EMMABE1   180,356
100,000 or more SparkPoints
EMMABE1's Recent Blog Entries

Australian Easter Holiday

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This year the Easter Holiday has grown into a 5 day holiday, starting tonight (its Thursday here already)!!
We normally have a 4 day holiday – with Good Friday and Easter Monday being added to the weekend as public holiday but this year another traditional holiday collides with the Easter – ANZAC Day – and so that holiday is on the Monday and Easter Monday is on the Tuesday – o in effect we have Friday, Sat, Sun, Mon and Tuesday as holiday!!
Some places will be open – the larger supermarkets and so forth – and in the tourist areas, restaurants etc, but a lot will close.
A lot of people like to go away for Easter and having the extra day had compounded that – the roads in this area are already chocka – and there have been crashes from impatience ad speed!!
This morning I slipped into town to pick up some fresh fruit and veg and catch a Curves Zumba class – and it was already busy in the shops. Everyone in a hurry, pushing and shoving everywhere!!
Then we went home by the ferry terminal and the 4WDs were 3 deep lined out of the gates – maybe 100 waiting!! It will be all day before they all get over there!! And we were home and unpacked by 9.00am!!
We are on the mainland just over the water is Fraser Island – the biggest sand island in the word and a big tourist drawcard. It is a very popular place for people to go for Easter though its far nicer as far as I am concerned when there are less people there!! It will be very crowded over the holiday!!
We are hibernating in our own house and grounds – as we always do for the holiday – the next trip I will make to town will be on Wednesday next!!
So I hope you all have a very Happy Easter – and a healthy, enjoyable one too

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIDMIS 4/24/2011 10:34PM

    What a wonderful long Holiday for you guys.
Yesterday a friend and I were going to the beach. He is from out of town and I told him it would be crowded and busy. Oh, that is ok he said.
Well we got with maybe 10 to 15 miles from the causeway that leads over to South Padre Island and cars were lined up and barely moving. Finally we saw a lot turning back. He said it will take us all day to get there so finally we turned around and came back also. We had driven maybe 60 miles. We found a good seafood place and had a wonderful lunch.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSIEPH1 4/24/2011 5:50PM

  We will be staying home for Easter LOL!!
Too many cars on the roads.. Have a safe and happy Easter ... hugs emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FLAMINGOLESLIE 4/21/2011 11:19PM

    I can't imagine why anyoe would want to leave your place to go anywhere else! Your place is gorgeous!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEELYNNE1 4/21/2011 10:57AM

    Sounds like you're celebrating the holiday the way I usually do (I live in California, also near beaches where hordes of people go on holidays) - hide in the house until the holiday's over and the crowds are gone. THEN I can go to the beach! Hope you enjoy the holiday too!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GAARAMA 4/21/2011 10:11AM

    It is good to hear how Easter is celebrated in other places. Not much different here in the USA
Most popular places are over flowing with people,churches especially are packed full. I am sure the business people are happy and God must be pleased to have a house full too.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NOLAZYBUTT110 4/21/2011 9:02AM

    Hope you can enjoy the Holiday! Happy Easter! He's Risen already but in your hearts its a different story! Try and believe it every moment and those tourist wont get to you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
YIGOBUTTERFLY 4/21/2011 8:14AM

    I was in Cairns for Christmas several years ago and made plans for Christmas day to go out on the Barrier Reef. Did not realize that we should have made plans for Boxing Day because everything was closed down then too. It was a great trip!

Jane on Guam

Report Inappropriate Comment
IRONGRANNIE 4/21/2011 1:49AM

    Same here! All day the radio has been giving traffic reports but there is only one road to get to the South Coast so they will all queue. Like you, we are hibernating at home!

I often wonder where it is all these poeple come from? I want to go there!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUNEBUG150 4/21/2011 12:33AM

    I agree, it is interesting to read how others celebrate Easter or other holidays for that matter. We are staying home for Easter as well, that is after we get home from church :)
My daughters and I will cook dinner and we might even have an egg hunt for the grandkids. I told my grandaughter we would make a lamb cake, should be interesting. Hope you have a lovely Easter!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JILL313 4/20/2011 11:43PM

    So interesting to read about your Easter Holiday Season there--thank you for sharing this insight!! We're going to have a quiet Easter here and I will be having an Easter Brunch for my family. My oldest son will be having an Easter Egg Hunt for my 2 year old Grandson--it will be fun just watching him find those large plastic eggs. Easter is always on a Sunday and it's only the school children that get a week off usually either the week before or after Easter. Of Coarse, here, even though we're supposed to be a Christian Country we now have to call it Spring Break and not Easter Break--but that's another story. Have a good quiet Easter!



Report Inappropriate Comment
MS.ELENI 4/20/2011 11:15PM

    We will also be staying home for Easter.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SANDYBRUNO 4/20/2011 10:51PM

    I hope you have a happy Easter too in spite of all the extra people. I'm sure that would be a headache trying to get around.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
46SHADOW 4/20/2011 10:21PM

    Enjoy your extra long week end. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSIEPH1 4/20/2011 9:41PM

  I remember Harvey Bay as being a very sleepy seaside hamlet .. mind you, that was back in the late 70,s .
I can Imagine just how busy it is ...
It is really busy here in Mildura this year .
I think everyone has moved out of the Cities and come to our gorgeous inland river paradise...
Have a wonderful quiet relaxing Easter Break ...
Hugs emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/20/2011 9:42:38 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
ARLENE_MOVES 4/20/2011 9:23PM

    Sounds a bit crazy. MD has that in the summer with everyone going to the ocean. The traffic is backed up forever and from what I understand, the cost of everything is outrageous.

DH and I, like you and yours, prefer to stay home when everyone else goes. Good thing to do.

