When God's Ways are Not Our Ways

Photo courtesy of Phil Hamer.

This post was written on December 12. As you read you will see why I saved it for today.

Today is the day I was going to write about the fresh, clean water pouring forth from the new well Russ, Rusty, and the Until Then team dug in Kenya.  Today I was going to tell you that, since I didn’t want to announce to the world that my husband was out-of-town (in fact, off-this-continent), he has been to Kenya and back.

I was going to share with you how God was glorified through the way this team served the people in the Dago region, about how they worked long, long hours to share the love of Jesus through the gift of water.  It was going to be a glorious post.

But…

From Soddo to Italy to Idaho

Eby in Addis - March 2007

I am amazed by God.  Truly amazed, and I’ve got a great story to share with you!

When Russ and I adopted Eby, we knew he had an older sister.  She was seven years older than Eby and they had lived together with their mother in Soddo.  We traveled to Soddo on our first trip to Ethiopia and learned that following their mother’s death, the children had been separated and M. (I’ll abbreviate her name) went to an orphanage nearby. We were told that she was then transfered to an orphanage in Addis and adopted by an Italian family.

Taking a Breath

A big thank you to everyone who has stopped by my blog in the last few days.  Your encouragement and comments mean so much to me.  If you are new to A Bushel and A Peck, and found me through Empowered to Connect or We Are Grafted In, thank you for taking the time to click over to my blog.  I hope you’ll get to know me and that I can be of some help and encouragement to you.  If you would like to get to know me and my blog a little bit more, you can check out my About Me page, and my FAQ’s — or not, either way, I’m glad you are here.

I’ve spent the morning packing for REACH Camp which is a very special event for our family.  REACH is a camp for families that are impacted by HIV/AIDS and our kids look forward to it every Labor Day weekend.

Travel Part 2: Things I Wish I Had Packed

Honeybee was very happy to be served this glass of tea (note the pile of sugar sitting on the bottom).

In my last post I shared a list of Things I’m Glad I Packed, so today you get my list of the Things I Wish I Had Packed. Some of these items are things we had planned to take, but didn’t, and some are things we thought of once we were there.

Things I Wish I Had Packed:

1. Power Strip and Adaptors – Russ planned to take a power strip, but in the final rush, it was forgotten. With one adaptor and the strip we would have been able to charge camera batteries, video camera batteries, phones, etc. all at the same time. Unfortunately, without it we were constantly trying to figure out which item should have priority. We took an adaptor, but wished we had taken at least one more since we were continually charging a battery for something, I also used it for my hair dryer, and Honeybee needed it on the two occasions when she watched a DVD.

2. Warmer Clothes – long sleeve t-shirts, more socks, a sweater (or two) and/or a fleece pullover all would have been helpful for Rainy Season travel.

3. Lonely Planet Guide to Ethiopia – yes, we own one; no, it wasn’t in our suitcases.

4. Rain Jacket with Hood – Since Russ backpacks, he has a great rain jacket, and due to friends who give us fabulous hand-me-downs, Honeybee has a great jacket too. I, on the other hand, took a running jacket, which seemed like a decent idea but was no match for the torrential downpours. A rain jacket with a hood would have been a good thing to pack.

5. Activities for Honeybee – Up until the day we picked her up, Honeybee’s life had been filled with children, nannies, drivers, teachers, and other folks. She had spent eight years at her orphanage, so life with Mom and Dad was a little quiet. There were times when we were busy trying to read email (nearly hopeless), arranging drivers, visiting orphanages, etc, when she would have enjoyed having more to entertain herself. I packed colored pencils, drawing paper, a journal, and more items along those lines (all things that Dimples adored), but Honeybee had no interest in them. The one thing she loved was her CD player – which reminds me, I wish I had packed more batteries because the ones we bought from the little shack at the end of the road seemed to last for approximately three hours.

6. Picture Books – I wish I had packed some simple picture books to read to Honeybee, such as a children’s Bible, simple stories, and books that identify items by their English names. I think she would have enjoyed cuddling in my lap as I read to her.

7. Food – I wish I packed more nuts, dried fruit, instant oatmeal, noodle-type meals such as Ramen, peanut butter (in a tube – you can squeeze it onto bread), chocolate, and other familiar treats. We shared what we had and nursed our last chocolate bar for days, but in the end a little more would have been nice – chocolate was our ultimate comfort food when we had spent our day in exhaust fumes while walking past heaps of goat heads, and piles of goat legs.

8. Ambien – I’m no doctor, but my opinion is that sleep-deprivation is not conducive to happiness, attachment, or anything else. Both times that I traveled to Ethiopia, I had difficulty adjusting to the ten hour time difference. Most nights I could fall asleep just fine, but then at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning, my body would wake up as if the night was over and I could not fall back to sleep until 5:30 or 6:00. This was even more miserable given the fact that I was not at home lying in my own comfortable bed and I couldn’t go downstairs to read my friends’ blogs.

I talked with a physician who was also a guest at Addis Kidan and she gave me two Ambien from her supply. Her advice was to break a tablet in half, take one half when I went to bed followed by the other if I woke up more than four hours from when I wanted to wake for the day. Since I had no difficulty going to sleep, I only used 1/2 an Ambien if I woke up before 2:30 in the morning. I was amazed by how much better I felt after doing this two nights in a row. It was like a cloud lifted off of me.

I know that other people use Tylenol PM or natural sleep remedies. I would encourage you to talk with your doctor and other travelers you know to get their advice about how to adjust to the time difference. This is what worked for me.

I’ll try to write more soon!

~Lisa