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Reincarnation of the Dykstra Family Blog
Chad Dykstra - 2014-06-03

Comrades is Coming!
Chad Dykstra - 2013-04-29

Melkam Gena!
Chad Dykstra - 2013-01-07

Why I Run
Chad Dykstra - 2012-10-03

It's All About the Injera
Chad Dykstra - 2012-03-09

Expectations and Reality
Chad Dykstra - 2012-02-15

I Remember
Chad Dykstra - 2011-10-25

A Summer of Firsts
Chad Dykstra - 2011-09-13

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2 beautiful boys!

Chad Dykstra - 2010-10-25
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We were able to meet our two beautiful boys today!  It was a great...and tiring...couple hours!  We are going to be busy parents for the next few years.  :)

Both kids were exactly how we expected them.  They recognized us and were calling us "mommy" and "daddy".  "Z" is really picking up English, and already knows body parts and letters/numbers.  He's a parrot that will repeat anything you say.  "A" is very quiet, and he is laser accurate kicking a soccer ball.  He can hit me at over 20 feet every time.  Not bad for a 3 year old!  The orphanage was very clean and the nannies were great!  All the children were very well behaved and it was a very positive experience!  They didn't seem to have any issue with us leaving - just waved bye and ran off to play.  That's a blessing.  We are not sure if we will get to go back or not.

 If you could, please pray for sleep - I've been continuing to have a cold, and every day I get less and less sleep.  Last night was only 2 hours of sleep.  I woke up at midnight and could not get back to sleep.  It doesn't help that there are dogs outside roaming the streets that are getting in fights all night long!  I'm beat, and ready for a good solid nights sleep for a change.

When I have more time, I will post a more complete blog. Hopefully tomorrow.  We'll probably have a lot to talk about, because we get to visit the World Vision projects tomorrow.  They'll be here at 8am tomorrow (2am EST).  That will be awesome!

Thanks for tuning in!  Chad and Lora

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Sunday in Ethiopia

Chad Dykstra - 2010-10-24
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Once again, this is going to be more of a brief update than I would like, which is a shame!  If I had more time, this very well may be a novel.  We were able to experience so much today that there's no way we can even take it all in, much less relay it.  There's so much that is different to what we are used to.  Different isn't always bad - it's just different!  The traffic and the roads are a crazy place to be.  Ethiopians are very skilled drivers!  Some of the moves they are able to pull off without wrecking are just incredible!  In general they also maintain a positive attitude towards other drivers trying to pull of the exact same move.  I love every minute in the vehicles because you just never know what's coming next.  I'm sure that I would not be able to drive even a few miles here.  I'd rather sit and enjoy the view.

There is such a wide spectrum of people, and nearly all of them are outside!  Where we pull in the garage and close the door, their culture is a complete 180 degree shift of that perspective.  It's remarkable just how many people are out...everywhere!  There are people whose clothes are tattered and their shoes are all but fallen off.  There are also people in suits.  There are people in traditional dresses.  There are teenagers in jeans and t-shirts...and there is everything in between.  They have one thing in common...each one of them is beautiful.

We had the priviledge today of touring Addis and riding to the top of the mountain that overlooks it.  I must say I have a new appreciation for the training of Ethiopia's elite runners.  We had a little "fun race" up a hill to a power pole and back this afternoon at 10,000 foot elevation.  For someone who is 2 weeks off a marathon and in the best shape of my life, it really took it out of me.  Recovery takes forever because you're getting so much less oxygen with every breath.  We heard today from Abel (a Bethany employee - more on him later) that the elite athletes train on that very road almost every day at 5am.  I'm sure they're running more than 100 yards though!

We have been so blessed by the Bethany staff that has been here to help us.  Abel is just one example.  He is an Ethiopian history expert and is so knowledgeable of all things Ethiopia.  We were able to learn so much in such a short period of time.  He actually is writing a book on Ethiopian history, which as I understand will likely be published by the time we return for our second trip.  I look forward to getting my hands on it!

Our guest house has also been amazing.  Berkutan is an amazing hostess and has taken great care of us throughout our stay.  We even got to experience a traditional coffee ceremony today where the coffee beans were roasted, ground, and brewed.  Even the non coffee drinkers loved the experience.  There has been a great mix of traditional and american food and nobody really has been having any major problems with the food.

There's so much more I'd like to share but for tonight, I'll have to stop right there.  We look forward to 8:45 tomorrow morning, when Abel will come to pick up all the families staying here at the guest house.  We will get to go to the orphanage and meet our children.  Oh blessed day!


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Almost there

Chad Dykstra - 2010-10-23
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I apologize in advance for the brevity of this update, but since we didn't bring a computer, I am thumbing it out on my Blackberry. We are sitting in the Frankfurt airport waiting to board our flight to Addis. It's hard to believe but Germany is only halfway to Ethiopia.

We had a good time in Germany, but we already miss English dearly. It was quite adventurous at times with neither of us knowing any German. Food was especially a challenge. At least in Ethiopia we will have a translator with us pretty much all the time and we will be there with other adoptive families.

Our activities over the past few days were pretty low key. We visited 'old town' Frankfurt where we went through a few churches and a museum. We also went to Kronberg where we saw a castle (though it was closed on Fridays) and walked around town, toured another old church, and took a 2km hike down a path to the OpelZoo. About 1km of the hike went alongside the edge of the zoo. We didn't go in, we just saw what we could see by peeping and then hiked back to Kronberg to take the train back to town.

We will probably be more 'off the grid' in Ethiopia - there is no cell phone data service so my Blackberry won't be good for anything but phone calls. Please continue to pray for our health, both of us have been coming down with a cold. Thanks for tuning in. You stay classy, planet Earth.
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