Providing Real Change

I can’t believe that Fields of Hope has been around for almost 4 years already! So much has happened both in the project and in my life personally. It has been quite the journey, one that I would do all over again if given the option. I have seen the project grow and more women and children being helped than ever before. I have seen success stories as well as stories that haven’t ended so well. There have been plenty of ups and downs, but it has been absolutely worth it. It’s at this point that I feel absolutely confident to take the next steps. We could easily continue going on as we have been, always relying on donations and helping little by little. Or we could take some big steps and really bring about a big change – not to mention becoming a self sufficient project.

There are three main problems that we see facing the women and children of Kirkos: lack of job opportunities, lack of training for jobs and lack of access to quality education. Our plans in the coming years aim to help fix all three of these issues in a comprehensive way. The long and the short of it is that we are planning on opening a school and a coffee shop (with multiple locations of the coffee shop to follow). The school would address the issues of education and training, while the coffee shop would address the job situation.

A brief overview of the vision for the school is that we want to provide the most excellent education possible. It will be a school where anyone – both rich and poor – will want to send their children. We will charge tuition for those who can afford it and provide scholarships for those who could not. The women of Kirkos will be able to send their children here, which will allow the cycle of poverty and prostitution to be broken in this generation. The women will also have access to training both for their jobs as well as for parenting. We will provide after school activities and countless other ways of being part of their lives.

The coffee shop ties right into the school. We will have a location of the coffee shop right in the school compound where we can train the women how to make pastries and other foods. This will serve as the cafeteria for the school and will provide high-quality, highly-nutritious food to all of the students, teachers and other staff. In addition, we will have a retail location of the coffee shop elsewhere in Addis Ababa. We will set the bar high for the coffee shop and aim to provide the best quality foods, coffee and atmosphere. There will be WiFi, comfortable couches to relax on and be with friends, tables and chairs where people can come and get some work done – all with a goal of helping people lift themselves out of poverty. We want to be a community hub, a place where people want to come, a place that becomes known for having the best food and service around.

Both the school and the cafe will help us to accomplish our goals in a huge way. They will provide the tools and the resources necessary to break the sad cycle of life in Kirkos. They will also stand out in the city as places that have a focus of helping those who are in the most desperate of circumstances. Not “helping” them by giving them handouts but, instead, providing real change and real opportunities. The women and children of Kirkos have immense potential, we just need to unlock it and the world will be theirs. I cannot wait to see how these people will shake up the world, what things they will change in Ethiopia, what inventions they will come up with…it’s going to be an exciting journey!

You can probably imagine how big of an undertaking this is. It will take countless volunteers – people who are willing to help in all kinds of ways. It will take time, it will take money and it will take a lot of perseverance. The end result is that we need YOUR help.

Maybe you have some skill in teaching and want to spend a few months or years in Ethiopia – that’d be awesome!

Maybe you know a bit about baking pastries or making coffee or running a restaurant – we need you!

Maybe you want to give some training to mothers who have never felt loved and don’t know how to raise their kids in a loving environment – please join us!

Maybe you have some money that you’d like to give (or loan) to this kind of work – we could use it!

Maybe you have a great idea that can plug into what we are trying to do – share it with us!

Maybe you know some people who would be interested in getting involved in something like this – connect them with us!

By | April 26th, 2013|General, Stories|Comments Off on Providing Real Change

One After Another

The other day I took some friends through Kirkos, the red light district where our project is focused. We walked through on foot during the day time. There were little kids running around laughing and playing. There was a general hustle and bustle of people doing various things. And there were women all over selling their bodies. As we walked further into the neighborhood, a few of them were asking if we wanted their services. Most of them were just surprised to see a few white people walking through that neighborhood.

