The Great Ethiopian Mountaintop Eclipse (GEME) Part II: I Fell Into a Burning Ring of Fire

OK, I just had to do that. No points for originality. For this one, I’m just going to put up some photos in chronological order. Sunday June 21, Father’s Day, on Hudad Mountain, near Lalibela. So that was our eclipse adventure. The next solar eclipse in the US, a total eclipse, will be April 8, … More The Great Ethiopian Mountaintop Eclipse (GEME) Part II: I Fell Into a Burning Ring of Fire

The Great Ethiopian Mountaintop Eclipse (GEME): How You Get There is the Worthier Part

It was the middle of rainy season. It was the middle of COVID19. We had been on our compound, more or less, except for walks and trips to the grocery store, for months. All the best parts of our job–traveling, visiting projects, seeing what was going on across Ethiopia–had been suspended. But was work actually … More The Great Ethiopian Mountaintop Eclipse (GEME): How You Get There is the Worthier Part

Love In the Time of COVID-19 (3): In Which we Assist a COVID-19 Refugee and Play the Mennonite Game Across Three Countries and Three Generations

My grandmother, Alta Barge Shenk, is buried in Shirati, Tanzania. She died in a plane crash on the Ngong Hills in Kenya in 1969. My older sister, Dianne, was born in Shirati Hospital in 1964. These are a few of my personal connections to the place. These days Shirati is known for its hospital started … More Love In the Time of COVID-19 (3): In Which we Assist a COVID-19 Refugee and Play the Mennonite Game Across Three Countries and Three Generations

Love in the time of COVID-19 (2): Ethiopia’s response, and how this new bug effects MCC’s programming

So what is it like to live and work during this pandemic in a developing country with a per capita GDP of $772? Yesterday we had a visit from government health officials who are checking temperatures door to door. Anyone with a temp higher than 37 gets the COVID-19 nasal swab and is confined until … More Love in the time of COVID-19 (2): Ethiopia’s response, and how this new bug effects MCC’s programming

Love in the time of CONFINEMENT: At Home with (Some of) the Boys

Last Saturday was the day Daniel, our high school senior, was supposed to end his Easter break and leave Ethiopia to return to Kenya for his final trimester at Rift Valley Academy. Senior trip to Mombasa. Final band and choir concerts. Third term play. Senior Night. Graduation. Now like so many high school and university … More Love in the time of CONFINEMENT: At Home with (Some of) the Boys

Love in a Time of COVID-19: The Beginnings, and MCC health training

Today Ethiopia closed all its schools. Today Kenya closed its borders to incoming traffic from any country with reported covid-19 cases. Somewhere in Ethiopia right now are 35 Italian tourists who refused to go back home after their visas expired. How do we show love to each other–to neighbors, classmates, colleagues–when the entire world is … More Love in a Time of COVID-19: The Beginnings, and MCC health training

To Forge a Cross

This year for Christmas I gave my children, nieces, and nephews hand-forged Christmas tree ornaments, a variation of the Ethiopian crosses that are popular gifts from these parts. A few days ago we took a field trip to an artisan neighborhood in Addis tucked away in the foothills of Entoto Mountain to find out how … More To Forge a Cross

Butterfly in the Deep Blue Sky–no it’s not, it’s a MOTH!

How many lives does an Eri silk moth have? Life #1. Caterpillars cocooned, it got really cold and rainy, and they stayed put. We thought they died. After about a month too long, they hatched! Death deferred! Life #2. Moths laid eggs like crazy, and we had a huge crop of little worms. Then it … More Butterfly in the Deep Blue Sky–no it’s not, it’s a MOTH!