To start, here’s an open letter into my heart. Ha! Just kidding. Whew, that would be dangerous ground. So, one more reason why blogging is slow, every attempt ends up dry or so chock full of varied musings, I delight in deleting.
Before our friends returned to Canada and the USA for the summer, we traveled to the area where they live, among the Gumuz people. Where we live is rural, where they live would be considered “in the bush”.
Driving down from the highlands onto bumpy, dusty paths, our family commented often on how glad we are that we live on a main road.
Because our rainy season is longer and the weather cooler, we don’t deal with so much dust in our area.
Ethiopia has over 80 languages and in a relatively small land space, incredibly diverse peoples and climates. It’s amazing to observe ways of doing life, completely different from other neighboring groups. Here is a town we drove through, in kilometers not far from where we live, but in way of life, so varied.
Climbing trees with friends.
(I had permission from all of the following people to take these pictures)
Jon sat in at the men’s group after church
I joined the women and children. The Gumuz people are amazing at song and I watched women teach a new song.
A few boys who wanted their picture taken.
A beautiful, young mama. While we were there, temps were around 110 degrees F, a shock to our high altitude systems.
A morning hike, trying to beat the heat.
I walked with friends into a village to visit one of their friends. We were served a traditional drink that is their staple food. It was hard for me to stomach but very nutritive. I’ve learned to like a lot of things, so I am sure with time, I could learn this drink as well. Nearing the end of rainy season, the drink was almost the only food available.
This woman and her daughter were people I had prayed for though I had never met them. Because of a cultural practice, the family owed a debt to another family that could be paid with cows. The family had no cows and so the daughter was to be payment so she could be a slave in another tribe. Understandably, her Mama was heartbroken and desperate. God intervened through the prayers and gifts of people and the debt was paid, so, at least for now, this eight-year old girl is safe.
This kind man welcomed us into his home and pulled up a stump for us. His tie showed his ingenuity. He spoke a little Amharic, so I could follow some of the conversation with him. Most of the other people only spoke Gumuz.
So glad to see God’s work here and watch our friends in their day-to-day life. The Gumuz people have been marginalized in a myriad of ways, so much hard, but amazing to see where light is piercing the darkness.