I am not a linguist, although I do know a few 😉 and maybe they will agree.  The fastest way to learn a language is immersion.  The week before we came back to Soddo, Etagainu, our house help and friend, was admitted into the hosptial with an abscess in her arm.  She is such a big help to us and has really “lived” in our house longer than we have been here and knows how to run the house.  If I don’t know where something is or if we need more flour, I ask her.  So this was difficult to return home without her.  She is better now, but has one more week to stay home and rest and then we will see if her arm is better enough to return to work.

I say all of this to say, I have had someone new helping in the house for the past two weeks.  Her name is Brooke (well actually Brooktaweit), but we Americanized it.  And she has been a big help.  She is the daughter of one of the ladies I work with in the hospital kitchen.  The first day she walked in, I asked her, “Have you ever been in a farengi house before?”  She said, “No.”  And I knew I would have a lot of explaining to do….all in Amharic.   She knows very little English and frankly, my Amharic is a lot better than her English, so we went with that.  So every day for the past 2 weeks I have been speaking Amharic non-stop in the house.  Which has ended up being a huge blessing and confidence builder for my Amharic.

Now I will admit, had I not just been through language school and walked into this immersive setting without any “tools”, it probably would have been easier to teach her English through hand motions and acting things out than for me to learn Amharic.  But this has been perfect timing for me to continue to develop the things I learned in school.

Now that you know how to learn a language (ha, ha, as if it were that easy)…it is time for some pictures:

I cannot even begin to describe how much Nathan and Lydia love each other!  Nathan always asks for her to play in his room with her.  And while Paul was in Addis last week, Sophie stayed with us, so Lydie and Nathan slept in the same bedroom.  So every night Nathan asks, “Ydie sleep in NayNay’s room?”  Nathan loves having a friend and loves having her chase him around in her “car” (walker).  And Lydia has started mimicking him, if he is yelling for something she starts yelling too.  They are too cute together, and I love them both so so much!

This is Nathan and his friend Jack.  Jack is Lily’s sister (see previous post and picture below).  We have loved getting to know Trent and Tabby since being here.  They are both veterinarians from Texas A&M (whoop) and have lived in Ethiopia for almost 10 years.  They live about 8 hours south of us, so we are a good stopping point when they are headed to Addis.  And we all love having them.

Nathan loves having a friend to play with.  Every day at some point in the day he asks for Jack and Martin (a friend from Addis).  He had been playing with Josey, our hospital administrator’s son before we left for Addis, but I went and asked if he would come and play and he is out of town for a few weeks.  So good thing Nathan loves his sister.

This is Lydia and Lily again, dressed as twinkies.  They are both laughing at Jack who was entertaining them. Fun, Fun times.

And here is our latest attempt at a family picture.  It was after church last week, but Lydia naps through church, so the poor girl was still in her PJs for the candid photo.

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