The traffic wasn’t so bad today so we got to the Field Office building early enough to drop off our bags and walk back to the corner coffee shop for some coffee before work. We continue to be amazed at the cultural differences here - it’s an incredible mix of primitive ways and modern innovations, in everything from cooking and dress to transportation, business, and communication.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
This morning, there was electricity for a while, then none at all. (Some mornings, fuses blow and we just re-set the breakers.) Luckily, Sani and the girls cook mostly on the short charcoal cooker, so breakfast was “as usual” except that there were no electric lights overhead or children’s programs on TV. We told Sani that we had noticed that she is a very good manager and I think that she was gratified to hear it out loud, from our observations. Over chai and French toast and porridge, we also discussed the differences in household duties in our respective cultures; the woman is entirely responsible for her home in
Ethiopia while, in the , many duties are shared or at least divided. U.S.
Working with Aynadis today was especially interesting. She asks very good questions about accounting and how to be more accurate and how to use more features of her software. She is amenable to making changes and respects my experience and knowledge. We also talked about cultural differences - how women in
America take their husband’s last name (most of the time) and women in keep their father’s last name even after they marry (and she has been married less than 5 months!). We’ve come to know that most people’s first names here have a meaning or have a Biblical reference. Aynadis means “new eyes” - the name was given to her by her parents, who had lost their first child. So Aynadis was a new sight for them that they were thankful for. The word closest to Janet is “Genet” which means Heaven; I think I like that! She also played some Christian music on her computer while we worked, and took the time to tell me what some of the songs were saying. How thoughtful, to explain the words of these songs that are meaningful to her! Ethiopia
Dan made some progress today installing software and upgrades on several computers as well as moving a wireless router. There are several elements to deal with so he is being kept busy and is enjoying it.
Tonight was the first time in a while that we ate together with Anbessu and Sani and the boys, in addition to 2 gentlemen guests; often Anbessu has evening meetings. Sani had prepared a soup with pasta and vegetables and lentils. It was delicious, especially with the flat bread she had made just before we got home. After the table was cleared from dinner, the men were talking, so I thought it would be best if I went upstairs to our room to read for a while but, as I got up to leave, Anbessu said, “Janet, why don’t you share with us the Word of God?” Oh! I was surprised, to say the least, then thought, I’m not a preacher, but surely I can share my favorite Bible verse and tell of how I came to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. For the next few minutes, the rest of the family was gathered again around the table and I related my story of singing in church since I was a child, but never really hearing or understanding how Jesus wanted to be an integral part of my life until I was an adult, in a Nazarene church only 14 years ago. Then I told how I was handed a Bible verse during a Wednesday night service that fit me perfectly, “He taught me to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God.” Psalm 40:3a (The Message). Now, I would be singing in church, and meaning what I sang, not just singing pretty music. Anbessu repeated my story in Amharic for those with only a little English, then asked if I would sing. So Dan and I sang “I Love You, Lord” together, then Dan prayed for all around the table, those back at home, those who are spreading the Good News and all those who need Jesus around the world. What a sweet way to end this day!
Anbessu says that tomorrow night is Dan’s turn and that we will hear Anbessu’s story when we are ready!