Monday, May 31, 2010

Immunizations and Staying Healthy in Country



The Center for Disease Control provides tips on preparing to travel, safety while in country, staying healthy, travel warnings, immunizations for every age of person traveling, things to take with you, and other travel related tips and resources. I would suggest thoroughly checking out this site before you leave.

The immunizations they recommend are: Yellow Fever, Hep A and Hep B, Rabies, Typhoid, Meningitis and Polio along with regular updates for all immunizations. Malaria is only needed outside of Addis Ababa.

We got all of these and so did our two elementary aged daughters who traveled with us. We believe in immunizations. We have lived in a third world country and seeing what preventable diseases can do to a person, a community and a nation......... well, we believe in immunizations.

Staying Healthy in Country

I would recommend that you take for at least a week before going some sort of pro-biotic like Acidophiles tablets. They come in all sorts. A great form is the non refrigerated Pearl. You can get it at Walmart. We like the chewable ones at Kroger related stores for kids.You should continue to take this while you are there and after you come home for a time. Hey, why not just keep taking it, it's good for you anyway. :)

I would also suggest taking an immune booster like Airbornebefore you travel and while you are there. Take it every day. You will be exposed to many different virus' and you DON'T want to catch them.

If you have environmental allergies or asthma. The smog is horrendous. You will NEED your meds, any you can possibly take. Also take decongestant and a cough syrup like Delsym. Just take your antihistamine every single day.

Other medications I would suggest are: Scabies cream Permethrin 5%, Ring worm treatment Lotramin Ultra, Pure Tea Tree Oil for this also. Children's medications for cold and allergies. Pain meds and IcyHot for the new muscles you will develop carrying around your new child.

If you can manage this, I would suggest taking a water purifierwith you. REI sells a ultraviolet light SteriPen which is awesome. You just stick it in the jug for a certain amount of time and wa-la you have pure water. We used that and it was great. Or you can buy water. Drink LOTS of water.

For altitude: We have always lived over 6000 feet, so the altitude did not bother us. But, for many of our guests we have learned some great tips. In order to thin your blood and thereforeneed less oxygen you should take an Aspirin each day (like Bayer's not Advil). In order to help your blood absorb more oxygen you should take several Tums or Rolaids each day. Avoid as much caffeine as possible (yeah right, tired parents need their caffeine, plus the great Ethiopian coffee), well balance it with more water than you would ordinarily drink, hence that SteriPen. You will feel better and function better and not be as tired.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Foto Friday

It's almost summertime! Time for bathing suits and popsicles for our IAN cuties!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

National Day

Tomorrow (5/28) is Ethiopia's National Day though the official name of the holiday is Derg Downfall Day as it commemorates the end of the Derg (or Dergue) dictatorship in 1991.

Read about the history of the Derg at Wikipedia.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Julian Calendar

The calendars of the entire world are based on the work of the old Egyptian astronomers who discovered - as early as three to four thousand years BC - that the solar or sidereal year lasted slightly less than 365 ¼ days. However, it was left to the astronomers of the Alexandrian school to incorporate this knowledge into some sort of calendar; and it was these astronomers who also came up with the idea of leap years.

Subsequently, the Romans under Julius Caesar borrowed their reformed calendar from the Alexandrian science and adopted it to the western world. Then the Copts inherited this science as a right and built upon it themselves. In due course, the Copts handed this calendar, together with their method of computing the date of Easter, on to their descendant Church in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian year therefore has something in common with the western year, having been derived from the same source.

So much so that the Ethiopian calendar retains the old Egyptian system whereby the year was divided into twelve months of thirty days each plus one additional month of five days (six days in leap years). Ethiopian dates therefore, fall 7- 8 years behind western dates and have done so since early Christian times. This discrepancy results from differences between the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Churchas to the date of the creation of the world.

Each Ethiopian year is dedicated to one of the four Evangelists according to the cycle: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The year of St. Luke is Leap Year, and therefore always has six days in the thirteenth month of the Ethiopian calendar.

This site will convert Julian to Gregorian and vice versa.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Upcoming summer fun...

Family Journeys Camp is hosted by IAN but open to all families regardless of agency. It is a week long camp (August 2-6, 2010) for kids 3-18 years old adopted from Ethiopia and their parents and siblings. The schedule has just been posted and includes music and dance, crafts and Amharic, cooking and hair styling, adjustment and incorporating Ethiopian culture into daily American life. It is guaranteed to be a rewarding experience...and registration is a steal. See the links below to find out more:

Click here for the camp schedule.
Click here for further details and to register.

Also a quick note to save the date...the 2010 IAN families picnic will be held in Centennial, CO the day after the Family Journeys Camp on Sunday, August 8. As more info becomes available it will be on the News and Updates blog.


Monday, May 24, 2010

SNNPR and Sidama

SNNPR stands for Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region. It is located in the southwestern corner of Ethiopia. Awasa (also spelled Awassa or Hawassa) is the capital. This link is for the SNNPR's tourism bureau.

the SNNPR flag

SNNPR in red

Sidama is one of the zones within SNNPR and where many IAN children come from. Awasa is also the capital of Sidama.

the Sidama flag

I recently found this website specifically about Sidama. There are beautiful pictures and interesting info like the fact that those in Sidama have a unique New Years festival called Fiche. I highly recommend reading (or printing and reading) the magazine at the bottom of the homepage.

This site has some information about Sidama's religion, politics, economy, etc.

This blog post has some interesting folklore about the Sidama region.