We came back in a car a few hours later to see how the place changes at night. During the day there is at least some other business going on in that neighborhood, but come nightfall there is little else happening except commercial sex work. Nearly every door has a young girl standing there, waiting for a customer to arrive. The few doorways which didn’t have a girl standing in front had a curtain drawn across the doorway, signalling that she was currently with a customer. There were girls who looked like they had barely hit puberty. Most of the girls couldn’t have been older than early teens.

We saw guys walking all around too, looking at each of the girls – apparently waiting until they saw one that they would be interested in hiring. We pulled the car over and stopped for a while, which gave us the chance to see how this business actually works. Right across the road from us were a few of the houses which these women work out of. These houses are very tiny, barely able to fit a twin sized bed. The women have to pay a lot of money and they have to pay daily. If they don’t, their possessions will be taken by the landlord. Some of the houses have doors – most do not – but they are never closed. These women are available 24 hours a day.

So, there we were, sitting in a car across the street. As we pulled up, we saw two houses – one with a girl standing outside and one with the curtain closed. We waited there for about 10 or 15 minutes. In that time, we saw a girl come out of the house with a closed curtain and go back inside with another man after just a few minutes. The other girl took a customer inside her house. The man came out after a few minutes and she stayed inside to wash up. As soon as she came outside she began joking with her friends and trying to get another customer. It was as if nothing happened, no big deal.

One after another. That’s how these girls live. Getting paid about a dollar per customer. No hope of making a better life for themselves. Many times, the girls don’t even imagine that there could be a better option. They have given up and assume that this is what their life will be like until they die.

I’ve visited this red light district a number of times. I know what they get paid and how much they pay in rent. I’ve memorized the whole awful situation. But none of it prepares me to see it the next time. Every time I see the way they are living or hear their stories, it breaks my heart. What a difficult and hopeless life they live. I can’t even imagine.

It can be easily overwhelming. There are thousands of girls working like this in just this one red light district and there are a number of other areas like this around the city. But the work has to start somewhere, it has to start with someone.

Helping even one lady get out of this life has exponential impact. It means that her daughter won’t need to grow up and sell her body just to survive. It means that her family, through the generations, can contribute a lot to the world. These people have just as much potential as anyone else, each and every one of them could change the world. But, if they are never given that chance, if they continue to be stuck in the sick cycle of this red light district, then we will never know what could have been.

Please consider partnering with us and helping to bring hope to these women. $30 helps us to start getting a woman out of prostitution, $16 helps us to get a child in school. Or, you could give to our coffee shop fund. We are trying to open a coffee shop with which to be able to hire these women and bring real, long lasting change in their lives. If you are interested in giving to the coffee shop fund, please make a note of that on your check or in the Paypal donation.

It is only with your help that we are able to do any of this. Thank you.

By | February 23rd, 2013|General, Stories|Comments Off on One After Another

Ethiopia is at a Turning Point

I’m feeling a bit under the weather today. Allergies turning into a sinus infection. So, I’m sitting here in my pajamas and a sweatshirt sipping on some warm tea with fresh ginger and honey, trying to get better. There’s a cheesy movie on TV and the sounds of houses being built all around me. Which gets me thinking, Ethiopia is at a turning point.

Most of the news that comes out of Ethiopia is about the desperate struggle that many people go through just to survive. That is a very stark reality here. I am reminded of the ladies we are trying to help get out of prostitution. They serve a customer for around a dollar and may have to pay as much as $6 a day in rent. It’s awful, it’s hopeless and it’s difficult to comprehend.

But, there is this whole other side of things in Ethiopia which gets talked about very little around the world. Just looking outside my window right now I can see people building a beautiful three story concrete house with a little deck and terrace on the roof – I heard they even built a bio-gas system in the basement. Just next door to me another three story house is being built. And my other neighbor is building a one level house. If I take the ten minute walk to the main road where I can get a mini-bus taxi, I will see almost nothing except new houses being built. Driving through the city shows that big malls, office buildings and residential complexes are going up almost everywhere. These will quickly be filled with boutiques, cafes, restaurants, salons and nearly any other business you can think of. Some of these are being built from foreign investment, but many of them are being built by Ethiopian citizens. People are making money here and are investing it wisely. Ethiopia is at a turning point.

