As promised, here are some more of my favourite shots I took in Ethiopia -- ones that didn't fit easily in the stories I shared last week, but that I love anyway. There's really no rhyme or reason to them, or how they're presented here, but hopefully they'll give you a flavour of what the week felt like as a whole.
The shot above was taken on Sunday, October 6, as worshippers gathered at a large Ethiopian Orthodox church. Often the churches are so crowded, people stand outside in the churchyard during services.
Our lead driver, Kiru. When he introduced himself, I asked for clarification, "I'm sorry, is your name Kiru?" "Yes," he confirmed. And then he grinned, "Kind of like 'hero'!" And he flexed his biceps.
We all laughed, but there were several times over the week that he proved himself our hero (not the least of which was smoothing things over for me with a testy cop). And at the end of the trip, he gifted me with three CDs of Ethiopian music that he thought I would enjoy. Great, great guy.
Gabrielle Blair, entering the arrivals hall at the Addis Ababa international Airport. I love her expression of excitement on her face -- it's the same expression I saw on each blogger as they arrived (and the one I felt on my own face when I did the same).
Boys juggle together at the Mary Joy Aid Through Development. This particular segment of their performance was preceded by a mime, where the boy on the right "taught" the boy on the left to juggle.
Apparently he's a good learner.
This little girl at Mary Joy tried to teach me to dance -- and when I tried to do the shoulder-popping moves that she was doing, I think she felt sorry for me, because she didn't leave my side the rest of the visit.
I seriously fell in love with her.
Yes, this child is eating fire -- and well, by the way. He was fantastic.
It was only after I left Mary Joy and was processing this photo did it dawn on me that perhaps this wasn't the safest activity to teach a young boy.
Jennifer Howze practices her Ethiopian dance moves. She looks so graceful here, doesn't she?
At the end of our first day, we shared a traditional Ethiopian meal. Ethiopian food is meaty, spicy, shared communally, and there aren't any utensils; you eat with your hands.
There's something very intimate about sharing a meal this way, i think. It feels like a wonderful way to seal new friendships.
This is Saba, one of the women who works at FashionABLE. Here's she's preparing coffee beans for roasting, for a coffee ceremony.
Liz, recognizing a book at the Mojo Secondary School library. The kids are taught in both English and Amharic.
A midwife at a rural clinic outside of Addis Ababa explains the conditions she is sometimes faced with in her job.
Although I was permitted to take photographs at this clinic, I chose not to -- I couldn't imagine being at a hospital feeling ill, and a photographer coming up with a camera in my face asking to take my picture. So for the most part, I put the camera away. But I did like the angle that this was shot, and since there were no patients in the frame, I thought I'd share it.
(Speaking of which! Last night, the ONEMoms heard from the founder of FashionABLE, Barrett Ward, who said that as a result of all the scarves that were bought from people who read the ONEMoms posts this past month, FashionABLE is able to hire three more women -- that's three more women off the street, who no longer have to turn to a life of prostitution to feed themselves and their children! You did that! You should be seriously, seriously proud.
Another child I fell in love with. As I think about it, it was very easy to fall in love in Ethiopia.
The ONEMoms (not shown, Jennifer). A really lovely, lovely group of great women.
And on that note, this concludes the Ethiopian portion of Chookooloonks! Again, thanks so much for joining me on this journey, friends. It was such a great trip, and I hope you enjoyed the photographs as much as I enjoyed taking them.
Song: Africaye by Teddy Afro. And yes, this is a song off of one of the CDs Kiru gave me. Love.
I've recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia, at the kind invitation and expense of The ONE Campaign, a nonpartisan, advocacy organization dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. ONE works to convince governments to invest in smart programs that help eliminate poverty and preventable disease in a sustainable way. I was supporting a group of parenting bloggers by capturing images that tell the story of how the organizations for which ONE advocates are effecting real change in Ethiopia.
If you're moved by anything you read or see here, on the ONE blog or any of the ONEMoms' blogs and you'd like to help, please consider adding your voice, and join ONE by simply filling out the surprisingly short form in my sidebar on the right. Your information will remain confidential, I promise. And if you're already a member, and would still like to help, I'd love if you'd spread the word by sharing this post with your friends and followers.
That's all there is to it. Because ONE never asks for your money, just your voice.