“A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

“A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

Truly, a picture is worth a thousand words.  This blog post has quite a few pictures so we hope that you have “fun” viewing it, as our daughter Megan always says. Now that we have been here for 16 months there are daily sights and sounds that at first were quite foreign but now are all a part of our daily life. There are also the daily routines of everyday Ethiopians which serve to illustrate their creativity, challenges and triumphs each day as they work very hard to provide for themselves and their families. We have included some pictures not only of daily life but also of annual events and even some of a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for some of our young single adults studying in the United States.

For us, our daily routine begins as we leave the house at 6:30am to wend our way to the mission office.  We leave that early hoping to avoid the almost Los Angeles like traffic that will converge within an hour of then. We live a little over seven miles from the office and it takes about 20 minutes without traffic but as long as 45 minutes to an hour IN traffic. Lloyd continues to navigate some pretty tricky traffic which is largely devoid of traffic signals and therefore filled with challenging intersections. Right now, the daily drenching rains also means that many of the bridges can flood within minutes which begs the standard “solution” of diminishing your two lanes to one and sharing it with oncoming traffic from the opposite side of the median. This is really exciting when it happens at night! Suddenly there are headlights coming right at you and you realize that there is either flooding or an accident on the opposite side of the road that is responsible for our “deer in the headlights” mantra.

Here are some pictures to illustrate our daily sights and sounds as we head to work each day.

The street next to our house
Breakfast shack
Waiting for work
Dodging the animals!
Construction everywhere
Crowded taxi (and there are lots of them!)
Extra passenger! How did that goat get in there?
Lots of people everywhere
Clothing shop
Fruit stand
Mattress store
Goats along the way
Concrete store
Re-bar store
Bajajs’ waiting for riders
Shoe shine man
Trash men
Eucalyptus poles used for construction scaffolding and floor supports
Cleaning supplies cart
Ladies selling corn
Train crowd
Policewoman directing traffic
One way to carry things!
One of the very few stop signs
Street to the office compound
Entrance to the Church/office compound
Our fallen tree on the compound basketball court

People walking everywhere video (click here)

Traffic and donkeys video (click here)

Arriving at the office compound video (click here)

Nancy and Sister Lutgarda

A highlight from this past month was meeting Sister Lutgarda Camilleri, a Catholic nun of the Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus. HER daily life for the past 48 YEARS has consisted of taking care of orphans who range from newborn to 16 years of age. She came here in 1969 when she was 23 years old. To us, she is the “Mother Teresa” of Addis Ababa. She is from Malta, a tiny country off of the coast of Italy which was part of the British Commonwealth. As such, she speaks fluent English and Maltese and, of course, Amharic. The home was founded in 1933 by a French community of nuns but when many of them had to leave because of the impending World War one stayed behind to keep the orphanage running. Her name was Ma Soeur Marie Joseph Tasemma. She continued her work at the orphanage for 63 years until her death on September 8, 1996 at the age of 94. There were originally 90 children from ages 4 to 18 years. The Cardinal asked the remaining sisters to keep her work alive and care for the children. Sister Lutgarda stepped up to the helm and today there are still 90 children but they have included children under 4 years old.  Many of them have severe disabilities. These are children under 8 years of age who have either been abandoned or are on the street. They also take care of children whose parents are sick with HIV (AIDS). In addition to providing them with health care and nutrition they also run an elementary school for the younger ones and then find placement in the government schools for the older children who come back each day after school to the orphanage, their home.

Sister Lutgarda video #1 (click here)

Sister Lutgarda video #2 (click here)

The name of the orphanage is Kidane Meheret which means Promise of Mercy and their Mission Statement is:  “To love, care, understand and educate children of different ages, tribes and religions. We base this on the words of our Lord, ‘Let the children come to me for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.’”

A little friend between Lloyd’s legs


Elder Chandler and Sister Lutgarda

We had the wonderful opportunity to have Sister Lutgarda take us around the home and show us what THEIR daily life was like. She embodies the “pure love of Christ” as she and her assistants daily love, nourish, educate and provide hope for so many who would otherwise not survive. It was especially meaningful for one of our Ethiopian missionaries, Elder Chandler, in that he was at this orphanage as a child, along with his sister, when he was adopted by an LDS family over 12 years ago. He was seven years old and his little sister was two. He grew up in Pocatello, Idaho. Sister Lutgarda remembered Elder Chandler (Getabalew) and Elder Chandler remembered her, the school, where he slept and ate and especially all of his assigned daily and Saturday chores. It was a sweet reunion. And we, as a family, are looking forward to another special day at Kidane Meheret when our children and grandchildren come to visit us in October this year. Our grandson, Garrett Jennings, is doing his Eagle Project at the orphanage in that he has collected over 300 soccer shirts and 56 soccer balls to hand out not only to this orphanage but to a couple of others in Addis as well. After our family tours the orphanage we will all walk with the children down to a huge dirt soccer field and meet the children from the other orphanages where Garrett will hand out the shirts and balls and we will all spend some fun time playing soccer together.