I also see this growth and expansion of Ethiopia as an awesome way of helping the poor and disenfranchised that are all around us. One of the things that we are planning to do once we raise enough money is to open a cafe with which to hire women out of the lowest levels of prostitution. The cafe would be a classy place that serves top quality pastries and delicious coffee drinks. It would be the kind of place that the rich would want to come and eat a slice of fresh mango meringue pie while enjoying a vanilla macchiato made with freshly roasted coffee. And the ladies that were working as prostitutes for a dollar a customer would now be working in nice cafe where they could make more than that in one tip.

Just imagine for a minute how that would change their lives. Where they used to struggle each and every day to pay rent and afford a little food, they would now be receiving a fair, living wage that would easily cover their rent and enough food for 3 meals every day. There would be some leftover money to send their children to school. It would even be possible for them to save a little cash for a rainy day. Or to put some aside in their child’s college fund. They would have a chance to live what the rest of us would call a modest life.

If this sounds like something you want to be a part of, please consider making a donation to help us save up and make this a reality. If you have another way that you can and want to help, please contact us and let us know. Thank you.

By | October 28th, 2012|General, News|Comments Off on Ethiopia is at a Turning Point

Is the Rain Here

I think everyone in Ethiopia is asking themselves “ahun krumpt gebah?” (Is the rainy season now here?). We’ve seen a little bit of rain over the last couple days. It seems to be coming in typical Ethiopian Krumpt (rainy season) fashion – rain half the day and sun the other half. The other day, for example, I went to meet Ruth at her school for lunch. On the way, the sun was really strong and I had worked up a decent amount of sweat by the time I got to the school. But, after lunch it was overcast and had cooled down quite a bit – in fact, I almost wish I had a sweatshirt with me!

It’s hard to tell if the rain will be enough to save the country from a drought and major food problems. And I’m certainly no expert on the matter. But I think that we’re all holding out hope and this recent rain has certainly lifted our hope on the matter. If it continues like this, the harvest might just be enough to pull the country through the year. At the same time, however, many large international organizations are calling for more aid and support for East Africa this year because it still looks like food security may be an issue this year.

Another thing that I am always amazed about in Ethiopia is how different the seasons are – and how quickly they change. Even just a few weeks ago, while it was still the dry season, everything was so dusty and overwhelmingly dry. You had to stop breathing if a car drove past (not to mention the massive amounts of dust that was accumulating in our house!). But now we have a different set of problems to deal with. When the rain comes there is a huge amount of sticky, slippery mud all over the place (which sure makes walking around fun!).

Even though we have seen some rain, it certainly isn’t the amount that normally comes during this season. So, there is still cause to be worried. In any case, we are happy that we are getting at least a little bit of rain and that things seem to be looking up on this side of the world. We can only continue to hope that things won’t be as bad as the forecasts are calling for. It’s amazing how much those little drops of water can completely change a place.

By | June 23rd, 2012|General, News|Comments Off on Is the Rain Here


According to the last census, nearly 63% of the population in Ethiopia reported to be Christian (this is includes Orthodox, Protestant and the many other various branches of Christianity). Needless to say, this means that Easter is a pretty big deal in Ethiopia. The Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia probably take Easter most seriously. They have spent about two months fasting in order to prepare themselves for the Easter feast. Fasting for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians basically means being a vegan (no meat, no dairy, no animal products of any kind). This is a big thing to give up, considering the tastiest Ethiopian foods are made with a spiced ghee.

