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Ethiopia by E-mail

Subject: Merry Christmas from Addis
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2005 22:25:32 -0500
From: Pat Rollin parollin9923@hotmail.com

We are getting ready for the holidays. I will be spending my first Christmas holiday season away from my family ever. Nativity Scene I told Shannon and Tom we will have Christmas in August when I get home. They asked if I wanted a Christmas tree decorated and Christmas music. I told them we would just have a big turkey dinner which I have not had in a long time. I don't even care if we get presents. I have decorated for Christmas and will include a picture of my coffee table which has a Advent wreath and our small nativity from Hope Enterprise. We bought another nativity which we have on the bookcase. Our Christmas tree from Jim's sister Nancy and some ornaments around the tree. I have to put the decorations that Yonas made back on the window but have to wash the windows before I do that. So Tuesday I will finish decorating. I have included a picture of our new Nativity and one of our coffee table.

We will be spending Christmas in Addis. IFESH was thinking about taking everyone to Narazet for the holiday but could not find hotel rooms so decided to have everyone come to Addis and spend the holiday together. We will have Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. We have decided since we will be in Addis that we will attend Church Christmas morning. It is much better then being in Narazet where they have only Orthodox Churches and they have Christmas service on January 7 or ones that preach in Amharic.

We are doing well. Christmas in Addis has gotten very commercial. The Friendship grocery store has two of the Santa Claus that greet you as you walk in. All the other stores have put up at least Christmas trees if not lights and other decorations. In the Piazza they have stores selling lights, trees and decorations for them. Jim said it was better last year when nothing went up until after our Christmas and they did not have many decorations. A few signs that said Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We were in the Piazza to buy some yarn. One of the other TFA's found some chucky yarn that was made in Kenya so I went to buy it to make a Christmas present for Jim's exchange gift. This year the TFA's decided that they should draw names for a gift exchange. I like the Ethiopian yarn better then this Kenya yarn but it was heavier for what Jim wanted me to make. We don't usually go to the Piazza because it is a little more expensive and always crowded besides we usually don't want to buy stuff that is not Ethiopian. They sell a lot of Jewelry there and so we will probably make one trip before we come home.

We have not been doing too much. Jim has been spending a little bit of time at the airport picking up people from the USA. Alice is here teaching this month so we went to get her and then Dorothy and a group came in and he went to get them. We had house guests this last weekend. Jan and Allie came from Narazet for the NGO bazaar and shopping. Jan stayed here and Allie went to stay at Natalie's. We had a nice visit and I finally have seen the other TFA's places here in Addis. They have nice places in walled compounds. They are smaller then ours but in some respects are nicer because they are smaller. It would be less work to take care of. Of course they need keys to get in. Where our compound is not locked so we only have keys for the apartment. But then we do get people selling stuff door to door. But usually the guards in the compound keep out the beggars and cows. Sometimes cows will wander in and the guards herd them back to the street.

I guess we will close now and will write again soon. We hope everyone is doing well and getting ready for the holiday season and New Year.

Pat and Jim


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