My husband Greg & I live in a town called Mekelle, in the arid highlands of Northern Ethiopia. Greg manages a clean energy company called EzyLife that manufactures wood-burning cook-stoves. For those of you who don’t know, Mekelle is the culturally preserved capital of the Northern Region of Tigray, located near the Eritrean border. I wanted to share more about why we live here in Mekelle and how we are making this place our home in a #MakingMekelleOurHomeBlog Series.
The word ‘fashion’ immediately makes me think of New York or Milan— and more, how I don’t have very good fashion or measure up to people that do. Fashion seems to be divisive in its very nature. I am as guilty as anyone of perpetuating the division as I try to one-up friends and find worth walking around in new pair of boots. Interestingly, I have had a very different experience with the fashion culture here in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has been an amazing place to start a family. We have been so lucky to have had amazing adventures in this place. Here are the top ten things I will miss most about Ethiopia.
Need, I am finding, is one of the greatest gifts in the world. Maybe it is a gift to need redemption, to need grace, to need water, to need God to provide. I have never felt my need as clear as I do here in Mekelle; it’s a combination of the brokenness I have embraced in myself in recent years mixed with the vulnerability of our life here. Away from the familiar, distant from community, and adapting to the unknown.
Quitting my job last summer made me face my real life, or should I say lack of a real life here in Mekelle.Greg had started a business, he had employees and friends and was getting a hang of the language. It had been tons of work for him, but it was paying off. He was blossoming and I was sinking in to the shadows.
For Easter I had my hair done in the traditional Ethiopian style. My friend owns a local hair salon. I went at 11am and was finished at 3pm. #4hourslater I will have to be honest that it was hard to sleep the first few nights, but by the fourth night I slept like a baby.
In Ethiopia, the Melse is part two of the Ethiopia wedding celebration. The bride and groom wear the traditional Ethiopian clothes and partake in traditional dancing and food with a smaller group of closer friends and family. The word Melse means, ‘a return,’ and in this case ‘a changed return’. The significance is that the man and woman were recognized as single individuals before, but now they are welcomed as a married couple to the community by the Melse. Our Ethiopian friends and family wanted to welcome us as a married couple to Mekelle as we entered this new chapter of life with a Melse.
If you were born in the Western world the concept of a wood-burning cookstove doesn’t make any sense unless maybe you are camping. Isn’t the point of the stove to be gas-burning or electric? This might come as a shock, but 3 billion people in the world, half of the planet’s population, still cook over an open fire.
My husband Greg & I live in a town called Mekelle, in the arid highlands of Northern Ethiopia. Greg manages a clean energy company called EzyLife that manufactures wood-burning cook-stoves. I wanted to share more about why we live here in Mekelle and how we are making this place our home in a #MakingMekelleOurHomeBlog Series.