Extemporaneous Talk at the Awasa Branch of the Church

July 25th, 2010 Awasa-Shashamene

The sore on my face is completely healed except that the skin is still red in the area where it was and there is a small pimple like thing in the middle.  I hope that it is just a pimple.  Being in a developing country can be disturbing when strange health issues arise. There are a lot more illnesses and the medical care is very limited and somewhat primitive.

When I first got to my hotel yesterday I pulled back the covers and sprayed my bed with bed bug spray.  I laid down on top of the bed and took a short nap.  I think that there must have been bugs on top of the bed because I had three bites right at my waistline when I got up.  I sprayed the top of the bed and my clothes then took a shower.  I think that solved the problem because I didn't get any bites last night or today when I took a nap.  As a bonus there were no mosquitoes in my room so I slept solid all night long and felt great when I woke up.

It rained hard most of the morning. Everything was wet and many of the streets were flowing with water.  When Abera and I arrived at church the branch President told me that his speakers hadn't arrived and asked if I would talk.  I agreed and quickly put together a talk about remembering our Savior and obeying His will so that we can have joy and happiness in this life.
The other speakers showed up later in the meeting and gave their talks also. They spoke in Amharic so I had to try and feel their message.

They now have full time missionaries in Awasa so I introduced them to Abera.  I think the rain had dampened their spirits and clouded their eyes because they didn’t see the golden contact in front of them.  Abera not only reads the Book of Mormon but has been teaching some of his friends about it.  Last week he asked me where he could get five Books of Mormon for his friends. After the meetings I did suggest to one of the missionaries that they might want to teach him and his family.  He said “Oh yeah I need to get his phone number”.  I think that they will be pleasantly surprised.  On the way home Abera pointed out where one of his friends in Awasa lives and said that she was going to come to church next week.

I had a migraine coming on by the time that we got back to the hotel so I ate, took some Excedrin, listened to Truman Madsen and took a nap.  I felt better when I awoke but I have fought with a slight headache all afternoon.  I felt like I should start writing my philosophy about Ethiopia so I entitled it “The Enigma of Ethiopia”.  So far I have five pages of ramblings that will need a good editor to straighten them out but at least it is now in words.

I am not sure what it was about today but in the 20 km drive from Awasa I saw four guys urinating at the side of the road.  It is not uncommon for me to see one or two especially if it is a longer drive but four in such a short drive was uncommon. The closest that these guys get to being discreet is that they usually turn their backs to the road.  They don’t seem to care that there are dozens of people that can see them.  Yesterday I saw a man defecating just off the road.  He didn't even try to go behind one of the nearby trees. It is really disgusting and brings a whole new meaning to public bathrooms.


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