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A letter from Larry and Barbara Moir in Ethiopia

 September 29, 2010

An Ethiopian Journal


Introduction: We have returned to Dembi Dollo to resume teaching at Bethel Evangelical Secondary School and Gedada Bible School, two of the three schools of the Western Wollega Synod, Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus. Barbara is teaching grade nine and ten English and Larry is teaching English and tutoring pastors for the Mekane Yesus Seminary Theological Education by Extension program.

Our return trip to Dembi Dollo from Addis Ababa September 22 and 23 was at times a tiring, body-pounding experience. For two-thirds of the trip we traveled over deteriorating asphalt roads and areas where the road gave way to deep mud or rock pavement that jarred the 23-year-old Toyota Hilux pickup truck and its driver and passengers.

The truck once again succumbed to the punishment of Ethiopia’s roads. The frame, over the left front wheel, reopened on old wound, developing another crack and then an open break just prior to our arrival at the school compound. It cannot be driven again until major repairs are made to the frame. Other weak spots are also in evidence. The truck was backed into the tool shed where the grass and weeds are slowly, but resolutely, hiding its front bumper and grill. It makes for a forlorn and lonely image.

As tired and sore as we were, our spirits were restored by the warm welcome we received from staff, students and friends. Dinke, who stayed in the house during the summer, had fixed us a refreshing meal of pasta and tomato sauce, budeena (injera), and one of her favorites, pancakes. There were bowls of beets, boiled cabbage and carrots. She topped it off with a dessert of white cake of her own creation, a glaze of confectioner’s sugar and cocoa. Warm, moist loaves of banana and papaya bread spread their aroma throughout the house. We were home.

The next few days saw the activity of students and staff preparing for the Meskal Feast. Meskal is the celebration of the legendary discovery of the True Cross in Jerusalem by an ancient and pious queen of Ethiopia. It is celebrated with large bonfires on the evening before, and church worship and feasting the next day. This year Meskal was September 27.

On the evening of September 26 the dormitory girls prepared a feast of lamb and enchote, served with budeena and soft drinks. Enchote is a potato-sized white root vegetable. It is boiled and mashed with onion, garlic and green chili pepper. By itself we find it bland, but the onion, garlic and pepper bring out a very nice flavor. It is a flavor to which one must become accustomed.

On Meskal Barbara and I decided to stay home from worship, whereas Dinke had intended to go. As the morning stretched out, and others began their walk to worship Dinke was slow to move, finally saying, “I want to stay here with you, and be near you.” She had missed us very much. And we missed her as well. It is difficult to be apart from our family in the States, and it was difficult to be away from our Ethiopian daughter. Life is filled with paradox.

Larry and Barbara Moir

The 2010 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 50


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