Monday, January 20, 2014

Absence

It’s already mid January and I just had a chance to get my Christmas day photos up on the blog.  Isn’t this how January usually goes though?  I enjoy Christmas and the holiday with my family so much that I can’t possibly take a moment to blog about it.  Life is happening and I’m less eager to break the blissful holiday spell by sharing with the world.  Maybe Christmas, and that lovely laziness that follows, is meant to be kept to myself. 

But truly, January just sort of flies by!  We spent Ethiopian Christmas in Gheralta with friends of ours and it was the most glorious family vacation.  I have absolutely gorgeous photos from the trip to share and it’s on the list to-do.  So when I get a moment I can’t wait to share the photos with you.  Gheralta is just stunning. 

My absence from the blog has a lot to do with focusing on the girls while they were on winter break from school.  They JUST went back.  Addie on the 14th and Bella on the 15th.  It was an amazingly long vacation and I enjoyed every second of it.  Addie, Bella and Ashlynn have become inseparable friends.  Justin and I watched in awe as they spent their entire winter break entrenched in the sweetest and most earnest imaginary play together.  There was hardly any fighting and we rarely intervened unless it was meal time or bedtime.  As they've grown older, they've just become closer.  Addie and Bella especially.  They can play endlessly for hours together and never tire.  Ashlynn is almost always included in the fun although she can’t quite keep up for the length of time they will play. 
I adore Bella's look of adoration towards Addie.  I love how much my girls look to one another for guidance.
It was lovely to have my girls home with me.  We had lazy mornings with breakfast and a movie, maybe tea at 10AM before we were dressed for the day.  The girls helped in the kitchen and didn't get in the way when it was time for me to work.  We enjoyed every moment of it and they even expressed remorse about going back to school when the time came.  Luckily that was short lived and we’re happily moving back into our early morning, school buss, shoes on, backpacks packed routine.  Ashlynn and I have the house to ourselves for most of the morning.  But even that is short lived because she’s starting a preschool program (same school as Bella’s) in a week. 
Random coffee photo.  Ethiopian coffee only gets better with frothed milk on top.
I’ll also admit that there will be fewer blog posts from me in the coming months because as of right now, we only have five months until our departure of Ethiopia.  I know!  It’s wild and to be quite honest I am equally thrilled and devastated by the move.   Inevitably, the wind-down period of any overseas tour comes with mixed emotions.  I felt the same way in the Philippines.  It’s hard to grapple with the idea that this place that we’ve called home for all this time, will soon become a memory and likely a place you won’t ever return.  The things that I have built up bravery and coping strategies to manage in Ethiopia are starting to crumble.  I'm starting to let go of Ethiopia.  Letting some of the barriers crumble means that things I could easily manage 6 months ago, suddenly feel too big to handle.  The random construction road closures, the defecating in the streets, the pollution, the rotten egg that I cracked open every day.  These are all examples of the types of things I have done a really decent job of managing and in some cases embracing for the past two and a half years.  But as our time in Addis is marching towards our departure, I find these things more annoying and in some cases a frustration that I try to avoid completely.  It’s all a part of mentally preparing myself to leave.  I get it.   We’re looking forward, past Addis and it’s hard not to be excited to spend time with our friends and family in America we haven’t seen, in some cases, in two and a half years! 
I'm making my own shiro for lunch, my guard is sweet enough to pick up fresh injera every day.  Best lunch ever.
There is less exciting discovery for me in Ethiopia.  We’ve done a lot of discovering during our time here and I’ve blogged about all of it.  Sometimes the last few months for me is hard to write about.  The combined feelings of elation to leave, with sadness to say goodbye is something I find very difficult to capture in words.  We’ve loved so much about Ethiopia and I’d like to focus on the good things, so over the course of the next few months I’m going to try to complete a series of posts about what Ethiopia has taught me.  
It's prim (tiny plums) season in Ethiopia.  We're buying them by the kilo.  Instead of trying to perfect prim tarts this year, I'm going to just eat as many as I can.

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