Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Entoto Mountain


On our first trip to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, we plan on staying there about a week. It sounds like we'll be able to see our darling a few hours each day before we pass court. This will leave a big chunk of time to go sightseeing and learning as much as we can about our her country. While we wait (and wait), I thought I could start researching some of the places tourists end up in Addis. If you have been to any of these places, please feel free to add any comments. I'd love to hear your input!

At 10,827 feet above sea level, Entoto Mountain is the highest peak overlooking Addis Ababa. On top of the mountain is a village, an art gallery, and several beautiful churches. It was the location that Menelik II built his small palace when he founded Addis Ababa and is considered very sacred. Many come to the mountain for the healing waters and others to wait outside the church to pray when the bells chime.

In the small museum, there are many articles of great importance to Ethiopia. This would include the ceremonial dress of the king and queen, crowns, weapons, and the drum that announced the march of Adwa against Italian invasion.

The mountain is covered in eucalyptus trees and is sometimes referred to as the "lungs of Addis Ababa." It is a very important source of firewood and you can often see women carrying bundles of wood down to the city. While you are in Addis, you may want to ask to be taken to the Women Fuel Carriers Project and Sherameeda,which is a large market of weavers near the American Embassy. Purchases you make there will benefit the women trying to get out from under the burden of wood carrying.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Yataklete Kilkil



A vegetarian dish from Ethiopia—There are various versions. Here is one we made the other night.
4-6 servings
  • Potatoes-peeled and cut into chunks 6
  • Carrots-peeled and cut--4
  • Green beans, cut in half—1/2 pound
  • Onion, chopped—2
  • Garlic minced—2 cloves
  • Gingerroot, peeled & minced—1 Tablespoon
  • Chili pepper, minced—2-3 (I omitted this)
  • Oil, butter, or niter kibbeh –3 tablespoons (I used niter kibbeh)
  • cardamom—1/2 tsp
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Place potatoes, carrots, and green beans in a large saucepan, cover them with water and add 2 tsp salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, then simmer until veggies are done. Drain, reserve water, and set aside.IMG_4594
2. Place the onion, garlic, ginger, and chile pepper in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
3. Heat oil, butter or niter kibbeh in a large saucepan over med. heat. Add the onion puree and saute until the moisture evaporates and onions lose their rawness (6-8 minutes). Don’t let onions brown.

Our niter kibbeh

4. Add cooked veggies, cardamom, salt, pepper, and about 1/2 cup of reserved water. Stir well and simmer on low heat for 15-30 minutes. (mine didn’t take that long) I also added more of the niter kibbeh.
Serve hot or at room temp.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Foto Friday

Some seriously cute IAN kids!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Amharic Online

More online resources for Amharic:

LanguageLine Services (Amharic over-the-phone interpretation and document translation)

Amharic/Sidama phrases (must be a member of EthiopiaAdopt yahoo group)

Click HERE for posts about language. And as always, please add a comment if you know of any other good resources to share. Thanks!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Keeping Ethiopian Culture Alive for Our Children

Below are a couple of ideas to help families keep Ethiopian culture alive for their kids. Some of the ideas are pretty superficial but hopefully when looked at as a whole they will help our children feel connected to their Ethiopian culture.

- Visit Ethiopian restaurants and stores and meet the proprieters and have conversations about history, current events, culture, etc. (Visit this SITE to find an Ethiopian restaurant near you.)

- Attend culture camps created for kids adopted from Ethiopia and their families

- Listen to Ethiopian music at home and in the car

- Learn how to cook Ethiopian food as a family (Click HERE for recipes.)

- Read Ethiopian folktales and other children's books (Click HERE for some suggestions.)

- Attend sports/culture events

- Hire a babysitter that speaks Amharic

- Take notice of and/or celebrate Ethiopian holidays

- Set your digital TV recorder (tivo, dish, direct, etc.) to record any program with "Ethiopia" in the title or description (I've gotten some great documentaries this way.)

- Have Ethiopian art, items, books, etc., displayed throughout the home

- Have birth family contact (if they are also interested) through letters and photos exchanged through your agency

- Join local playgroups for children adopted from Ethiopia so other ideas can be exchanged between families

I would love to hear what others are doing to keep culture alive in their families. Please share more ideas in the comments section. Thank you!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Foto Friday

Friday wouldn't be complete without some IAN beautiful babes!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Doro Wat Recipe


Doro Wat is probably the best known food from Ethiopia. It is traditionally very spicy but you can tailor it to your taste.

You can see it in the above photo. It's inthe middle of the plate. Next time I fix it, I'll get a better photo but I like this one. Ab looks so little here! It is just several weeks after bringing Ab home. We had gone to the Blue Nile to get some food he would recognize!

