Making a Difference in Ethiopia.

13 May

Sue Leister and Betsey Muldrow led us through an engaging presentation on Ethiopia, focusing on literacy.  Ethiopia is the second Christian nation in the world (after Armenia) and has an ancient literary tradition dating back to those times.  Very little was passed down in the written tradition, so as a result the literacy rates in Ethiopia are around 45%.

Sue and Betsey have been very involved in Ethiopia Reads, which has established over 40 libraries throughout the country.  One of the challenges Betsey and Sue told us about was the tension between Ethiopian people who speak the 87 different languages in Ethiopia.  English and Amharic are the official languages.

MomTime member Meaza performed an Ethiopian coffee ceremony for us during the meeting.  This would usually be reserved for special occasions in Ethiopia, particularly to welcome guests.  She said that moms sometimes have coffee ceremonies amongst themselves after their children go to school and their husbands to work – coffee talk seems to be a universal activity!

Meaza started by roasting the green coffee beans in a pan and then walked around the room allowing the aroma waft over all of us.  She prepared the coffee and poured it into traditional cups that were similar in size to espresso cups.  Ethiopian coffee is extremely dark and strong and is mixed with lots of sugar.  Popcorn is a customary snack eaten alongside the coffee.


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