September 30, 2008


In light of everything that is filling up the news lately I wanted to remind myself what real poverty is and just how fortunate we are. We have nothing to fear, if we become sick we can go to a hospital. If we are thirsty we can turn on a tap. If we lose our jobs we have family that we can lean on. I don't live in a refugee camp, or in a war zone, I live in a house that has heat and electricity. I remember when I drew a picture of a typical Canadian house with a young child in the Philippines and he asked me how many rooms were in my house. He then asked me who lives in my garage. I had to tell him that that is where we keep our car, I will never forget his face. I felt so ashamed.

What is poverty?

Absolute poverty is based on subsistence, a minimum standard needed to live. Seebohm Rowntree's research identified a 'poverty line' on the basis of minimum needs. The Copenhagen Declaration defines absolute poverty as "a condition characterised by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to social services."

Relative poverty is based on a comparison of poor people with others in society. Peter Townsend defines poverty as "the absence or inadequacy of those diets, amenities, standards, services and activities which are common or customary in society."

(mother with child during the famine in Ethiopia this past June)

Here are some more statistics to give you some perspective:


Population: 82 million
Life expectancy at birth: 52 years
Maternal Mortality ratio (per 100,000 births): 720
Population Access to water source: 42%
Population Access to saniation facilities: 11%
% of Population Aged 0-14 years: 44%
Gross National Income per capita: $630


Population: 33 million
Life expectancy at birth: 80 years
Maternal Mortality ratio (per 100,000 births): 7
Population Access to water source: 100%
Population Access to saniation facilities: 100%
% of Population Aged 0-14 years: 18%
Gross National Income per capita: $36,280

"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." Psalm 82:3-4

September 24, 2008

"His banner over you, his banner over me, his banner over us, is love love love"

I honestly can't believe I completed this project and that it wasn't too difficult. I tried knitting last year and it was WAY harder. Sewing is actually quite fun! Yeah!

I promised pictures so here it is.... I haven't officially hung it up yet so it's just draped from the blinds for now.

Not sure what to say that Ben Harper hasn't already sung for me about the wait... we're just trying to be patient over here.

I heard that our agency now has a stricter policy about not referring any children until every piece of paperwork is completed (they used to just trust that the orphanage would follow through on the documents). The rumour is that there are babies waiting right now on missing documents before they can be referred. I also heard that the director went to Ethiopia to hopefully figure things out but as far as i know she's back and there's still nothing! Mike called me at work the other day and was like, "Wow, don't you sound happy to hear from me. Why are you so disappointed?" Hm..... do I need to remind you what my heart does every time the phone rings???

September 17, 2008

6 months... starting to feel overdue.

Well, we've officially made it to the 6 month point. It's a strange feeling.... like you are so close but yet it still feels like it may never happen at the same time. It's tiring getting your hopes up that "today could be the day" when it is not. There haven't been any referrals since August 28th.... I figured there would be a dry spell after having so many referrals all at once. I just hope it doesn't last too long!

September 10, 2008

Happy New Years!!! Melkam Addis Amet!!!

"Enkutatash or Ithiopian (Ethiopian) New Year is celebrated on September 11th according to the Western or Gregorian calendar. Ithiopia still follows the Orthodox Julian calendar which consists of 12 months of 30 days and a 13th month, Pagume, of five or six days, depending on whether or not it is a leap year. The Ethiopian calendar is seven years and eight months behind the Gregorian calendar, so September 2001 is Meskerem 1994 in Ethiopia."

Today is New Years Eve in Ethiopia, and tomorrow it will be 2001!!!! Happy New Year's baby!!!

"Enkutatash is an important festival in the lives of Ethiopians. After three months of heavy rains the sun comes out creating a beautiful clear fresh atmosphere. The highland fields turn to gold as the Meskal daisies burst into flower. When Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, returned to Ethiopia after her famous visit to King Solomon, her chiefs welcomed her forward by giving her "enku" or jewels. Enkutatash which means "gift of jewels"' has been celebrated ever since in spring. Meskerem is seen as a month of transition from the old year to the new. It is a time to express hopes and dreams for the future."

"On New Year's Eve, torches of dry leaves and wood bundled in the form of tall and thick sticks are also set on fire in front of houses as the young and old sing. Early in the morning everybody goes to Church wearing traditional Ethiopian clothing. After Church there is a family meal of Injera (flat bread) and Wat (stew). The girls go from house to house singing New Year songs for money and the boys sell pictures that they have drawn. In the evening families go to visit their friends and drink tella the traditional Ethiopian beer. While the elders discuss their hopes for the New Year the children go and spend the money they have earned. In more recent times it has also become usual for well-to-do city dwellers to send each other New Year greetings cards instead of the more traditional bunches of flowers."

I wish I was in Ethiopia so badly right now..... I would LOVE to be a part of this culture and all of its traditions. I can't wait!

ps: congratulations Erin on the birth of baby Elijah!!!

September 9, 2008

Waiting for You...

I've been waiting for you
I've been waiting for you
Never found enything else to do
But waiting for you

I've been calling your name
I've been calling your name
Never found anything else to say
Nothing to say

You can kill a lot of time if you really want put your mind do it
Leave it all behind if you never wanna go through it

I keep hearing your name
I keep hearing your name
Nothing else sounds the same
As hearing your name

You can kill a lot of time if you really put your mind to it
Or leave it all behind and never ever go through it

I' ve been hoping for you
Keep hoping for you
What else can I do
But keep hoping for you?

You can kill a lot of time if you really put your mind to it
Or leave it all behind and never ever go through it

We can kill a lot and never really have to go through it

What else can I do
But keep waiting for you?