Category Archives: Background

General information about the places we go.

Kaldi’s

Ethiopia is not only the cradle of mankind, it’s the birthplace of coffee. According to historian Antony Wild in Coffee: A Dark History, Lucy and her prehistoric friends might even have been chewing on the beans. Later, the first roasted … Continue reading

Posted in Addis Ababa, Background, Food | 1 Comment

Lucy: “I’m home!”

Lucy’s back in town. AL 288-1, aka Lucy, was discovered in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia in 1974.  The hundreds of little pieces add up to about 40% of the skeleton of a 3.2 million year old female Australopithecus afarensis.  … Continue reading

Posted in Addis Ababa, Background, Ethiopia | Tagged | 2 Comments

Orthodox Easter, twice

I’m not a churchy person – my religious affiliation might be described as lapsed Unitarian – but I do get into the pageantry and mood of religious festivals. Maybe even more than some, because I’m not bothered by questions of … Continue reading

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From our roving reporter

My daughter Alekka reports on her Grade 10 Week Without Walls experience in… Oops, wrong map. Gondar and Lalibela… Every year at ICS each grade level takes a trip. Freshmen always go to the Bale Mountains, juniors to Woliso, and… … Continue reading

Posted in Around Ethiopia, Background, Ethiopia, International Community School | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Battle of Adwa

Last night our school commemorated one of the most important events in Ethiopian history: the defeat of General Oreste Baratieri’s Italian army by Emperor Menelik II’s Ethiopian forces at Adwa on March 1, 1896. A little background: By the late … Continue reading

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Who’s your daddy?

Ethiopians use patronyms (those fancy words I learned in anthropology class are finally getting some use).  Here, if a man’s name is Berhanu Getachew, his given name is Berhanu and his father’s given name is Getachew.  There is no family … Continue reading

Posted in Background, Ethiopia | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Here we go again…

This time around I’m not going to apologize for letting the blog languish.  One thing I’ve learned is that acclimating to a new country takes a little while, and during that adjustment period it’s hard for me to muster up … Continue reading

Posted in Addis Ababa, Background, Ethiopia | 1 Comment

Typing lessons

Our new insurance policy is underwritten by Lloyd’s of London.  For some obscure reason, they require us to submit our blood type.  This turns out to be much more difficult than you would think. Back in middle school biology class … Continue reading

Posted in Background, Expat experience, Syria | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

FAQs

1. Will you have to wear a burqa? No.  Although 85% of the population is Muslim, Syria is officially a secular state and there is no legally-mandated dress code. Some women wear burqas, some wear the hijab (headscarf), others wear … Continue reading

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Siberia?

When Alekka told the kids at her school she was moving to Syria, some of them weren’t  too clear on the geography.  “You’re moving to Siberia?” It drove her nuts for a little while, but that’s middle school for you. Now … Continue reading

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