By now, most families will be buying onions, chickens, lambs, butter and all the other items required to prepare an Ethiopian feast. Friday will be spent observing Good Friday. Often times there will be church programs in both the Orthodox and Protestant churches here. Saturday will often be spent preparing the Doro Wot – a spicy, slow cooked, onion and chicken sauce. This is the food that nearly all Ethiopians love and are looking forward to eating on Sunday! It takes hours and hours of stirring it while it’s cooking in order to make it taste the best. It truly is a food made with love. Orthodox Christians (and probably some Protestant ones too…) will attend an overnight church service. This ends at 3am, at which point they can break their 2 month fast. Many families will spend the entire day together, just hanging out and eating.

There is definitely a holiday feeling in the air. You can also tell it by the prices of things. Onions, garlic, chickens, cooking oil, butter, etc. are all going up in price this week. Actually, prices are going up all around (not only due to Easter). It is becoming harder and harder for people to be able to afford the basic things. It makes me sad to think about all of the families who cannot afford to buy a chicken and celebrate.

Ruth and I are lucky enough to have two families to go to (her family, and Frew’s family). We get to enjoy two lovely injera feasts. But, more importantly, we are excited to have time with our friends and family. If you’re celebrating Easter this year, happy Easter! And, you should definitely think of replacing that ham and/or lamb with a mix of Ethiopian foods! You won’t be sorry!

By | April 21st, 2012|General, Stories|Comments Off on Easter

The Problem

As I was leaving my neighborhood today, I was confronted with the many different sights and smells of Ethiopia. I walked by one house where they were cooking some Ethiopian food, the smell of the onions/garlic/ginger was so sweet in the air. Just a minute after that I walked by an area that smelled like a toilet, not such a sweet smell. Then I walked by a school and some restaurants and got in a public taxi. I passed many different kinds of people. Some were wearing suits, some were wearing nothing at all. I saw moms walking with their children and people going all different places. I saw some children who were most likely running errands for the family. One girl who couldn’t have been more than 8 years old was carrying a big container (maybe about 5 gallons), most likely filled with water, on her back.

It got me thinking about the many differences between Ethiopia and where I grew up in York, PA, USA. It’s not too often that you walk through a neighborhood in York that smells like a toilet! It’s also not common to see children working. But here, it is a reality of life. The entire family must pitch in and help out. The children will usually need to help their family with many different things, often times this means having some source of income that they can bring back to the family. This is a huge obstacle in getting these children an education, which is key to improving their lives. In fact, education is one of the main things required for a country to bring itself out of poverty.

It also got me thinking about the women that we help and how, far too often, their children also need to help them make some money. If they have a daughter, it is very likely that she will also start working as a prostitute as young as 7 years old! Since I grew up in the US it is hard for me to even comprehend this. My little sister just turned 9 years old, I can’t imagine her living this life. Let alone the thought of a 7 year old child working in any business, how can she work as a prostitute? I can’t even begin to imagine the problems that this will cause for her as she grows up.

Let me explain for you the kind of conditions that a daughter of one of these women would grow up in. The houses that you see here are typical in the area that we are working. These are the typical houses you find in the red light district where we are workingYou can see that they have curtains over their doorways, these are open when they are waiting for clients and closed when someone is inside with them. The chances of them having running water is very small and electricity usually isn’t more than a single light bulb in their tiny one-room house. They can pay up to $75 USD a month for one of these small houses, with the average probably being around $30-40. Oftentimes they have to pay daily, although they may not make enough money each day. This only forces them into a pit of debt to their landlord and doesn’t give the women any chance of getting out of this life without someone helping them.

This area is called Kirkos and it is one of the worst areas in Addis Ababa. The majority of the people living here are women who are working as prostitutes. Some estimate that there are more than 3,000 women working as prostitutes in this area alone (there are a few other areas like this around the city). They get paid a pittance for the work that they do. The typical amount that a guy pays to sleep with them is about 15 US cents. They can get up to around a dollar if the guy wants to spend the night. If tI took this picture during the morning when we drove through the area one dayheir landlord charges them $30 a month, that means that they need to sleep with around 150 guys each month! And that’s only for their rent, not even their food or any other expenses. Needless to say, these women have to work all day, every day, just to survive. You can see the woman on the left standing in her doorway waiting for a customer. I took this picture one morning when we were driving through this area. It is such a desperate struggle for life there, I don’t know if I will ever be able to fully come to terms with it. Every time I see the area, or even just talk about it, my heart breaks. I only hope that someday we can make a significant change here.

