Friday, January 28, 2011

Sleeping Alone

I had a first last night. It was the first night I've slept in the guest bed. Yep, been married almost 4 years and never, ever, have I been kicked out of bed. Now, you're wondering, why right? Turns out, it wasn't because I was bad. Actually, I slept in the guest bed because I couldn't stop coughing. I've been reasonably sick with a upper respiratory infection and I've been coughing as many times as my sister-in-law Kelsey has freckles.

Now I certainly don't plan to make it a common thing, but there was something I enjoyed out of having the whole bed to myself. It happens to be a pretty comfortable bed and being able to stretch my legs out, hog all the pillows, and not have cold feet put on my inner thigh, all give one reason to enjoy it.

Mrs. McGoo is, however, not the type of lady that will kick me out of bed though and we aren't the type of couple that would send the other to the couch because of an argument. This must mean I've got a pretty awesome wife and marriage eh?

It also means I've got to get creative when I wanna have a bed to myself. Coughing works.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Back in the U.S.

After almost a day and a half of total travel, I've made it back to Memphis. My trip schedule looked like this...

- Arrive at airport in Addis around midnight Wed for a 2am (4pm cdt - Tues) flight to Istanbul, Turkey.
- Flight was delayed an hour and we ended up leaving around 3:30am.
- Arrived in Istanbul around 7:30am
- 4 hour layover in Istanbul until an 11:30 flight to Chicago
- 12.5 flight to Chicago
- Arrived in Chicago at 3:40 pm cdt.
- 5.5 hour layover in Chicago until 9:15pm flight to Memphis
- Delayed for 45 mins on runway for de-icing of the plane.
- Arrived in Memphis around 11:40

All in all almost 36 hours travel from Addis to Memphis. Not entirely fun, but it certainly could have been worse and I was blessed to have good seating, good health, and safe travels.

In the next few days, I'll spend some time reflecting and debriefing with some close friends about my time in Ethiopia and hopefully will get my bearings straight. Right now, I feel a bit off. Not really sick or tired, but my bearings are a little off. Hopefully after a few days of rest, I'll feel better.

Thank you for all the prayers and support Mrs. McGoo and I received while we were away. It was one of the toughest times I've ever had to endure and really felt blessed to have so much encouragement throughout the process.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Party Ethiopian Style

Happy New Year to my friends and family back in America! Yesterday, I took a day away from the Drop in Center to rest and get my barring’s straight. I was able to get a good bit of reading done and also worked a little bit from the guesthouse on the sports ministry. I also got invited to go to a SIM New Years party that ended at “Missionary Midnight” (9pm) over at a school for missionary kids. It was pretty cool, as they had some good food and some games for all the kids. I told Mrs. McGoo that all my single friends need to become missionaries and move to Ethiopia. Apparently being a teacher at a school for missionary kids requires you to be single and attractive. I counted at least a dozen twenty something single ladies that, at home in Memphis, my friends would have been fighting over.

Anyway, I stayed away from playing any games as I didn’t really know anyone there and it seemed like everyone was kind of cliquish. But I reluctantly joined in when one team needed another player for dodge-ball. Well, as luck would turn out, I won. Not only did I win, I crushed some girl in the face with a ball and put her out of the game. It was kind of like that scene in “Meet the Parents” when Gaylord Focker is reluctant to play water volleyball, but after some coaxing, he plays and slams that ball in the girls nose, drawing the ire of everyone. Yeah, that’s how I felt. I just don’t do 50%. If you want me to play, I’m going to play and I’m going to try to win. Mrs. McGoo can tell you, I’m a sore loser and thus, I want to win badly.

The theme of the New Years party was “Redneck New Years.” The hosts of the event were missionaries from Alabama and Kentucky, so naturally, I fit right in. When I came to get my reward for winning, they presented me with a snickers bar and asked me to give a speech. Keeping in mind that the theme was redneck new years and the majority of people there were from other countries, I gathered myself, held the snickers up like a sword, and in the most redneck (normal) voice said, "I cept this ward on behalf my baby mamma who ain't hur. She left me while back to head back yonder and tend to the kitchen. While she's here in baby Jesus Holy Spirit, she ain't here no mo, so I'm eatin' it all by meself.”


I did get a good laugh from the two hosts, but other than that, people looked at me like I’d lost my mind. So I took my snickers and sat down. Like McNulty says, “Can’t all be winners Kelly.” Unfortunately, I thought it was pretty good, but to the Aussies, South Africans, and other folks from around the world, they didn’t. In their eyes, I’d crippled a girl’s face and now made a joke about my baby mamma and the baby Jesus. Needless to say, I kept to myself the rest of the night. Anywho, I had fun.

When I got home, I stayed up and talked to Mrs. McGoo for a bit and then headed to bed. I was awoken around midnight by loud gun fire. No, not really, but that’s what the fireworks behind our guesthouse sounded like. I tried seeing them, but couldn’t, so I was subjected to 30 mins of loud and I do mean loud fireworks. Then I went back to sleep…for an hour. About 1am I was woken up by 6 kids in a room next to me jumping off their bed, talking loud, singing, and every other noise you could imagine. This went on for about 45 mins or so. I kept thinking, if their parents (who were out for New Years) knew about this, they’d be pissed. Not so. Around 2:30, the parents came back to the guesthouse and in the process, slammed every door possible, slammed every dresser drawer possible, and didn’t bother to whisper a bit. This went on for another 20 mins or so. It was all I could do to not lose my witness to these folks. I’ve not been that pissed in a long time. So sleep didn’t go very well last night. (Side note – I’m going to blog about my guesthouse experiences soon)

This morning I woke up and went to watch some of the tournament we’re putting on for the kids, and then headed to eat lunch at a really good burger place I found…and had pancakes…Mmmmm. Then we went and watched an Ethiopian premier league match at their stadium here. Pretty cool I must say. We sat in the home side supporter’s area and they sang and chanted the whole time. Until they lost, which, people then came unglued with the home team coach. It was a sight to see. Needless to say, a good finish to a long day. Now it’s bed time…thankfully the family has left and I can, hopefully, get a good night’s sleep.