We also had the distinct privilege of meeting Brandon and Corby Kraup, a darling LDS couple from Texas, who came to adopt little Spencer. He was in a different orphanage and has need of surgery to correct his hair-lip birth defect, something that would probably not happen here should he remain in the orphanage. But he is slated for about a dozen surgeries and heading home with them to Dallas where he will join his older sister and be surrounded with lots of love from his new parents and family. We all went out for pizza along with the missionaries.

Many of you may have also “met” another “Mother Teresa” in the news recently.  Dr. Ruth Pfau from Germany passed away at the age of 87 on August 17, 2017 leaving behind a legacy of love and medical healing to the lepers in various areas in Pakistan. She arrived in 1960 and devoted her life as a doctor to helping the very poor there. These women are simply incredible and it was a great privilege to be able to spend an afternoon with Sister Lutgarda.

As for the daily life of our wonderful full-time missionaries they also diligently, day in and day out, teach those who are searching to understand the eternal truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  These past few weeks we have had some remarkable and memorable experiences with two of our young elders, Elder Shelton and Elder Richardson. They were approached by a young father, Ayele, who is married to Tigist and they are the parents of two darling children, Abenezer, six years old, and Birhan who is two. They live in a very humble mud hut with no running water, as do many here, but they also do not have even the customary solo light bulb.  Ayele had been introduced to the Church about five years ago but recently had a series of dreams in which he saw the Joseph Smith pamphlet he had previously received. There was an admonition to “go find THAT church again.” So, he made his way to our Megenagna church compound and asked the missionaries to teach him. He wants to be baptized right now but will first need to have all of the lessons for more complete understanding. We have been especially grateful to Berhanu, a young man awaiting his mission call, who came with us to translate as Ayele and family do not speak any English. Our visit to his humble home and the Spirit that filled the room was something we will not forget. As evening approached and his wife lit a candle to light the room there was truly a “Light” filling the room as we finished sharing further “light and knowledge” under cover of a light rain.

As far as annual events here in Ethiopia, this past month we were very grateful to attend a college graduation of one of our young single adults, Jote. He was president of his class and, as we have mentioned before, was therefore responsible for raising the funds for and planning all of the events held in conjunction with the graduation. He had a committee of ten and they worked very hard. It all paid off as we attended the ceremonies. We have attended funerals, birthday parties, graduations and national holiday celebrations but we have yet to attend a wedding. We understand those are HUGE events but we are not aware of anyone planning a wedding in our circle of acquaintances so we may not get to witness that cultural event before we come home in November.  Jote graduation video (click here)

Jote the Graduate

Another bi-annual event is our church’s District Conferences which are held here in the Addis Ababa Ethiopia District every February and August. We had another wonderful conference on August 5th and 6th and were visited by a General Authority from Johannesburg, Elder Daniel P. Hall. He had a delightful South African accent and looked like he could have fit right in with my relatives at a Boice reunion! He spoke of the need for unity and especially to be more kind to one another. It was an uplifting weekend and afterwards we all gathered for the customary “District Picture.” We also captured some candid shots to share with you.

District Presidency (l to r) Habtu, Berhane, Eyob, and Tenkir
(l to r) Elder Hall, Elder Farnsworth, Elder Grant, Eshetu, and President Berhane
Mesi and Hyrum
President Kiros of the Debre Zeit Branch
(l) Tsige
(l to r) Gabrela, Atsede, Yeshi, and Wenishet

Finally, a “once-in-a-lifetime” event was the final reviewing of the Doctrine and Covenants manuscripts in preparation for publication this year. This was done by many of our Ethiopian young single adults who are attending school at BYU-Idaho as international students. The Church Translation Department invited a group of them to go down to Salt Lake to make sure the translations were correct for the final printing. We have an Amharic Book of Mormon but it has taken several years to get the Doctrine and Covenants translated properly. And to think that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon from Reformed Egyptian into English in a little over two months! Of course, he had divine help as a prophet of God. I am sure these wonderful young Ethiopians approached this assignment very prayerfully asking for help and with a reverence and gratitude for the opportunity to assist in getting this into the hands of the saints here in Ethiopia. You can imagine some of the challenges this year in our Churchwide course of study of the Doctrine and Covenants when you do not have those scriptures in your native tongue.

