Thursday, May 29, 2008

EAVO Fundraiser Success!

EAVO raised over $5,000 for relief in East Africa and received many more monthly pledges. ənkwan däs aläsh (I hope that is right :)!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Please Sir, Can I Have Some More?

Whether your read it or watched it on film, we all remember the vivid scene when Oliver Twist asks for more mush, don't we?
Well, I am asking for more. Not for me, but for the other teacher. I want to thank all of those who gave; I can't thank you enough. I am close to having all I need to go.
But, in order to tutor 50 Ethiopian students we need to send another teacher. The plan is to tutor 100 Ethiopian students so they can pass their English exam and continue their education. The children of Masha have come to look forward to this tutorial and it would be a shame if we could only educate 50 kids, or even worse, cancel the trip all together.
So I am asking for more. The most expedient method is to donate through and be sure to select English for Ethiopia. You can contact me by email after that stating that you gave to the other teacher, MaryJane. I will make sure to inform the accountant that it is for her trip.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fellowship, Food, and Family

What a wonderful time had by all at today's fundraiser for EAVO. My wife, children, and several friends and team members from Fremont attended an all-Amharic church service.

I could not understand the language but it was nearly unnecessary as one could feel the Spirit of God and the spirit of the people. As one of the guests said, "It feels like home." I agree!

Bumped into Khalid, a former student of mine. She will be in Addis same time as the team.

I'm so grateful to be a part of this project and to be so welcomed in the Ethiopian community.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Don't Forget!!

Message from Seifu Ibssa

"Hello friends,

Just a quick reminder that our planned lunch fund-raiser lunch that we talked about during our last meeting will be held this coming Sunday May 25th at Ethiopian Christian Fellowship in Sacramento. The Amharic service will begin at 11 AM, followed by East African Village Outreach (EAVO) reports, inception in 2005 through current. Valet parking will be provided at no cost to you. Lunch for a delicious Ethiopian dish is only $10. The church located at 7201 Florin Road, Sacramento CA 95828 (between Stockton Blvd and Power Inn Road). Any questions, please let me know."

Ethiopian Christian Fellowship

New Ethiopia Partners

I finally shared with my peers at work and gathered much interest and even a new donation. One of my student's parents gave a nice donation as well.

One of my fellow teachers wants to go next year and the other in a couple of years.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pray for Rain

How sad to have to bring your attention to news like this. Sadly, Ethiopia is still one of the countries of the world that largely depends on the course of the seasons. Please pray for the people and for much rain this summer.

Hat tip: Douglas Kennedy

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Shoe Shine Girl?

In a city loaded with dust or mud one would expect that people would not care about their shoes, after all they would just get dirty again. But Addis Abeba is pretty well know for it's shoe shine boys. I found a BBC story here about a shoe shine girl.

I think the choice quote from the essay is, "Meskerem uses some of the money she earns to pay her school fees - of 15 birr ($1.65) a month. 'I had to go to school because I want to get knowledge - knowledge is how you become somebody,' she says. She hopes to become a teacher one day."

I have been told that most of the students in Ethiopia possess the same kind of attitude as Meskerem.

Congratulation Karlo!!

Congratulation to faithful reader and donor, Karlo for naming the staple of Ethiopia. A lifetime supply will be delivered soon!!! Just kidding. I have eaten at Queen of Sheba and recommend it as well.

For those of you who are not fans of injera, remember the Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser on June 15th. For those of you who would like genuine Ethiopian food, please join me and my family on May 25th at Ethiopia Christian Fellowship (7201 Florin Road) from 12 - 3ish.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New Comment Settings

I realized that many of you might want to leave a comment but could not. I love comments so now I have changed the settings so that you may leave one without having to be a member.

A Walk to Beautiful

I received this email from the leader of the Ethiopia Support Group:

" Friends of Ethiopia,

Just a note in case you have not heard about the PBS Nova Special about the Fistula Hospital In Addis Ababa. Several of us visited this amazing facility. Encourage others to see it too.

"A Walk to Beautiful"

In Sacramento, KVIE Channel 6 will re-broadcast it this Saturday, at 3:00 pm. Check your local paper for other times!"

Sounds like a powerful film.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A little game

Just wondering how many of you can accurately name the famous Ethiopian foodstuff I've pictured at the bottom of my links?

I'm pretty sure this is what will be keeping me alive.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

CDC Says!

Shots for:

1. Yellow Fever
2. Hepatitis A
3. Hepatitis B
4. Typhoid
5. Meningococall
6. Rabies
7. Polio

Friday, May 9, 2008

Just A Few

So I'm sitting at my computer trying to gather my thoughts about the trip. I just can't seem to put them in any logical or poetic order. I'll share them in the raw:

1. I wonder to what extent Haile Sellassie, Bob Marley, and Rastafarianism enter into the mind of the average Ethiopian.
2. The Rift Valley cuts through Ethiopia.
3. I've got to pray a lot more than I do.
4. In what way will I fast.
5. How much will I miss my conveniences?
6. Did you see those photos . . . we're talking wide open spaces . . . places to worship God.
7. Did you see that church . . . do I get the honor of worshipping there? Finally, a simple church building!!!
8. How am I going to stash all those Birr?
9. Walking, lots of walking . . . feet hold up please.
10. Living simple.
11. Who will become my friends?
12. What social mistakes will I make?
13. I really want to drive from Addis to Jima to Masha.
14. Should I really get that tent? (I just can't get used to the idea of sleeping in a tent on a bed. Malaria is not an issue but will those rats be?)
15. People everywhere, all the time. Comfortable with embracing. America is a lonely place.
16. Will the warmness of their smiles and happiness in their eyes rub off on me?
17. No hiding out at the base, get out amongst the people.
18. Will my stomach handle the different foods, the water, the smells?
19. Will my allergies act up?
20. How often will I be able to communicate with my family?
21. Will I get taken advantage of when buying goods?
22. Are the students really that motivated and focused?
23. To what extent will I become part of the community (I really want to be part of the community!) and close to people?
24. Is dressing like a local cool or will I look like poser?
25. How hard will it be psychologically to come home to the U.S.? Who will I miss?

A Preview

Skip Ohs, a member of Fremont's support team has created a gallery of photos taken by previous years teachers. The link is to your right at FPC Projects. Can't wait to see this beautiful country and meet my brothers and sisters.

Simply Humbled by Your Generosity

Thank you to everyone who is making this trip possible. I recieved your donations the other day. I just can't believe that this is really going to happen. Again many thanks.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Easy Part of Getting Ready

So I had this vibe that I should go to the thrift store tonight; I just had this feeling that I would find what I needed. Indeed I did. I came home with a nice Lands End Sportcoat (cost $6.00) and a sturdy carry-on bag (cost $4.00). Both are in very good condition. In fact, both look just like the pictures above but cost a lot less.
Now I know what you're thinking - a sportscoat? Yes, in fact a lightweight wool sportcoat will be appropriate for both the climate (50 degrees in July) and social occasions, especially going to church.
I'm planning on packing very light. Here is my first draft of a list:
3-5 pair of lightweight wool socks
3-5 pair of travel undergarments
1 long sleeve base layer
1 base layer long john
1 pair leather boots
2 pair of khakis
3 button up shirts
1 sport coat
small umbrella
1 t-shirt
1 light wool sweater
light polyester coat
Clothing wise am I missing anything?