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Monday, March 24, 2014

Dr. Seuss Celebration - Ethiopia

What do you know about Ethiopia?  What do you think of when you think of Ethiopia?  Do you think of the desert?  Do you think of the famine of the 80's & 90's?  Do you think of safari-type animals? Do you think of waterfalls or lush green landscape?  During our school's recent Dr. Seuss Celebration, we found out more about this unique country in northeast Africa.
If you're like me, I thought of dry desert.  But recently I was proven totally wrong about my assumption of this beautiful country.  The picture at the top shows just one of the beautiful sites you will see in Ethiopia.
 I have a friend from Ethiopia who actually is living here in this small town. He was born and lived in Ethiopia until he was a young teenager, when he was then adopted to an American family and has lived here ever since. He has been able to go back to Ethiopia to visit his family, and thankfully he was able to be at the Dr. Seuss Celebration to tell the students about life in his home country.
There are safari animals in Ethiopia, though not as many as there are in other African countries. However, there are 862 bird species in the country, making it one of the most desired places to go for bird watching!
Allen brought many things for me to use in decorating for the country. He had clothes, two different flags from different times in history, a flag quilt made by his grandmother, money, checkers, an alphabet chart, and some baskets.
 Allen's wife, Laura, and daughter Grace, enjoyed the day with the students.  Allen and Laura spoke in Amharic, sang in Amharic, and Allen told some interesting stories about his childhood.
As a young boy, Allen was a shepherd. He said that one time an elephant chased him! He learned to walk on his hands while he was bored out in the fields watching the sheep (or goats...I forgot!).
We wanted the students to try some Ethiopian food. We got lamb and Laura cooked it for the children. Traditionally, Ethiopian dishes are eaten on a big pancake-type of very sourdough bread called "injera".  Laura has the bread on the big tray in the picture below.  In Ethiopia, wives feed their husbands, so Laura is demonstrating this very non-American custom! :)  I'm pretty sure my husband would NOT want me to feed him!  But, isn't it interesting to learn about other cultures?
Most of the children liked the lamb. A few thought it was too spicy, even though Laura was careful not to make it too spicy.  It smelled great, but I'm too chicken to eat anything "different"!! Very weak stomach! But, it smelled so good, I'm pretty sure I would have liked it.
 We also served the students mango juice. Fruits are very abundant in many parts of Ethiopia.  Mango is just one of the main fruits. The students loved the mango juice!
We took pictures of Allen and Laura (and me, too) with each of the classes and their teacher.  A copy of the picture, the students name written in Amharic, and an Ethiopian flag sticker, will be given to each student.
Another interesting fact about Ethiopia, is that at birth, children are given the first name of their father, instead of the last name.  So may name at birth would have been Lori Larry.  That seems odd thinking of all of the "Larry's" in the world!  Really common!

Thank you, Allen, Laura, and Grace, for taking the time to teach the students about Ethiopia! Thank you, Allen, for sharing your country with us!  It was a GREAT DAY!

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Always great to get an education first hand!

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