4-6 Servings
  • chicken legs & thighs –2 pounds
  • lemon, juice only—1
  • salt—2 tsps
  • onions, chopped—2
  • garlic, crushes—3 cloves
  • gingerroot, peeled & chopped, 2 tbs.
  • oil, butter, or niter kibbeh—1/4 cup
  • paprika—2 tbsp
  • Berbere –1/4-1/2 cup
  • water or stock—3/4 cup
  • red wine—1/4 cup (optional)
  • cayenne pepper—1/2 to 2 tsp
  • salt and pepper—to taste
  • hard boiled eggs—4
Mix together chicken pieces, lemon juice, and salt in large bowl (non reactive) and marinate for 30 minutes. While chicken is marinating---puree the onions, garlic, and ginger in a food processor or blender. Add a little water if needed.
Heal the oil, butter, or niter kibbeh in a large pot over medium heat. Add paprika and stir. Cook for 1 minute. Do not burn! Stir in berbere and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the pureed mixture and sauté until most of the moisture evaporates and the onion cooks down. About 5-10 minutes. Careful not to burn!
Pour water or stock and wine in and stir in the chicken pieces, cayenne, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add water as necessary to maintain a sauce like consistency.
Add whole hard boiled eggs and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and very tender.
Adjust seasoning if you need to and serve hot with injera or rice!
I have also cooked this by adding it in the crockpot after sautéing the mixture and that does well also!

Monday, June 14, 2010

IAN's New Care Center

In early May, IAN kids (and their playground equipment!) were moved to a new spacious care center in Addis Ababa. The previous care center could accommodate about 25 children and the new place has space for about 35-40 kids.

Below are some shots of the exterior:

The infant room is behind the balcony (in the center of this photo).

Here is a shot of the balcony where the kids eat lunch on the tables and chairs.

The classroom is the door you see on the balcony, to the right of the slide. Underneath is a garage area that the kids like to play in because it is cool.

The toddlers/preschoolers sleep in the green building (located to the left of the building shown above).

Laundry, laundry and more...laundry!

Large cheery play yard in the front.

Additional play equipment for the kids.

Thanks to the recently traveled family for providing these photos!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Foto Friday

Gorgeous vivacious IAN kiddos!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Realistic Expectations: The first year home

EMK Press and a number of other adoption professionals recently put together a 50 page guide for new adoptive parents. It's called Realistic Expectations and can be downloaded HERE. (Once you click through scroll to the bottom of the page for the link to download the documents.)

A number of the articles have been reprinted from the Adoption Parenting book, while there are others that were specifically created for this guide. It has already helped families who are currently on their adoption trips.

The guide contains the following articles:

A Different Perspective by Cynthia Hockman-Chupp
Strategies for Building Attachment by Karleen Gribble, BRurSc, PhD
Top Ten Tips for Successful First Year Parenting by Deborah Gray, MSW, MPA
Why Grandma Can’t Pick Up the Baby by Sheena Macrae and Karleen Gribble
What is This Thing You Call Sleep? by Dr Julian Davies, MD
Transitional Feeding Difficulties by Dr Julian Davies, MD
Alone No More...Recognizing Post Adoption Depression by Heatherly Bucher
Adding The Oldest by Terra Trevor
Creating a Fit by Carrie Kitze
“When Do You Tell a Child He was Adopted?”And Other Secrets We Shouldn’t Keep by Adam Pertman
Unexpected Special Needs by Nancy Hemenway
Positive Outcome: How Can You Combat the Effects of an Orphanage By Mary Beth Williams, PhD, LCSW, CTS
The Impact of Trauma on the Adopted Child by B. Bryan Post
Ten Keys to Healing Trauma in the Adopted Child by B. Bryan Post
How to Find a Therapist Experienced in Attachment and/or Trauma tips from the Attachment & Trauma Network
Sensory Integration And the Internationally Adopted Child By Barbara Elleman, MHS, OTR/L, BCP
Facts About Parenting a Child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder By Teressa Kellerman
How to Avoid the Syndrome of Parent Burn-Out by Harriet McCarthy
Being an Ally to Families Raising Children with Challenges by Ellin Frank
Help Your Child Ward Off a Mad Attack by Lynne Namke, EdD
Being with Your Child in Public Places by Patty Wipfler
Strategies to Deal with Anger and Power Struggles by Christopher J. Alexander, PhD
When Adoptions Fail by Kim Phagan-Hansel

Monday, June 7, 2010

Desta Mender - Daytrip from Addis

From Sara (an IAN mom that traveled in April 2010):

Just thought I would share a very special place that anyone would have time to visit while in Ethiopia. I think it's so important to get out of Addis as the majority of our kids don't come from the city, but the beautiful countryside.

The Hamlin Fistula Hospital has a community on the outskirts of the city where those with chronic, irreparable injuries can live and work. It's called Desta Mender. They have recently opened a restaurant there and all are encouraged to go on Saturdays and Sundays for lunch (and maybe other times, but I'm not sure!). They have really yummy meat pies (like Chicken pot pie) and quiches. All made with the veggies, etc... grown on their farm. The women also make handicrafts and you can buy them there, which make for meaningful souvenirs.

It is GORGEOUS and green farmland where they grow vegetables, have chickens, etc... You eat outside over looking a pond and pasture. It's a GREAT escape out of the pollution of Addis and I'm so glad I took my parents there to see something outside of the city. I just posted one pic of the area you overlook when you eat. A great place for the little ones to run around! And, the women there LOVE to see the kids.

It's really close to the city, and I imagine safe to go to even with the travel limitations of election time this summer.

I hope some of you go to check it out! Just tell your driver to take Ambo Road out of the city. In about 10-15 km, you will see a sign for Desta Mender on the left. You follow this road up and just tell the guards you are eating at 'Juniper Cafe'.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Foto Friday

Smiles all around for IAN kiddos!