Traffic-circle donkeys and other adventures

A Few Powerful Moments

  • Recently I told one of my students, Wakuma, that a group of people from Lancaster, PA had fully funded the remainder of his requirements for a Master’s degree. He teared up and thanked me with enthusiasm.
  • Emily, working with a group of struggling readers, had a special moment last week. Her small group, so engaged in a book, literally cheered as the protagonist cat covered with banana cream pie landed on the bad guys.
  • Some of Emily’s ESL students are having breakthroughs with reading and comprehension. Boys and girls who once resisted reading are now thrilled every time they get to meet with Mrs. Craig.
  • I have had several spontaneous moments of prayer after class with students who are struggling with life-threatening health problems, dysfunctional marriages, and financial trials. I am honored these men have trusted me with such personal crises. Please pray that I would be an effective source of encouragement to them.
  • After a quiet prompting from the Lord while eating and an outdoor cafe, I attempted to give a naked, mentally ill man my jacket. Confused and surprised by my confrontation, he refused. In the street and unsure of what to do, four Ethiopian men seemingly out of nowhere appealed on my behalf and literally dressed this man in front of me. It was a poignant scene I will not soon forget.

Funny Stories

  • Lauren, Anna, and Sarah have made numerous attempts to entice the tortoises, who occasionally roam into our backyard, to take up permanent residence. Although we do not allow them to pick up or move the tortoises, once spotted, the girls waste no time creating bedrooms and a kitchen for their free-range friends.
  • Recently, during our morning exercises at language school I told my class a story about a man who gave me money. What I thought I said was that he pulled money from his pocket and handed it to me… I learned the Amharic words for “pocket” and “butt” our very closely related. My teacher’s expression was priceless.
  • For 4 days Emily was convinced a disheveled donkey in a nearby traffic circle was dead. She gave me daily reports of shock and disbelief that no one was doing anything about it. You can imagine she was unimpressed by my laughter. (I should point out the so-called “dead” donkey was standing up and in a different location each day). I laughed not at the idea of a dead donkey standing in a traffic circle, but the conspiracy theories Emily conjured up regarding (1) how this donkey could have died on it’s feet and (2) the plausible cultural explanations for ignoring the presence of a donkey in a public location. Upon closer investigation we discovered that Dominick (unofficial name), although catatonic and drooling like a 65 year-old hippie, is still very much alive.

Happy Fasika

Today many Ethiopians celebrate Easter, known as Fasika, following the ancient Coptic calendar.

Fasika climaxes after a 55 day lenten period. During this time Orthodox Christians observe a strict fast, akin to a vegan diet. On Easter eve followers go to church with candles to celebrate, which are lit during a colorful Easter mass service, beginning at midnight. The faithful prostrate themselves in church, continually bowing down and rising up.

After the service, people go home to break the fast with chicken or beef dishes, accompanied by injera and traditional drinks. Easter is a day of family reunion, an expression of good wishes with exchange of gifts like a lamb, goat or loaf of bread.

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One thought on “Traffic-circle donkeys and other adventures

  1. We are very proud of both of you. But I have just one question for Jason. Now where does money come from?
    Candy Mom

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