Let the fun begin!

Let the fun begin!
Miles Family - October 2011 - Northern Ethiopian Trip in the Tigray Region

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Awash Falls Lodge - Ethiopia

Since the kids were out of school and on their fall break, we decided to take a little trip outside of Addis with some new friends who recently arrived from the states. Awash Falls is about a 3 1/2 hour drive, south-east of Addis Ababa. The Debra Zeit road to get to Awash Falls is full of traffic, cars, semi-trucks, people, donkeys, horses, sheep, goats, etc....., but it was a fun get away out of the big city. We stayed in two tukuls (huts) joined together with a tiny bathroom. We were expecting to basically camp, but were surprised to have some ammenities. We saw some wildlife as in baboons, a crocodile, an oryx and various birds. The falls were refreshing to sit next to and the kids played in the sand. Don't worry, the crocodiles did not come to visit.

Sophi's 2nd B-Day!

Sophi (a.k.a. Sophers or Sopherino) turned 2 years old. We just can't believe she is no longer our baby. On the other hand she is definitely in the terrible 2's with the tantrums and wanting to be soooooooo independent, but just not able to keep up with big brother and sister.

She had birthday cake and opened some gifts that were sent in the mail. Thanks grandmas and grandpas for helping make her birthday so fun even though we are across the globe.

Our birthday girl had lots of fun!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Meskel Celebration at ICS

One of the major holidays in Ethiopia is the celebration of Meskel. At the International Community School (ICS), every year the kids dress up in traditional Ethiopian attire and celebrate the religious holiday which is also the end of the rainy season. This year the 3rd grade students presented a play depicting the Ethiopian story of finding the true cross. Eli was a "chief" and dressed up in the beautiful, red robe. Sophi and Glori were ofcourse, Ethiopian princesses in their yellow dresses. Here are some fun pictures of traditional Ethiopian clothing at the school. Enjoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Marti's B-Day!

What a fun day I had! First, I woke up like any other day and got the kids off to school. Then I went for a run. Then my friends picked me up and surprised me with a birthday pedicure and lunch at the local Korean Restaurant. Hmmmm, it was good! Thanks gals for such a great, girl's day out! It was much needed. Then the kids and I celebrated at home with a cake Mitch made before I woke up in the morning. It was very cute. Thanks Honey! I had a nice 36th!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Day of School!

The kids had a wonderful, summer vacation in Germany and now it was time to start another school year at ICS. Glori started all-day kindergarten and Eli 3rd grade. This was Glori's first time on the bus, so we thought we would show grandmas and grandpas what it was like. Doesn't she look like a big girl and not even nervous. We hope the kids have a great school year!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mittweida Friends and Twilight!

Last Sunday we went to church in Mittweida. There were actually a couple of families who remembered Mitch when he was a missionary so long ago. One family invited us over to their house for lunch after church. Mitch recognized the father. He was in his late teens preparing to go on his mission when Mitch was in Mittweida. The family has 5 children, so the kids played and played and played. They have a large backyard with toys, a treehouse, swinging rope, etc.... Even though our kids and their kids spoke two different languages they got along quite nicely and had a lot of fun. To our new German Friends......thank you Marcus and Yvonne! You have a beautiful family and it was so kind of you to take us under your wings.

Now this is the funny part! After we ate lunch, the adults were talking and Marcus mentioned to Yvonne that maybe I would be interested in the "girls night out" coming up on Thursday. Yvonne said...."oh, she wouldn't be interested in Twilight." My ears perked up and I said....."Ummm, Twilight! I love Twilight."
For those who have been living under a rock for the past two years (aka Dad) Twilight is a series of books by Stephenie Meyer that are being made into blockbuster movies. Believe me, I was not interested in a vampire guy and a human girl falling in love until last year when a friend suggested I watch the first movie with her on DVD in Addis Ababa. Well after that I read all 4 of her books, bought my own set of books, read them over and over in Addis Ababa, and had my friends read the books in Addis too.

Back to the story.................Mitch was cringing because he thinks only the "girls" love the twilight movies (insert...Mitch rolling his eyes), he calls them chick flicks and was shocked that Twilight had penetrated all the way to eastern Germany. He said on the way home......"No, not the Germans too!" hee, hee, hee So Yvonne told us about being a huge fan and that she read the books in German AND English. True kindred spirits!
So the end result.......Thursday I went to dinner at Yvonne's house with other Twihards for a Twilight party and watched the new movie Eclipse at the local theater. It just came out this week in Germany.

This is to my fellow Twilight friends in Addis, Fairfax, Va and Boise, ID...
1. We had mushroom ravioli for dinner and soda pop.
2. The dinner table was decorated with all the books in English with little heart candies spread out.
3. Yvonne's daughter created a Twilight Quiz with Twilight and New Moon collector cards as prizes.
4. We had monster brownies because that went with the theme.
5. We saw Eclipse in German! Yeah, I loved the movie and I didn't understand one word. Well ofcourse I knew what was going on from reading the books, but didn't understand a word except maybe for Danke which means thank you. Yvonne translated a bit for me too.
It was such a fun night. Hooray, I got to see Eclipse. Hopefully, when I get back to Addis I can see it there too! Thanks again to my new German friend Yvonne........