What really gets me is that girls are forced into this kind of life everyday. Some girls take up the work because they grew up watching their mom do it. Other girls come from the countryside thinking that they can find jobs in the city, but end up working as a prostitute (often times getting tricked by some of the pimps). As I said before, they can be as young as 7 years old. Teenagers are extremely common. There is actually a huge demand for the younger girls, Another shot taken during the morning in Kirkos, the red light districtas the guys often think that these girls are too young to be able to have any serious diseases. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth and HIV is extremely prevalent in this area. It is hard to say the exact prevalence rate among these women since most of them haven’t been tested, but I would guess that it has to be pretty close to 100%.

The life that these women live is so hard for us to relate to, because it is so far from our own lives. But, try to put yourself in their shoes. Or imagine if your daughter or sister were one of these women. You can begin to imagine how hopeless it is. You can’t even afford your rent, how would you even begin to think about escaping this life? This is a life that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. It is a life without hope, a life without love, a life full of pain. Our goal is to bring hope to this area. To help the women change their lives from something so despairing to something filled with hope.

By | February 23rd, 2012|General, News|Comments Off on The Problem


Let me tell you about a sweet, young woman named Seble. At 26 years old, she has already lost her husband and one of her children to HIV. When they passed away, she was sick with lung tuberculosis. The death of her husband and child came as quite a shock, everyone assumed that she would be the one to die. She was in the hospital for two months and while she was there, they also found out that she had breast cancer. The doctors had planned to give her a mastectomy, but when she went for the surgery the tumor was already reducing in size. It ended up miraculously disappearing altogether.

Even still, after Seble got out of the hospital, she didn’t have any hope in her life. She felt all alone and didn’t have any money, her husband had been the only one bringing home an income. So, she started to do small, daily labor type work. But this wasn’t enough to get by, especially with a young son to feed. During this time she found out she is HIV positive. She saw this as yet another problem in her life. She lost all hope and simply wanted to die.

Seble started telling me about the turning point in her life. She said that it was her brother who helped her so much. He is a follower of Jesus and helped to lead her to Christ. She said that, at first, she only came to Christ because she wanted to be buried next to her brother (in Ethiopia, you are buried in different cemeteries depending on your religion). But, after some time, she said that she really started to have faith in Jesus and it helped to give her the strength to press on. Her brother also supported her in many other ways. She said that he was the only one who was helping her through all of these difficult situations.

We have now hired her as a home-based caregiver. She visits the other women that we help, checks how they are doing, provides whatever help she can give them and lets us know if anyone is in trouble. Not only does this provide her with a paying job, but it also helps us to have more contact with all the women that we are helping. With a huge smile on her face, she explained how this job has brought so much joy to her life. She said she always liked to visit and help people, so to do it as a job is like a dream come true. In her own words, she said that she has gone from a help-seeker to a caregiver. You see on her face that her hope for life is growing stronger all the time.

She is also very proud of her son, Kidus. Whenever I asked questions about him she got a big smile on her face. When I asked her what dreams her son has for his life, she said that he wants to be a pilot. Smiling, she said that she wants to see this happen for him. When I asked about what dreams she has for herself, she said that she wants to live a good life and to please God. It was so nice to sit down and talk to Seble. She is so kind and welcoming. She has so much joy that it just radiates from her. And although she has gone through so much hardship herself, she has this strong desire to help others and that’s exactly what she’s doing.

