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.
I hesitate to write this article, because I am worried that I will unveil one of the best kept secrets in East Africa: the Ancient Rock-Hewn churches of Northern Ethiopia. To get to most of these churches you have to hike up into the mountains, where you will find hidden 1600 year-old churches that have been preserved by the monks and priests of modern and of old. Most of the churches were carved deep into the rock to protect them, as well as their history, from invaders. Read the rest of the blog on the We Are Travel Girls Blog.
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.
I will have to admit that thinking about my breakfast routine at my house in Mekelle, on a cold morning, brings me tons of peace while sitting in a hotel in the middle of nowhere Ethiopia. I can almost feel the fur in the bottom of my slippers as I shuffle around the kitchen in my bathrobe. I yawn as I pour oil on a hot pan and watch it sizzle. I breathe in through my nose to smell the freshly roasted coffee beans as I pour them into the grinder. I watch the blender hum with frozen bananas, canned coconut milk, peanut butter, dates, and almonds. Its more like a breakfast milkshake than a smoothie, but before you get too excited you will need frozen bananas for all these recipes.
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.
We all love coffee, but know what will take your brew to the next level? Roasting it by hand. It doesn't take much time and is guaranteed to make your house smell amazing. Join the Upper Barn Blog as I take you on a tour of Ethiopia and hand roasted coffee.
The Paradigm Project launched its first micro-manufacturing facility for the EzyStove on the continent of Africa in early 2016, and it’s anything but ordinary. Link here to the rest of this post on the Paradigm Project website.
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.
These are the lessons I am learning about community and cooking here is land called Ethiopia.
I forgot about the coming of Our Savior and Easter and Good Friday in the busyness of nothing.