Church in Awasa-Ethiopian Climate and Culture

August 1st, 2010 Awasa-Shashamene

I slept well last night in spite of the fact that my mattress was more like a board than a mattress.  I was awoken by the birds, monkeys and the local church at about 6:00am.  I had a fun time with my family on Skype.  I packed up everything and read scriptures while I waited for Abera to arrive.  On my way out I walked past the hotel’s breakfast buffet.  The juices looked really good but the rest of it looked more Ethiopian style.  I was fasting so it didn’t really matter although I would have really like one of the fresh juices.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Awasa, Ethiopia 
Abera was late picking me up but when we arrived at church we found that the Branch President was sick so it was taking a while for the meeting to get started.  I played some hymns on the piano while we were waiting for the meeting to start.  Abera brought Gemechu and one of his friends to church.  The missionaries hadn’t contacted him this week but after the meetings they gave them pamphlets and traded phone numbers so they could set something up. I am anxious for them to teach Abera but I am not going to force the issue.  It will work out in the Lord’s time.

There were four testimonies given in church.  The Elder’s Quorum President gave a long testimony explaining the authority of the priesthood and its restoration. Daniel, Elder Howard and I all added our testimonies.  One of the young women taught the Sunday school lesson on developing talents.  She did a very good job, teaching in Amharic and English.  The meetings started out rather chaotic but ended up being really good.

Abera dropped me off at the Lilly Valley hotel where I spent the afternoon listening to Truman Madsen and John Bytheway and doing some family history on Family Search.   While I was on line I chatted with one of Larry’s high school friends, John Wakley.  I don’t think I have talked to him since high school.

The weather is so nice here. It is overcast most days now because we are in the rainy season and it rains hard several days a week.  The temperatures are in the 60’s and 70’s so it is never really cold or hot.  I did see some AC units in the conference rooms at the resort hotel but most buildings and homes don’t have any kind of heating or cooling.  Fire is used for cooking in most homes and does provide a little heat but mostly the people just wrap a blanket around themselves if they get chilly.

I haven’t had the problems with insect bites this trip like my other ones.  I am fairly certain that they were bed bugs. I have sprayed my bed down when I enter the room and spray my pajamas down also.  I have been more careful not to spray myself.  Last time I gave myself a bad rash that caused the skin on my ankles to peel off like a sunburn. I did get bitten around the waist one day when I laid on top of the bed for a nap and hadn’t sprayed it.  It is nice to be free of insect bites.