"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know, and holds us responsible to ACT"...Proverbs 24:12

Friday, June 22, 2012

A step back into time...

I have been spending some time reading our Ethiopian Travel Guide and finding out some really cool information about the area where the girls are from! 

Here's the basics:

Ethiopia is in eastern Africa- sometimes reffered to as 'the Horn of Africa.'  (right of Sudan)

Ethiopia is divided up into several different regions.  The girls live in the northernmost mountainous region of Ethiopia, called:  Tigray.
(we will stay in both Tigray and the Capital city in central Ethiopia- Addis Ababa.)
The girls orphanage is in the city of Mekele, Tigray which also serves as a transit point for camel caravans that bring salt up from the arid land of the Denakil Depression.
The twins do Not speak the national language of Amharic- they speak their regional dilect of Tigrinya.


The way of life evokes images of Bible times. Camels, donkeys, and sheep are everywhere. Fields are plowed using oxen.

The Orthodox Church is a large part of the culture for the large majority.. A distinctive feature of Tigray are its rock-hewn churches.
they are often located at the top of cliffs or steep hills.

The soil has been depleted by many centuries of cultivation; water is scarce. Using methods that are thousands of years old, farmers plow their fields with oxen, sow seeds and harvest by hand. The harvest is threshed by the feet of animals. In the home, women
use wood or the dried dung of farm animals for cooking. Women often work from 12 to 16 hours daily doing domestic duties as well as cultivating the fields.
Each family—some with eight or more children—must provide all of its own food. The women perform all work necessary to prepare the meals from grinding the grain to roasting the coffee beans. Children carry water in clay pots or jerry cans on their backs.  Where there are many, among the most challenging has been that only about 54% of the population of Tigray has had regular access to safe drinking water.  Additionally, there have been boarder disputes with Eritrea

The country houses are built mostly from rock, dirt, and a few timber poles. The houses blend in easily with the natural surroundings. Many times the nearest water source is more than a kilometer away from their house. In addition, they must search for fuel for the fire throughout the surrounding area.  Marriages are monogamous and arranged by contract, involving a dowry given by the bride's family to the couple.

Coffee is a very important ceremonial drink. The "coffee ceremony" is common to the Tigrians. Beans are roasted on the spot, ground and served thick and rich in tiny ceramic cups with no handles. When the beans are roasted to smoking, they are passed around the table, where the smoke becomes a blessing on the diners.  (very much looking forward to their coffee :)

The Tigrinya have a rich heritage of music and dance, using drums and stringed instruments. Most people in Tigray still wear the traditional dress.  We are told that the Tigray region is among the most vibrant and astounding historical components of Ethiopian culture and history! 

(in the pre-orphanage photos we have of the girls- they have these similar typical ornate hair styles...in more recent photos the braids have been taken out)
So if you got anything from this history lesson  than you would recognize that basically our girls will be going through a time warp!
 From Bible times to the suburbs of  the American 21st century.  I can easily start freaking out on behalf of them already BUT I keep on reminding myself  that God is in control.  He chose these girls for our family...quite knowing we live in a 'different world.'  Culture Shock is expected but so is God's power and healing....

Thank you for your continued prayers for them.

Thank you all so much for your generosity-
miraculously the adoption if paid for (beacause of you!) and we are starting fresh with the travel funds- please continue to spread the word, you never know who may want to play a part in this!  http://www.acharityproject.com/f/7forseats

No comments: