Friday, November 11, 2016

Italy Vacation

During our 2 week fall break, we decided to drive to Italy. After a 4 hour drive, with an unexpected turn into Switzerland, we made it to our Air B&B in Lake Como. We had a very relaxing week there, mostly rainy weather, and every day visiting a city across the lake, a villa, or hiking up to an old abandoned castle.
 We saw an old castle on a hill, so we
hiked up, up, up through the rain, and finally
found it, even though it was surrounded by barbed 
wire, we poked around, and met some wild goats,
who showed us the way under the fence. 
( Mom still wouldn't let us go in)
 In the clouds you can see the castle tower.
 Does anyone recognize this sight? 
Villa Balbianello was the sight where many 
movies were filmed, including Star Wars: Episode II, 
Casino Royale, Ocean's Twelve, etc.
 Villa Carlotta

After a week at Lake Como, we took a 3 hour train ride ( vs. a 7 hour drive ), to Rome. As you can imagine, we did all the touristy stuff around the city. Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Spanish Steps, the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel, Pantheon, and all the fountains, but we also saw some less famous sights, such as the Mamertine Prison, where Peter and Paul were kept, and where some of second Timothy was thought to be written.
We spent 4 days in Rome, and we did feel the earthquake one morning. 

 All throughout Italy we very much enjoyed 
their gelato, but Dad still can't seem to find
a decent sized coffee in Europe. We learned 
to order an americano if you want close to 
normal .

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Bienvenue à Albertville!

Welcome to Albertville!
I'm sorry that I have not been able to update you sooner, but we have been pretty busy starting our life here in France. We arrived here after a three day vacation in London, which really helped us to get used of the 9 hour time difference. We are now living on the 3rd floor apartment above a kabob shop.
The first week we struggled to find Mekdes and I a school, it was a long and complicated process, but in the end we both ended up at a catholic private middle school. The first couple weeks at school were hard, but after a while we started getting used to the way things worked. We meet with a woman at our school who speaks good English and French, and who is helping us and the other American kids at the school to learn French. Biniyam is also doing fine, and making new friends in his 2nd grade class. All of us are learning more French, petit à petit.
It's pretty hard to sum it all up, but I'll try to keep you updated.
Merci pour votre soutien, tu nous manques!

Ready to Leave       
 We went to Harry Potter World

And Biniyam went to Lego Land
Mom and Dad's School
The View from our Apartment
The Road to our School
 We took a Saturday trip to Chamonix, Mont Blanc
 The highest point in Europe
 Down the road from us is the Olympic Ice Rink,
 we went there for Mekdes' Birthday
 Exploring France

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Mission Training International

Before we begin our journey to France, we are required to go to training. We left our house in Bellingham, and drove, and drove, and drove, all the way from Washington to the small town of Palmer Lake between Colorado Springs and Denver. We had orientation that night and began class the next day. Now we only have one more week to go, and then more driving.
In our class we have 7-12 year olds, but I'm the only one who's eleven. There are people going everywhere from Arizona to Thailand, even all the teachers were missionary kids. They teach us a lot of things about being missionaries, so it's hard to sum it up. We learned about learning languages and new friends...basically we learned the same things as the adults just in more fun ways.
Our room is like a hotel. We have two rooms, each kid gets their own bed and drawer. We get two bathrooms and a beautiful view of the red rocks.
There are a lot of fun things to do here, and we get weekends free. So far we have gone to Garden of the Gods, on a Mining Tour, Hiking, to the Cliff Dwellings, to the Air Force Academy, a concert at Red Rocks, and this weekend we went camping.

                                                              Leavenworth, WA
We spent a day at Yellowstone National Park
This is right before my hat blew off into the hot springs
                                                            Molly Kathleen Gold Mine

                                                               Garden of the Gods

                                                                 Red Rocks Amphitheater


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Snapshots of Burundi

Nothing that interesting has been happening around here. We are packing up our house and getting ready to leave. But instead of just writing about all of our stuff I decided to post some pictures of Burundi.

                                            This is the view from a balcony in Bujumbura.

                                        There is a hike you can take to Kibuye Rock where
                                        you get a bird's eye view of the village, and a bunch
                                        of Burundian kids following you.

                                                          Our pet chameleon, Buddy.
                                                          A boy and his chick, Pickley
                                                                   Lake Tanganyika

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Perspective Of A Third Culture Kid

Q. What is a third culture kid?

  1. A third culture kid is a kid who is growing up in a different culture.

That’s what we are now, third culture kids. 

Some of the questions we get asked the most about Burundi are things like “ What was school like?” or “ What was your favorite part” and most of all, the basic question of “ Did you like it?”. The answer is YES!!!!!!! We all loved it there! What kind of kid wouldn’t love to run around outside all day with friends? Certainly not us! Burundi gave us a whole new perspective on life anywhere. This is an essay I wrote for a school assignment.

                                    Less is More 

    I never knew, but sometimes, less is more. When people are less fortunate, you learn to appreciate the things that you do have. I learned about that first hand.

   My family was working at a mission hospital in Burundi, East Africa, for nine months last year. We could only bring limited supplies, and most of our bins were full of resources for the hospital. We had to adjust to living with less.

   At first it was hard living without the things we were used to, but as time went on, we learned to appreciate the little things that we did have.

   Whenever one of our friends back in the U.S. would send us a package, we would be so exited about chocolate chips or colored pencils, even though normally we would just have those things instantly.

   I started to realize, the less we had, the more appreciative we were.

   In March 2016, Burundi was named the most unhappy country in the world, with Denmark in first. My family and I came up with the solution that they must have interviewed people in the capital, Bujumbura. Out in the country, where we were, people were very happy. The people in the capital know what they’re missing, but with no internet, no connection to the outside world, the villagers are grateful for the little that they do have. 

   This is an important lesson to learn. A lot of times, when people have many things, they don’t appreciate the small things until that’s all that’s left. Appreciate all your things, because sometimes, less is more.