By | December 15th, 2011|General, Stories|Comments Off on Seble

The Gap is Stifling

No, not the clothing store (though that can be stifling too!). I’m talking about the gap between the economic classes here in Ethiopia. You can’t go anywhere here without being faced with it. People driving their fancy cars by mud homes and homeless children. On one side of the road is a nice multi-story shopping complex and on the other side there are people starving. Within 10 minutes walk of each other you can find a nice coffee shop and a red light district. Everywhere you walk, there are people asking for some money or some bread. Everywhere you turn, there is someone that seriously needs help. The gap is stifling.

I have been thinking about this more and more lately. I’m not really sure why. I guess after living here for more than a year I am realizing more and more just how big this gap really is. It is difficult to wrap my mind around. It is overwhelming.

What’s even more difficult to figure out is what to do about it. I have been thinking more and more about the homeless people on the street who beg me for money. I have been realizing how cold I have become towards them. Walking by them without even a glance. I feel awful about it. And I debate with myself about what I should do. On one hand, I think that we are supposed to help everyone in need – even if some of them are faking it or are children employed by someone who takes all their money at the end of the day, or whatever other problem there could be. Shouldn’t I just give to them anyway? On the other hand, I have read so many books and talked to so many people that have said giving out money like this only makes the problem worse in the long run. What should I do? This is a question that I am not sure I will ever have a solid answer for.

The world has tried the system of giving handouts for so long now and the results aren’t that great. The world is still in an awful situation, even though billions of dollars are being thrown at the problem. Obviously we need to rethink the way we are trying to fix the problem of poverty in this world. I am completely behind ideas like micro-lending and social businesses. Instead of just giving handouts, we can use that same money and really help these people get out of poverty. On a global scale, micro-lending and social businesses are making a huge change. I think an important factor is that the people get a sense of pride in what they are doing. They are happy to do work to improve their lives.

Another important distinction between the two is that handouts are demeaning and these new methods are uplifting. The world has often looked upon the poor as lesser than everyone else, and the poor know it. When a handout is given, it only makes this gap between the poor and rich even wider. Imagine how difficult and humbling it must be to beg for money. Poor people are still people, no different from you and me. Why not help them in a way that gives them a sense of pride and helps us all to realize that we really are equal? When someone is given the tools that they need – either a job in a social business or a micro-loan – they are able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make a better life for their family. I have been privileged to witness this a few times and it is an incredible thing. What is really so wonderful about this method is that it builds these people up, instead of breaking them down.

Some great books to read on this topic are:
Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty
Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs

By | November 18th, 2011|General, News, Stories|Comments Off on The Gap is Stifling

What I Love About Ethiopia

…and what sometimes annoys me to no end here.

Today I was faced with things I love about Ethiopia and things that I can’t stand – all on my way home. Let me start with a bit of explanation. I went to Sendafa (a village about 40km outside of Addis) today with a group from York, PA. Some of them I knew before and some I just met today. They were all very nice and we had a great day in Sendafa. The weather was perfect and I always like getting out of the city. The weather and the countryside of Ethiopia are things that I love about Ethiopia.

After that we came back to Addis sometime in the afternoon and I proceeded to take the public taxis on the way home. I was also carrying a rather large bag of things that my parents sent with the group (thanks guys!). If you have ever ridden in one of the public taxis here, you know that carrying anything can be a problem because they crowd people in so much. The mini-bus taxis are meant to seat about 12 people, but they often cram in nearly 20.

Anyway, I wasn’t too worried, it wasn’t rush hour yet. The first taxi that I got was no problem, took me to my destination just fine. Got out and walked to the next taxi stop and got in that one and we started driving. All seemed fine until they started to stop along the way and keep adding people. They had fit as many people as was possible and were trying to add one more. It was at this point that some guy said (in Amharic) “We could fit one more, if it weren’t for this foreigner”. Some people in the taxi laughed. I just shook my head. He said it because he expected that I wouldn’t understand and wouldn’t do anything about it. Well, I did understand. But, I didn’t do anything about, not worth creating a problem where there doesn’t have to be one.

