President Bush and the AIDS Epidemic

Children we met on our trip to Soddo

I found this article, from The New York Times, to be surprisingly positive about what President Bush has done in the global battle on AIDS. The author writes, ” the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief — Pepfar, for short — may be the most lasting bipartisan accomplishment of the Bush presidency.”

In Global Battle on AIDS, Bush Creates Legacy

It is worth reading.


E is for Ethiopia

A friend just shared a wonderful book with me called E is for Ethiopia. It was written and photographed by a man and woman who lived in Awassa, Ethiopia for two years. The photos look wonderful and I am sure that my children will enjoy it. The book is $12.00 with $4.40 shipping (additional books are $.80 more for shipping).

I am always looking for ways to help my children embrace their Ethiopian culture and this looks like a fun tool for encouraging them.


Christmas in Ethiopia

This information is from an interesting website that my friend Erin mentioned on her blog, called Christmas World.

“Ethiopia is in the eastern part of Africa, west of Somalia, Djibouti, and Eritrea. Its other neighbors are Kenya and The Sudan.

Ethiopia is one of the oldest Christian nations, having been converted in 330 A.D. Ganna , or Christmas, is celebrated on January 7 in accordance with the calendar of the Coptic Church. Leading up to Christmas is a 40 day period of fasting and spiritual preparation that ends when everyone attends a Christmas morning Mass. It’s a very bright ceremony since it is customary to wear white to the Mass.

Following ancient tradition, each person enters the church carrying a candle which they light when they get inside. After circling the inside of the church three times they take their place and stand (there are no seats in Ethiopian churches) for what is usually a three hour service.

Christmas is a religious day and a family day where little thought is given to commercial aspects of the holiday.

The food for Christmas dinner includes injera, a sourdough pancake bread that is easily cooked over an open fire. Doro wat, a spicy chicken stew, is usually the main course. Bits of injera are broken off to scoop up the stew and other parts of the feast.

Gift-giving is an insignificant part of the Christmas celebration however young children often receive clothing and sometimes a small toy.

The season continues through Timket or Epiphany, a three-day holiday that begins two weeks after Christmas to celebrate the baptism of Jesus and St. Michael. On that occasion, children walk in a ceremonial parade wearing crowns and robes while turban-wearing priests carry embroidered umbrellas. Percussive music for the parade is played on the sistrum, a rattle like instrument shaped like a pear. It has small metal disks that make a tinkling sound when shaken.”

We are talking about having a Timket celebration with some other families in Moscow who have also adopted children from Ethiopia – we make the fifth family. It would be especially nice if the small number of Ethiopians in Moscow would like to join us.


There Is No Me Without You

My copy of There Is No Me Without You arrived a week ago just as we were going out the door to a wedding three hours away. I read aloud to Russ as we drove along, pausing only when I felt motion sickness coming on, or when the lump in my throat was too large to allow words to pass through.

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The book is touching and disturbing. Through gifted writing, Melissa Fay Greene gave me a clearer image of the crisis in Ethiopia that is leaving many children orphans. The book focuses on one Ethiopian woman who took in two teenagers at the request of the local Catholic church. She was soon faced with a flood of children handed to her through her gate, left on the street outside her compound, or dropped off by the police. The children in her care soon numbered eighty and there were problems with her imperfect system of care. However, her desire to love children and to help them continues to save the lives of many little ones.

My favorite part of the book was reading about and seeing photos of children who were in her care and later adopted by families in the U.S. Their stories are touching beyond words and full of hope. I don’t think anyone could read the last chapter without crying.

If you are interested in purchasing the book, you can go to the author’s website where I hope you will take a moment to view the slideshow of the beautiful children. You can also purchase it on Amazon here. I just ordered two more copies of the book to lend to friends.

Thank you for reading.