Sunday, March 18, 2007

Got Ethiopian?

So, after a quasi-long hiatus I am about to head back to Ethiopia for four weeks. I have a wedding to attend, but other than that I’ve no agenda. I intend to venture out of Addis to visit a grandma and for the remainder of my time I’ll be Addis Ababan camper.

I have no intention of hitting the typical resort spots like Langanao minamin. I don’t want to fall trap to the culture of Diaspora Habesh on vacation back home who party incessantly or those who go back and hang out with folk from here.

I think I can easily spend days roaming the streets of Addis … but then I thought to myself … what would Jesus do? Um. Ok. Not. I just had to say that, but I thought to myself … what good is a blog but to ramble on?

I ramble. You ramble. We ramble. Perhaps you’ve some Addis ramblings for the inbound?


Earlier today I had a conversation with a friend who claims he dislikes idealism. For example, he says, it irks him when Ethiopians nowadays say ‘Ideally we should make education available in multiple languages’. His solution? Be practical and force everybody to learn in one language. He has no preference whether the language is Oromiffa, Amharic, Tigrigna … even English. Just pick one for practical purposes and let the rest pick other languages the want at home.

Now I think that line of thought is too idealistic. It’s like saying, ‘why can’t we all just along?’ Dang! You can imagine the discussion didn’t get far.

I think educational institutions should only support as many students as they can teach, not as many students as they can reach. And teach they should with quality, where quality should, among other things, preserve one’s identity/background.

Anyway the point of the post wasn’t so much to rant about education in Ethiopia but to mention a dance group called Mesgana (which I’d have ‘spelled’ as Misgana. It’s funny when you can tell a non-Ethiopian person spelling an Ethiopian word. Like ‘Addis Ababa’ – there’s no way in hell those words were spelled by an Ethiopian. “New Father”? Mtsssss!)

Now Mesgana is quality and identity. Remember Hibre tr’it? Mesgana is hibre tr’it by little people. It’s a troupe of kids aged 7 – 13 who perform traditional Ethiopian dances to raise funds for the education of girls. In their own words:

The Children of Ethiopia Education Fund exists to improve the lives and futures of girls in Ethiopia; and to allow the opportunity for people in the United States and around the world, who have been more materially blessed, to give of themselves.

Their tour schedule for 2007 includes DC, Chicago, NYC, Denver, Salt Lake City and various locations in CA. Alas, that won’t be till August so watch these videos in the mean time, but keep them in mind, and try to catch them when they get to (hopefully) your area.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Quickie

And *$ backs down ...

I was actually going to write an article in defense of Starbucks, but ... bleh.

Great move Starbucks. Now i can have my frappuccinos in relative peace.