Lunch in Meissen

In between tours of the Castle and the Cathedral we took a break for a bite to eat. We had bratwurst, rolls, potato salad, etc....Mmmmmm it was good!
The view was fantastic. Pictures 3 and 4 over looking all the red roofs was from where we ate lunch. Yeah, I know.......I only thought these places existed in movies. I do have to admit (I love my children dearly) but it would have been a bit more romantic sitting at the table overlooking the city with JUST my husband. Then I wouldn't here Sophi yelling "no" to everything, Glori complaining about "something" and Eli eating his salad like a rabbit instead of using a fork even though we have asked him 10,000 times. Hmmm, like I said........just a bit more romantic! However, we are having a great time as a family making memories.

The first picture was the "gate keeper" to the castle and cathedral. I can just picture the guards standing watch as the weary travelers came up the hill.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Albrechtsburg Castle in Meissen

The view of Albrechtsburg Castle and its close neighbor the Meissen Cathedral is breathtaking. I wish I had a better picture of both of them over looking the Elbe River.

1. A picture of the Princess or Queen Sophia.......ofcourse we had to take a picture.

2. Another picture of the historical murals in the grand hall.
3. Glori in the great hall. Can you see the vaulted ceilings and the sharp angles of the walls. It was so impressive.

4.. Glori Sue over looking the city from the winding staircase up to the castle. That is one thing we have done is walked and walked and climbed stairs.
5. The castle and the dom of Meissen.
6. Part of Albrechtsburg Castle after our tour.
7. More murals of old Kings and Queens.
8. A special masterpiece of this late-Gothic Saxon castle is the Grosser Wendelstein, a spiral staircase. It is mind boggling that it is original. It is all stone!
9. Another hall with murals of battles and stories. There were also statues of the late Kings. To enter this room we had to put on these big slippers over our own shoes and slide around the room. This was to keep the floor preserved. Glori Sue thought she was skating on ice.

10. Have you ever heard of Meissen Porcelain? "White Gold" from Meissen is legendary. The very famous and EXPENSIVE Meissen porcelain was invented and manufactured here in Albrechtsburg Castle starting in 1710 and was known as Europe's first porcelain manufactory. The porcelain "masterpieces" are amazing and there were MANY pieces on display (ex. the white vase with birds and blossums) to celebrate the 300th year anniversary this year. The Meissen factory is now located down the street and can be visited. However, we were short on time and could not even think about taking Sophi there. At 250 euro a tea cup, we were definitely NOT going there. If you are curious, go ahead and google Meissen Porclain in Germany. It is fancy schmancy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Meissen Cathedral

Yesterday we visited the city of Meissen. The Meissen Cathedral stands in the center of a plateau high above the Elbe River and sits next to the Albrechtsburg Castle.
Stay tuned for the commentary....it is really late and I am going to bed. hee, hee, hee
3. This is a picture of the burial chapel of Duke Georg, the last of the Catholic Wettin Dynasty.
5. Eli was being a great big brother and decided to carry Sophi for just a little bit. The kids really did have fun climbing to the top of towers and looking out on the city, etc....

The little forest path in Mittweida

Another must see in Mittweida was the little, forest path that leads to a restaurant. As a missionary, Mitch would volunteer "manual" labor in the forest cleaning up or whatever was needed. Community service type work, but NOT because you were going to jail and are getting off by doing a little work. No this was quite different.......Volunteer work is that thing that most people say..........oh, I don't have time to do that!

The story goes.........Mitch was working in the forest with other missionaries and said to himself that "someday, I am going to bring my family (a wife and children that he has never met at that point) to this exact spot. Really, this is no joke. He just thought the place was beautiful and peaceful.

Ofcourse we found this little path in the forest and hiked about a mile and 1/2 to the restaurant by another lake. It was soooooooooo nice! Now keep in mind that we have been living in Addis Ababa for two years, so yes everything here is nice/better, but I mean REALLY nice.

It was a HOT day but with the trees providing shade and a small breeze we were happy. The dinner was great traditional food and the kids even had meals put together in characters. Eli's mashed potatoes were shaped like a dragon with sugar peas as spikes along the dragon's back. Little sausages were cut to look like feet and he even had a tongue formed from tomato skin. It was a hit. Sophi had octopus hot dogs/ fries and Glori had chicken / fries shaped into a flower.

So after 17 or 18 years, the little forest path that leads to the restaurant was a perfect outing and another item marked off Mitch's bucket list!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


On Saturday and Sunday we traveled to one of Mitch's favorite cities, Mittweida. It is another beautiful town with a neat, city park with a lake. We strolled through the park looking at the swans, wild life and the scenery. We all played in the playground and even rode on the teeter totter. Even us grown-ups can have fun!

We ate lunch at this restaurant next to the lake and had ice cream desserts afterwards. Glori and Sophi had desserts shaped as bees. It was very cute!

3. The picture of the grayish, brown ,3-story, corner building is the exact apartment Mitch lived in about 17 years ago on his mission. He was living on the 3rd floor. Mitch had to go down "memory lane" again. We let him......again!
4. It appears that every large or tiny town that we encounter has a church building, maybe even a couple. Some are simple, but most are grand buildings with high towers and pointed roofs. Here is Mittweida's church building with the clock tower.

5. The other picture with the ornate, pink trim building is the city hall. It has the gold statue in front of it. We actually seen the tiny replica displayed in Klein Erzgebirge where I posted a message days ago. I am not sure I posted the picture there, but they do look exactly alike. The city hall or Rathaus is just a short walking distance from Mitch's old apartment.

1. and 2. The other pictures of these beautiful houses are two homes Mitch used to walk by on a daily basis. He has said more than once (I repeat, more than ten times) that he loved these houses and wanted to make sure we saw them on this trip. So there you are......I am sure in the millions.