This whole situation made me a bit frustrated/annoyed. I’ve grown used to standing out here, people making jokes about me, people staring at me and all of the other things that go along with being a foreigner in Ethiopia. But it still bugs me most of the time. This is something that I don’t like about Ethiopia.

Luckily, this story has a good ending. As I got down from that taxi and started walking towards my house, there were some kids who were also walking home since school had just let out. The kids here are great and can always cheer you up. They were all smiling at me. Especially these two little girls called out “hi!” and I looked over and they started laughing. A minute later a young boy came up with a big smile on his face and shook my hand. Right after that, someone tried to sell me a lottery ticket by saying “try it!”. And, as I turned the corner, there was this teenage guy listening and singing along to a Taylor Swift song (I walked by him and heard him sing “you be the prince and I’ll be the princess”. I had no idea who the artist was, so I came home and Google’d it. Ha). That was enough for me to break out into a full on smile. These are all things that I love about Ethiopia.

All of these situations may seem small and inconsequential, but it really made me realize something: no matter how frustrating it can be to live in Ethiopia sometimes, I love it here. I love it because most of the people are really nice and smile a lot. I love it because the weather is great and the countryside is absolutely breathtaking. I love it because the food is awesome. I love it because I think that I was made to live here.

By | October 5th, 2011|General, Stories|Comments Off on What I Love About Ethiopia

Another Day, Another Holiday

Ethiopia sure does have a lot of holidays. About 15 or so major holidays per year. Not a bad deal. In just the last few weeks we have had the Ethiopian New Year, Eid ul-Fitr (Muslim holiday, marking the end of Ramadan) and Meskel (Orthodox holiday, celebrating when St. Helena allegedly found the true cross of Jesus).

My wife Ruth and I have been especially grateful for all of these holidays because it allows us some time to be together and to relax at home. As in most of the world – if not all – holidays are also a wonderful excuse to eat too much food. For the new year, we had some pretty wonderful Ethiopian feasts. Both in Ruth’s family’s house and my family’s house. (You must be saying: “Dan, you’re family is in the US, how did you have an Ethiopian feast at their house?” Well, I guess I should clarify. The feast was in my Ethiopian family’s house, Frew and Frehiwot. I’m pretty lucky to have two families!). The food that stands out in the Ethiopian New Year feast is definitely Doro Wot. This is the famous Ethiopian chicken dish loved by almost everyone who has ever tried it. It is a spicy onion sauce that has chicken pieces and spiced butter in it as well. It is cooked for the better part of the day and you can’t stop at one serving of this.

Meskel, which was just on Monday, is another reason to feast if you know anyone from the Gurage tripe in Ethiopia. They are famous for another Ethiopian dish called Kitfo, which is ground beef mixed with different spices and spiced butter and served along side of some different kinds of cheese and greens. It is traditionally eaten raw, but can also be served partially cooked or fully cooked. My favorite is raw, but this year I didn’t want to risk it, as I was already a bit sick. So, I went for the next step, called leb leb. It’s very lightly cooked, flash fried basically. Dr. Frew gives it the stamp of approval, so I figure it’s safe enough. Anyway, we had some of that at my Ethiopian mom’s family’s house. We ate till we couldn’t take another bite, it was delicious. I brought a bit of an American flavor in the form of chocolate chip cookies. But the kitfo definitely won the show.

Aside from all the holidays, things are going well. We are still doing research as to what kinds of businesses would be best for us to open and hire the women with. But we have a few ideas and are confident that something will work out within the next few months. For now we will continue to support the women and children that we have already helped. About two weeks ago we handed out some basic supplies to some of the women. This included wheat, cooking oil, soap, toilet paper, etc.

Please stay tuned for new developments. And feel free to leave some comments on here.

By | September 29th, 2011|General, News|Comments Off on Another Day, Another Holiday