Warning: What follows is an account of two luxurious weekends that might make even the most westernized, soft, Americans jealous. Actually it’s really about God’s provision in unexpected ways. So even though there might be a little bit of jealousy going on I hope you can appreciate how a good God takes care of his child in Ethiopia.

I’ve come to a deeper realization that one of the keys to happiness in life is being content in your current circumstances, or more aptly put, low expectations.

To demonstrate this, when I was first thinking about living in Ethiopia for a year I tried to not to imagine what my living situation would be in order not to hype myself up for disappointment knowing this would be a hard part of adaptation to living abroad especially in a developing country.  But in the inevitable pre-trip day-dreaming, I would force myself to imagine a hut with cracks in the walls, dirt floors, and no furniture.  Surprisingly this is not too far from reality for most Ethiopians. But I got something very different. Though a series of events I ended up with a room to my own which is one or the nicest rooms I’ve lived in complete with its own bathroom, desk, nightstand, cushion chair and the works. In the past month or so I have really worked to make it home. I finally finished my picture project and crated a boarder around my room with 100 photos of friends and family (chances are if you’re reading this you’re probably on my wall at least once). I’ve built two shelves in the workshop for my walls, one for the bathroom and one for my candles and insincere in my “living room”. My future projects are a TP dispenser and an Indian incense burner. My “kitchen” is now equipped with a hot water heater for my tea, a regular stock of fresh fruit form the market and some popcorn for movie nights or other special occasions. I just bought an oriental rug for my cement floor that matches my lamp, chair and bed-sheets (sort of).  Besides the pictures my walls are covered with maps and memories from places I’ve lived in times past (Yellowstone, Acadia, and at the African Union Bizarre I went tot today I got a wax wall map of Africa (that also goes with my oriental rug and all the rest). Anyway enough about my room (I’ll put up pictures when I can), you probably want to know more about this AU Bizarre and other events of my past few weekends. 

First Weekend
Well, besides my room, the luxury all started two weekends ago when our team all packed into the mini busses and headed to Addis to attend a wedding that we were invited to by a nurse who was getting married who worked at the Project Mercy hospital. Usually one would get there hopes up for fun times, fast internet, and good food when going to Addis. But I was expecting the worst knowing that we only had a limited time in Addis, a full schedule and a lot of people in our group. But form the very beginning my expectations were exceeded starting with the spacious; fast bus ride to Addis that landed us at our team’s family’s house for dinner on time and right when it was getting dark. The next day started with a full morning at the U.S. Embassy where there is high-speed internet (hence the pictures on my previous blog post). This was followed by an amazing pizza lunch which hasn’t been an item on the menu for almost three months. You can only imagine how hard this is for one who has lived in a college town for the past three years. Any when I though It couldn’t get any better, I came home to an hour long massage complete with scented candles and Kenny G. You heard me right… I got an hour long, full-body massage followed by my first bath of the year. Why am I so lucky, you might ask? Well, for one, I think God was really enjoying pampering me, and two, Nathanial (one of the other teachers at PM) has chronic back issues and got the misuse to come to the house to work on his tight muscles and decided to share the love. How cool is that! Please be praying for his healing, he could really use some relief from this constant pain.

So then the following day was the wedding. On the surface it seemed a lot like a western wedding with the white dress bridesmaids and grooms man… but it was so different. Three things that stuck out to me was how centered the whole ceremony was on Christ, how many people were there and how joyful they all were.  Everything was scriptural and the whole ceremony was a worship service and most of it the time the bride and groom weren’t even on stage but in the front row worshiping God. There were about 1,000 people and they were all jumping up and down praising God. It was like the reception dance party where all the kids go crazy only during the ceremony and everyone was going crazy even the bride and groom were jumping.  My favorite part after the loudly applauded vow recital, was where the bride and groom got on their knees and committed there marriage to God, tears and all. I’ll try to upload a video so you can see what it was like.
Picture
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On Sunday we were able to go to an international Church service that was in English. It was such a blessing to be able to sing songs in a congregation that I could actually understand. There is a lot of other stuff that god did that weekend and but I just thought I’d give you a not so breafe synopsis. The nest blessed weekend’s description will follow in the hnext blog poast as I am pressed for time at the moment. 

Love you all. Thanks so much for the notes and comments and other forms of support. I’m not ashamed to say that I need it. So, keep it coming if you will.

Grace and Peace,
Steve~
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