                                                        “The Translators”

Kalkidan (in center), Besu, and Fiker at far table.  Some of our Ethiopia friends.

In trying to share these pictures of daily, annual and even once- in-a-lifetime moments, it is impossible to really capture the remarkable flavor and culture that is Ethiopia. We remain deeply grateful for all that we continue to learn in another of the Lord’s vineyards here in “the Horn of Africa.”

26 thoughts on ““A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

  1. So good to hear and see so many wonderful things in this BLOG ! And your time is almost gone !!
    Erin and I ran into Allison at BYU this summer with all of our kids. She told us about Darren and her plans to come visit you there, what a great experience that will be !
    We are all doing very well here in Utah. Keith went Skiing in January after the SunDance film festival ended. That was something he was determined to do, it was beautiful day! Summer is nearly gone and it has been full of lots of time with family, Erin and her family came for a month. I worked for a few days and then we went to visit them in Arizona. After John’s passing we hurried home so Derek and I could fly down for the memorial for John. It was wonderful as you might imagine. So happy we were able to be there. I am sure that every person here could have told their own “John Anderson story”.
    Stay healthy and happy we love you !
    Keith and Maggie

    1. So good to hear from you AND to know that Keith is well enough to have ventured out on the slopes this year! That’s great news. What a fun summer with Erin and the gang. We so wish we could have been home for John’s service. We WERE home one year ago right now for Lloyd’s surgery and he and John were in the hospital the same day. We were just grateful that we were able to see him as we feared we wouldn’t be able to when we returned from our mission. We pray Glenna will be strengthened. See you before you know it!

  2. Thanks, Nancy. I read and watched everything you sent. Thanks for sharing pics of the orphanage–quite startling to see babies there the age of my grandbabies.

    1. It truly is eye-opening to see how the vulnerable are cared for by such wonderful people. Hope all is well in your new digs.

  3. This newest BLOG made me cry! I have been feeling a little ungrateful lately and not remembering all the blessing the Lord has given me. I have forgotten to think of others and their trials in life. This Blog touched my heart Nancy. It was fun to see Habtu again. I enjoyed giving him a tour of BYU and Provo. The orphanage with Sister Lutgarda was also eye-opening along with the young American couple adopting that young child. I needed to read this to once again thank my Heavenly Father for all he has given me, including my trials. Thanks for sharing, You and Lloyd will be the highlight of one of our Firesides at Yosemite next summer. Maybe we can even set up a screen and projector and see your pictures. We are going back East to Boston and New Hampshire (Lake Winnimasuki sp?) on Tuesday and meeting up with 5 other couples. All ex roomates of Sherm on his mission and at BYU. Karen Herd Talbot and hubby are coming too! We love you both and miss you. Those elders and all the others in Ethiopia have been blessed by meeting and loving the Harlines! So glad your kids are coming over in October and Garrett’s Eagle Project is amazing!

    1. SO good to hear from you, Karen. I know what you mean as Africa continues to teach me so many lessons about gratitude. Have a fun time back east. What a great roommates reunion!! Give Karen Herd Talbot a hug for me. Would love to see her again.

    1. And my life has been richer because of you AND your marvelous art work. Will be nice to see you again in the temple when we return.

  4. Thank you for sharing your wonderful missionary experiences in Ethopia. May you both continue to be blessed and guided by the Lord in helping the people in Ethopia. See you in November.

    1. So good to hear from you, Daisy. I sure hope all is going well for you and am really looking forward to seeing you when we return.


    1. Well, it’s pretty much due to your daughter, Karen, who talked us into doing a blog! She convinced us it would be easier than we thought and would be a great “extra journal”…..and it has!

