views, manageable hike, unique church, great painting.
Overall Experience: Top five.
Hike:Difficult, Steep 1.5 hours to reach the church.
Church Structure:Basilica style, six columns and two aisles, completely rock-hewn, locals claim that it dates back to the 4thcentury.
Paintings: Vivid, possibly the early 19thand maybe retouched in the 20thcentury.
Views: Incredible, totally different views than that of the Hawzen plain.
What I Like: I love the hard hike, unique views, and paintings.
Overall Experience:Top five, worth seeing if you have the time, great for people that can do hard hikes.
Time: Allow at least 4.5 hours for the drive, hike, and visiting the church. Allow an extra hour if you plan to take your time.
Hike: Level–Difficult. Steep with a few slippery spots, 1.5 hours to the top.
Church Structure: Large.
Paintings: 13th-14th century, damaged due to water.
What I Like: Best all-around hike for active people.
Overall Experience: Top five.
He wants me, all of me. He wants my fidgeting hands and tear weld eyes. He wants my brokenness, that is where He loves to shine. His power is made perfect in my weakness. Grieving does not mean I am not trusting, in fact transformational and healing grieving require trust. Who would let their insides pour out if they did not trust the goodness of the one in front of whom they stood? Distrust causes us to stuff pain deep within, trust in Christ is an invitation for weeping.Read More
If your baby had a passport before it was a month old, you probably have an expat baby. Expat babies, also known as third culture kids or tcks, are a rare breed—they will have some of the most unique experiences that they will never even remember. Read the rest of this post on the Taking Route Blog.Read More
- Hike: Level–Difficult. There are two sections of free climbing. For safety, I recommend asking your guide to bring a harness and ropes, but I have always done it without. One hour climb to the church.
- What I Like: I love how treacherous it is to reach this church and what treasures await you at the top.
- Overall Experience: Top five, I would only recommend this for children over twelve and please request ropes.
You don’t have to be a person of the Orthodox faith to enjoy this deeply spiritual pilgrimage past pastoral farms, up through canyon walls and into the mountains in search of these ancient treasures. The physical act of hiking to these hidden churches mirrors for me the life-long journey of the pilgrimage toward God. It is a unique opportunity to see yourself, away from the busyness of routine and habit, as you climb up into the ancient mysteries that these mountains hold.Read More
I remember when my husband and I drove fifteen hours from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to our new home in the north. I loved every minute of the heat, the god-forsaken hotel, and the lack of water when we arrived at our new home. I vividly remember thinking, “I am the luckiest person in the world that I get to have this life.” Fast-forward six months to a year later, and guess who was crying? ME. Read the rest of this post on the Taking Route Blog.Read More