#HowToSeries: How To (Almost) Learn A New Language.

Language has always been a struggle for me but when we first moved to Northern Ethiopia I was determined to learn the local language. I regretted never getting the hang of the local tongue when I lived in Malawi. I hated being left out of conversation after conversation, and Ethiopia was going to be different, as I assimilated into the culture and language. Here are my keys to (almost) being successful. Read the rest of this post on the Taking Route Blog.

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Gheralta Guide: The Rock-Hewn Churches of Ethiopia

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.

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Bringing Back the Wonder of Life Abroad

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. 

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Listening to the Rhythms of Life Abroad.

There are rhythms all around us sending us messages. The power goes out. The water tank is empty. The internet hasn’t worked in days. The car breaks down. The baby just wants to be held. In those moments there is a very critical choice that will make or break my day; will I listen to the rhythms or try to create my own? Read the rest of this post on the Taking Route Blog.

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Fears of a New Expat Mom.

Maybe I’m the only mom that has ever been nervous about raising and caring for a child in the developing world. I try to calm my anxiety with reason—millions of moms have raised their babies in the developing world in worse conditions. I shouldn’t have a problem. Right after my daughter was born, the reality of living in Africa became real and I honestly don’t feel equipped for the challenge. Read more of this post on The Taking Route Blog.

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Part 4: The Importance of Need. #MakingMekelleOurHome

Need, I am finding, is one of the greatest gifts in the world. Maybe it is a gift to need redemption, to need grace, to need water, to need God to provide. I have never felt my need as clear as I do here in Mekelle; it’s a combination of the brokenness I have embraced in myself in recent years mixed with the vulnerability of our life here. Away from the familiar, distant from community,  and adapting to the unknown.

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The Best Kept Secret in East Africa.

I hesitate to write this article, because I am worried that I will unveil one of the best kept secrets in East Africa: the Ancient Rock-Hewn churches of Northern Ethiopia. To get to most of these churches you have to hike up into the mountains, where you will find hidden 1600 year-old churches that have been preserved by the monks and priests of modern and of old. Most of the churches were carved deep into the rock to protect them, as well as their history, from invaders. Read the rest of the blog on the We Are Travel Girls Blog.

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Part 3: The Miracle of My First Friend. #MakingMekelleOurHome

Quitting my job last summer made me face my real life, or should I say lack of a real life here in Mekelle.Greg had started a business, he had employees and friends and was getting a hang of the language. It had been tons of work for him, but it was paying off. He was blossoming and I was sinking in to the shadows.

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VIDEO: Doin' the Do. #MakingMekelleOurHome

For Easter I had my hair done in the traditional Ethiopian style. My friend owns a local hair salon. I went at 11am and was finished at 3pm. #4hourslater I will have to be honest that it was hard to sleep the first few nights, but by the fourth night I slept like a baby.

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