  5. Elder and Sister Harline,
    It is such a blessing to be able to read your blog of your mission experience. I am touched by the service rendered by the local members and non members to each other and beyond. I was particularly touched by the story of Sister Lutgarda and team who have spent so many years taking care of those children in the orphanage.
    My mission here in Australia is going well. I have seen miracles and experienced much personal and spiritual growth. I love my assignment to work with the young missionarieswith their post mission planning and to help wherever I am needed. The gospel is true. It touches people’s lives in a way that nothing else can. What a wonderful thing.
    I am glad that you look so well and happy. I’m glad that your family will be able to come visit.
    All my love,
    Sister Debbie Cooper

    1. SO wonderful to hear from you, Debbie. We were just talking about you the other day and hoping that all is going well “down under.” You are so right about all of the personal growth….let alone the incredible people we continue to meet and all of the meaningful service opportunities that come our way. Missions stretch us in so many ways. Keep up all the good work there in Australia!
      Love you,
      Nancy and Lloyd

  6. Dear Seester Nancy and Elder LLoyd
    In a way it seems like you have been gone forever; but time has flown by. Your experiences has made the National Geographic pics of the world personal. thanks for your diligence in updating your blog. Our hearts go out to those who struggle with what we take for granted; like running water in our homes and sewage disposal. We are looking forward for your personal reports.

    1. Yes, it seems incredible that it will all shortly be memories….but oh, what memories! So looking forward to seeing you and Billie when we return.
      Seesta Nancy

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your Mission with others. We love you and pray for you each day. Doing the work, that the Lord wants you to do, is such a great experience. We are so proud of you. Look forward to your return.

  8. Always wonderful to get your epistles – it takes me a few days to get through them – but always worth the time!!

    Love you both!!

    1. Too bad they are not in the same league as Paul’s epistles. And to think, this barely covers this unique experience in our lives.
      We love you both as well!

  9. Hi you two!!! I love to see all your adventures and pictures and all that your doing. love it! We have had alot of changes here. Tons of new families moving in and some moving out. The biggest surprise was the Harrell Family moving to Cedar City taUh and Collins selling his practice here in SC. We were all shocked but he has spinal stinosis in his neck and can’t do dentistry anymore. I know right? Also the Prolo’s are going to Utah selling and moving soon. The ward is still here and really nice but we miss you guys and can’t wait to see you again. Loves and hugs P.S. We want to go to Yosemite again with you!!!!

    1. Yes, we heard about the Hrrell’s but didn’t know about the Prolo’s moving. Two great families we will really miss. So glad there are other new families moving in. We miss Marblehead Ward and are excited to see you and everyone when we return soon. It’s truly been an amazing experience here in Africa.


  10. Hi Nancy! I just read this post and was crying reading about the orphanage (and then I saw Karen said the same thing!). I’ve loved loved loved reading about your mission. Thank you for all the thorough write-ups and pictures and videos. They have been so inspiring to me. But especially this week reading about the women who take care of all those children at the orphanage–what wonderful people. That’s really amazing, especially about the Elder from there who was adopted. I just truly am in awe of them. So thanks for all your stories and testimonies. I hope we can see you after you get back; I really want to hear about everything. (Switzerland maybe???)

    Love you guys!

    1. So nice to hear from you, Jess. Yes, it has truly been an amazing experience and we can only really describe the tip of the iceberg. Hope you and your darling children are doing well. Seems like way too long since we’ve seen you! Thanks for staying connected.
      Seesta Nana

  11. Lloyd and Nancy,
    I’m sitting on a beach in Newport with jamie as she holds her new 2 week old baby Wade Marshall Hansen under our shade. I was reading this post to her and sharing the photos. I really find it difficult to read with out crying. The orphanage and the women who dedicate all of their LONG year lives serving those kids inspire me and make me realize how ungrateful I can be. Running water, electricity, more than one light bulb in my living space. Truly humbling.
    I loved reading about Elder Chandler’s experience there and his memories! I found myself thanking the Lord so many times as I read this for the incredible things you are experiencing. You really. Ant make this stuff up!! Unbelievable.
    I’m so happy that things worked out as they did so you two could get back to spend that time with John. What a gift! Sure love you guys and am excited that Ali and Darren get to come visit!! So great!! Can’t wait to see you guys soon.

    Love Vicki

    1. So nice to hear from you, Vicki. Wow, Jaime has had another baby since we’ve been gone!! So many fun things to catch up on when we come home. Yes, it is all a pretty amazing experience over here and I have felt so humbled and inspired by so many who have truly made a difference in MANY people’s lives here. Glad you are getting some good So. Cal. sunshine. Give your family a hug for us. We love you lots.
      Elder Lloyd and Seesta Nancy

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