It’s In the Little Things

Written on 1/16/2008


As life has continued on here in Ethiopia, I have learned that the small pleasures in life are what the people here find joy in. Today, I felt that very same way. A few small occurrences made today especially wonderful.


First, I woke up today without coughing. For the first time in two weeks, a gasp for air and the feeling of Jell-o in my lungs didn’t act as my alarm clock. No…today it was the sun rising in an overcast sky peering through a split in the curtains over my window. I just laid there for a while and took in the large cotton balls floating effortlessly through the vast Africa sky. I haven’t seen substantial cloud forms in about three and a half months. When it’s the dry season…it’s dry…even in the sky. I don’t mind the blue, but today I was overjoyed to see something added to the palette.


I woke slowly and eased into the day. Wednesdays are my day off, so I get to have the morning to myself. I went to the kitchen and decided I would make a new batch of pancake mix. We have a pretty good recipe for pancake mix in a cookbook we have, so I went down to the corner store to get some ingredients I needed. I made a large batch and then started cooking. I have never been a huge pancake fan…unless they are were from the Original Pancake House in Kirkland, WA…let’s just say that if God had to choose somewhere to eat breakfast, it’d be there…I think their cooks have been anointed…anyway, I sat at our table and ate in silence. I felt oddly comfortable as I ate. It is in these moments that I am encouraged in my time here…to feel comfortable is a wonderful feeling. I then proceeded to go on a sort of cleaning rampage…cleaning isn’t the most burly activity so I figured classifying it as a rampage made it sound more a little more rugged. It felt a little chaotic with the house a mess and I knew the girls would appreciate it when they got home from school, and I had some time to kill before I left the house.


After the white shirt-bald head-earring feeling left my system, I left the house and hopped on a taxi to go right a wrong. A couple weeks ago, a swift-handed thief stole one of our cell phones out of Bethany’s zipped jacket pocket while she fought to get on a taxi. So today I went to get a new one. Our friend Alemayeu had a connection at Ethiopian Telecommunications, so he went to work his magic and get our old SIM card and phone number back.


Side Note: I think some of the biggest problems that Ethiopia faces as a country and as a people come from deep-seeded corruption that has its roots spread throughout nearly every government office that exists…and I’m against it.


Now, with that clarified, I would like to go off the record and say, that today I set my conscience aside and let just a little corruption benefit me. If you know the right people and have enough money, you can do anything you want in Ethiopia. Today, we knew the right people. We got our number back without the hassle of going through the system. I’m okay with it…just don’t tell on us.


After the cell phone was secured tightly within multiple zippered pockets within my bag, I stepped out of Abhem Mobile Center and hopped on another taxi to meet my friend Damon for lunch at Metro Pizza. Damon and I met a couple months ago. It started as just a friendship based solely out of my desire to be around men, but it has flourished into something far greater. I think that perhaps part of my reason for being in Ethiopia could be what I’m gaining from my relationship with Damon. He and I are going through a number of studies on discipleship together. We meet once a week, but are thinking about moving to twice a week. My desire to learn and grow is increasing and the joy he derives from seeing me soak up the teachings that meant so much to him when his mentor taught them is unmatched. Our mutual commitment has the potential to sprout into something incredible and I look forward to what will come.


After I got home, I programmed all our numbers into our new phone and did some work on the computer. It was a relaxing night and we got another three episodes of Lost in. We are on episode five of season three and it’s still just as addicting. My favorite character, Mr. Eko, died tonight…I think, so don’t tell me if he didn’t…so I’m a little bummed, but some new things are developing that are pretty crazy. If you don’t watch Lost…well…I suggest you think about it first to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into…then start.


Anyway, that’s all for the day. I have to get up early to go the feeding center, so I should probably head to bed. The six o’clock alarm is going to come quickly.


Hope you find delight in the little things the rest of this week…and if you don’t…then slow down and look a little harder. They’re there. You just have to be going the right speed to catch them.


And if you’re having trouble slowing down…then move to Africa.


Finding the right tempo,



4 Responses to It’s In the Little Things

  1. Ed Smyth says:

    Slowing down…that’s how I felt in reading your post; it just made my mind slow down to read and ponder the words you were saying. Good stuff, Josh. I do miss you and have not checked in lately with classes and all going full steam. But I do remember to pray for you all regularly and that I take great joy in.

    Life is good. BJ got accepted into SPU so next year, a senior and a freshmen and the campus won’t be the same, or the note pad on my office door.

    You are loved!


  2. Dave Parisi says:

    Hi Josh,

    I’m still checking your blog, I’m still praying for you (& Bethany, Maren, & Sara), and I still Love you very much.

    I closed my eyes and just imagine sitting next to you while we scarfed a stack of pancakes. We will definitely have to go to the Original House of Pancakes in Kirkland, WA. when you get back.

    Thanks for the post.


  3. BRET TUGGLE says:

    Hey Josh It’s Just seeing whats up

  4. BRET TUGGLE says:

    Hey Josh It’s Just seeing whats up its Cory

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