What did you say?

That’s probably a constant refrain in our minds these last few weeks. Mid-November, we jumped into a language immersion program, which means we’ve been living with a national family in a small flat in a city 2x the size of NYC. The goal? Get lots of conversations/listening all in our new language (read very, very little English.) Secondary goals were to learn more about daily life here and explore this city (which will be helpful for future travel for work!) And though we’re definitely not catching the entirety of every conversation, we’re listening. We’re slowly learning and trying out new words, sentences, grammar structures.

Unfortunately, three days after arriving, the country announced new COVID restrictions to try and stop the spread. (That’s the reality of our world right now, isn’t it? Unmet expectations, changes, fears, restrictions… we are all still learning to live well amidst them.) That meant that a lot of our days became more limited. But we’ve still gotten plenty of studying in, conversations with this family, and seen a lot of day to day life.

Last night the government announced a full lockdown for the coming weekend. So we’re heading back a bit earlier than we originally anticipated so we can be home before we’d be forced to stay completely indoors for days. We’ll have been here about 3 weeks by the time we leave. We’ll continue our language study at home, as we have been, but will be grateful for this experience, despite the very real challenges it’s presented.


We are excited to also share a quick personal update that’s not Safe Haven related. As you probably know, we’re pursuing an adoption in 2021. Some friends and many generous donors have contributed to make a really beautiful online auction THIS WEEK to help us cover the costs of our adoption.

And because of some generous partners, your gift is DOUBLED up to $7,000!

If you’re looking for some Christmas gifts and want to help support our adoption journey, check it out! Dec 3-5 at the link below. Items range from beautiful handcrafted textiles from our part of the world, homemade baked goods, tools, children’s gifts, and beauty products…

One thought on “What did you say?

  1. Sarah Stoller

    I recognize one of those locations! One of the best vacations Sarah and I ever had was about a 2 day-2 night “layover” in that city on our way home from Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) (on an adoption trip). What a beautiful city! And delicious food! We loved our visit there. Taking the train, walking around the old city, … sailing on one of the rivers, simply viewing the beautiful contrasts of blue water / stone city buildings / rolling hills.

    We never had the adventure of living there and learning the language. God be with you and grant you grace and peace! Jeff (& Sarah)


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