The map below details the SNNPR area of Ethiopia. Sidama is the light grey area on the right side of the map.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Foto Friday

It's Friday and I'm in love!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Twins in Ethiopia

Around the world, twins can be seen as a double blessing. Unfortunately, in developing countries, twins are also often seen as a double burden.

Ethiopia has twice as many twin births as Europe. Many twins are born prematurely and are unable to receive sufficient breastmilk if their mothers are malnourished. With not enough food, an astonishing 1 in 3 twins, in Ethiopia, will die before they turn 1 year old.

The Gemini Trust is an NGO dedicated to helping families in Addis with twins. Click here for more information.

If anyone has any more twin (or multiple) facts, please leave a comment. Thank you.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Addis - The Capital

Addis Ababa is the capital and the largest city of Ethiopia and is currently home to nearly 3 million people. It is located on a well-watered plateau surrounded by hills and mountains, in the geographic center of the country. Only since the late 19th century has Addis been the capital of the Ethiopian state. Its immediate predecessor, Entoto, was situated on a high tableland and was found to be unsatisfactory because of extreme cold and an acute shortage of firewood.

Empress Taitu, wife of Emperor Menilek II (reigned 1889-1913), persuaded the emperor to build a house near the hot springs at the foot of the tableland and to grant land in the area to members of the nobility. The city was thus founded in 1889 and was named Addis Ababa meaning 'New Flower' by the empress. In its first years the city was more like a military encampment than a town. The central focus was the emperor's palace, which was surrounded by the dwellings of his troops and of his innumerable retainers. As the population increased, firewood became scarce. In 1905 a large number of eucalyptus trees were imported from Australia; the trees spread and provided a forest cover for the city.

Addis Ababa was the capital of Italian East Africa from 1935 to 1941. Modern stone houses were built during this period, particularly in the areas of European residence, and many roads were paved. Other innovations included the establishment of a water reservoir at Gefarsa to the west and the building of a hydroelectric station at Akaki to the south. There were only limited changes in Addis between 1941 and 1960, but development has been impressive since then.

Addis is the site of the country's most prestigious university - Addis Ababa University - and contains several teacher-training colleges and technical schools. Also located in the city are the Museum of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (operated by the university), the National School of Music, the National Library and Archives, palaces of former emperors, and governmental ministries. Several international organizations have their headquarters in the city; the most important are the Organization of African Unity, which is now moved to South Africa, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, both located in Africa Hall.

Addis Ababa's manufactures include textiles, shoes, food, beverages, wood products, plastics, and chemical products. Most of Ethiopia's service industries are also located in the city. Banking and insurance services are concentrated in Addis Ababa, and the nation's major newspapers are published there.

Mercato - located in the western part of the city - is one of the largest open-air markets in Africa. And Piazza - in the central city - contains the more elegant shopping centers, boutiques, trendy caf├ęs and restaurants. In Amharic it's called Arada, meaning a place where the hip and trendy congregate. It's where most people especially youngsters hangout for many social reasons. There, one can get a hold of what the Ethiopian capital has to offer ranging from theater and cinemas, food and beverage, clothing and cosmetics, to different luxurious services for the extravagant.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Foto Friday

Enjoy more IAN cuties!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Children's Growth Chart, Ethiopia


Just wanted to let you know I have found a GROWTH CHART for Ethiopian Children!!!!!! I posted into Google Docs and here is the link. You can print this off and use it for your children. Here it is below, but too small to use.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Family Journeys Cultural Camp

International Adoption Net (IAN) is hosting it's first ever cultural camp, Family Journeys. It will take place August 2-6, 2010 in Centennial, CO. Read below for more details:

Celebrate our children’s heritage by joining us for our first annual summer camp for families of Ethiopia adoption. This week long camp will focus on cultural adjustment and support for youth ages 3-18 as well as parents and siblings.

This is a great opportunity for families and youth to hear about others adoption journeys, challenges and rewards. The camp is open to all families.

Who:All families and youth of Ethiopian adoption
Where:Joyous Chinese Cultural Center
6940 S. Holly Circle, Centennial, CO 80122
When:Monday thru Friday. August 2 - 6, 2010
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Cost:$100 for first child, $50 for each additional child.

Activities will include:

  • Ethiopian arts classes including dance, drumming and mask making

  • Ethiopian cooking classes

  • Amharic language classes

  • Hair styling including a hair braiding demonstration by Mona Lisa salon

  • Ethiopian games and activities

  • Mommy/Daddy and me class

  • Adjustment groups and lessons for children, teens and parents

  • How to incorporate Ethiopian culture into American life

  • Ethiopian celebration!!

  • Guest speakers: To Be Announced.

If you would like to join us, please click on the “Camp Pre-Registration” button .

Camp Pre-Registration

We hope to see you all soon!

For more information, contact Liz Bogetveit at International Adoption Net:



Friday, May 7, 2010

Foto Friday

Sibling love!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Patriot's Victory Day

Today is a public holiday in Ethiopia commemorating the liberation from Italian occupation by the Allies during the East African Campaign of 1941.

Read more about the East African Campaign of World War II on Wikipedia.

Monday, May 3, 2010

ESFNA 2010 Event

ESFNA stands for Ethiopia Sports Federation of North America. It was founded in 1984 and promotes soccer and cultural events to the Ethiopian communities within the US.

Every year, ESFNA hosts a week-long event that draws more than 20,000 participants. For 2010, the event will take place in San Jose, California, June 27-July 3. In addition to soccer (men's, women's and children's), I believe there are also concerts, table tennis tournaments, vendors, golf tournaments and cultural activities.

For more information about this summer's event or ESFNA in general, visit their website.

And if you've attended one of these annual events, please leave a comment letting us know more about it and your experience. Thank you...