Saturday, June 25, 2016

Beautiful Hair

The braids held until recently. Her mom worked the braids into rows of a pattern traditional. The care, the touching, erasing the separation. It may have taken 2 hours to work the hair into the thin braids. Hannah bound the baby sister onto her back with a shawl, when the baby woke we all took turns amusing her. The braiding was the center of us all; we moved away and returned. I see the love permeating to Pearl's toes. 
Many of us grow up with two to four grandparents or some configuration of adoring aunties and uncles. We bask in multi faceted love. But it is not always so easy to accept two pairs of loving parents. It takes us time to sort experience and expectation - to let our selves relax and just absorb the grace. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What I am remembering, before I forget!

I remembering sitting on one of the well worn 3 legged stools in Pearl's family gojo bet, watching the buff colored lovely cow across from me, chewing. The talk quiet and only occasionally throwing a recognizable word out, like bunna (Amharic for coffee). The chewing was like a mantra, I fell into. Perhaps, too, it was the round enclosure that made me feel comfortable. Deeply familiar affinity. I am one of the 3 grandmothers! 
From the distance of here, I worry about the future for this family. The kids have to walk 30 minutes to collect water which must be paid for. There has been a drought the last two years; they have survived with food rations. No water for washing. No water for washing clothes. We have brought them clothes. Blankets for the grandmothers and soccer balls. One of Pearl's sisters now lives with an aunt. We take the family to lunch at a park in Hosanna. It is a big outing for the kids. Pearl's older brother is transfixed by a small tv that is playing in the gojo bet where we have injera. Pearl's mom braids Pearl's hair. Mindy's wonderful idea. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Addis Ababa

I liked Addis, with its round-abouts (traffic circles) - one with a statue of Bob Marley - and many embassies and construction everywhere (with the external scaffolding of bound eucalyptuse poles). Addis is 7,700 plus feet - cool mornings and evenings. Coffee is native and the coffee ceremony is performed twice a day. The cups are demi-tasse size, often like Japaness tea cups without handles. On the streets of Addis and in the country, beans are roasted over charcoal - the aroma wafts throughout the city. In the morning coffee is served with sugar; in the afternoon, salt is added to the coffee and sometimes herbs. Yonatan, our guide/driver, took us to "the Best Coffee" shop in Addis to buy coffee to bring home. 

Drifting Back to Africa

Downloaded some of the pictures from my phone so that I can illustrate my travel accounting. Glad to have an Ethiopian flag to fly from my upstairs porch, a reminder of the trip. I haven't really sorted thoughts in any order, mainly I would gladly join family for trip anywhere - it was great to have the good company, to not be "in charge" and to feel useful with care of Pearl and True at times. 

Donkeys to begin! They are the main beast of burden here, usually towing a cart. These two were part of a contingency of several donkeys bearing bundles of teff hay. Teff flour is used for injera, the large "pancake" like food of Ethiopia. A circle of injera is served dotted with different dishes: greens cooked in gee, meat dish seasoned with Berbere, lentils, chick peas, cold tomatoes and others I am unfamiliar with. We passed donkey carts with large bags of cabbages when we drove south of Addis to Hosanna. There were carts of eucalyptuses poles and some of sugar cane. Donkeys saddled with clever slots to hold large water jugs. Often the empty carts driven by young men balancing on their feet. Donkeys grazing by gojo bets and in the fields of sheep and cows and goats. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Back from Africa

So much to say, I'll leave with this picture and return. Amazing country,  Ethiopia, from the 7,700 plus feet of Addis Ababa to the below sea level south near Red Sea where Lucy's bones were excavated. Middle of the country of rolling hills all in cultivated plots, pinned to the Earth with goo bet round houses of mud, straw and thatch.