Report Inappropriate Comment

I really have to wonder.............???

Saturday, April 16, 2011

As I go around Sparkpeople – I often check out blogs and status statements. Although there are some people who are definitely making an effort I am left wondering what the others are doing??
I realise that the Sparkpeople principal is that if you eat something off your program you forget it and get back to program at the next meal!!
This works in some cases, however, time and time again I see people who have eaten right off program on one day, then say they feel ill as a result, then the next day, and in many cases the day after, they repeat the same thing again!!

Why?? I am fairly sure this is not what Sparkpeople mean.

We all go off program occasionally but not every day, time after time!!
Weight loss takes time, effort and sacrifice by the person doing it!! No matter how much information is available to you on this site – and there is a huge library of wonderful information available – it is YOU that needs to actually make that effort to commit!!
Certainly at the start of my commitment I made a lot of sacrifices. It has got easier in the time I have been working on it – now the program is a total way of life – it has become almost reflex and I don’t eat off the program even if I go out!! I chose places where suitable menus are available!! Friends now know I am serious – they serve suitable food or ask me to meet them at the pool, or in the park instead of basing a social occasion on food.

But, I can hear you say, its easy for you now – they can see that you are committed to succeeding!!
Stop and think for a moment about that statement – If I hadn’t made the commitment at the start, if I hadn’t made the necessary sacrifices and changes and kept to the program at the start , if day after day I had eaten what I wanted. If I had said, “Oh well! Tomorrow is another day” then what would I have to show for it?? Would my family be backing me still, and would my friends be backing me?? I don’t think so!! This is not to say I was and still am always perfect – Never!! However its an ODD occasion, then straight back on program – and I have my results to help keep me on track!!
Had I not made that initial commitment – there would be no results !!

The same now with exercise – I get up in the morning and exercise - its like another part of getting dressed, like cleaning teeth, or doing hair!! Even if I go to Curves, and whether I go or not depends on whether I have to go to town since petrol cost has sky rocketed, I still do at least 1 DVD first thing!!

However I feel so very sad for those who are for ever going off program – each time off is more junk for the body to cope with, more bad habits to try to over write in the brain. Each time getting back is harder, requires more effort, more commitment!! So often – this ends up proving too hard – and they end up giving up!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STOP-IT-KNOW 6/4/2011 5:37PM

    thank you thankyou. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEBIGENE 4/27/2011 11:03PM

    Dear Ann I so agree with you. I have a friend that "claims" she watching what she eats as I mumble under my breathe - I'm sure you are , watching every bite you put in your mouth - NOT !!!! I knew this was gonna be a committment from the start and I have been committed, I have made such drastic changes and am very happen and content with these changes. I don't want to eat like I use to, I like new things in place of the old now. Yes I do indulge occassionally but not regularly. I am in control now, not the food. Thanks for this blog it, is a great one.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRACTALMYTH 4/24/2011 5:19PM

    OK, guilty as charged. Integrating a new workload and the resulting lack of sleep has really mucked with my control over other things... but it's just an excuse and I have to work out a way to deal with it here and now instead of some indeterminate time in the future when things settle down, because then there will be new challenges to deal with. Back to the baby steps :D

Report Inappropriate Comment
GAARAMA 4/18/2011 10:03AM

    There is so much truth in what you say,thank you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRACYZABELLE 4/18/2011 4:21AM

    You are correct-- if peopel know when they are doing wrong-- why not stop it and rethink before opening their mouths??

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYDIASPURPLE 4/17/2011 12:08PM

    While I am already awake emoticon so not needing a wake up call, I agree with you.

No judgement here, but you can almost feel in the language some use of the passivity or wimping out or the "either/or" all of nothing which can set one of to fall language. As in already justifying but looking for am easy weigh out of something. Knowing is one thing, having faith is still another, but dagnab it work has to be put in!

So you didn't get to the gym. Could you walk around the block or walk back & forth in your home? Something?

Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr said "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.".

Report Inappropriate Comment
FANCIMCG 4/17/2011 11:44AM

    Ann, as usual you provide just more reasons why I consider you my number one inspiration.

I had to have this kinda nifty heart surgery on Tues Apr 5. My heart's electrical system likes to tap dance and play hopscotch, and visits to the ER and heavy drugs weren't controlling it.

It's really unusual for someone my age to have this problem (I'm 48). It started 4 days after an Oct 2009 surgery to remove a disk in my neck that was crushing my spinal cord (I'm nothing if not an excellent topic for medical papers - nothing run of the mill here).

Before the spine surgery, I was terrified - they'd be very close to my spinal cord, and everyone understands what that means. I remember eating my fear. I gained 10 lbs in the weeks before the surgery. I remember shoving food into my mouth, trying to push down the terror inside me. It was gross. Plus, eating didn't lessen the fear of course.

This time, though, I'd been doing Spark. And I made sure I stuck to getting on my treadmill almost every day, seeing my fitness improve in real numbers (I never thought I'd ever try a 10% incline, nevermind actually do it for 4 whole minutes! Jeez, I didn't even know my treadmill went UP to 10% before this year!). I saw my resting heart rate improve tremendously. My blood pressure came down (it wasn't high to begin with, but 109/74 is still better than 125/80).

I also kept my Spark food log, and to be honest, I thought of you a lot. Anytime I'd think 'ohhhh, not the treadmill.....' or 'but I want beer battered onion rings' (read this in your best whinjee-whiner voice), I'd think nope, that's not gonna help. Look at Ann.

If she could stick with it, I can.

We have always eaten very healthy (those onion rings are an anomaly; we eat out less than 3 or 4 times a year, I made my own broths to absolutely control sodium and content, etc.). But I ate too much. And I didn't move at all.

I should have been let out of the hospital the day after the surgery. But my heart decided to go into a-fib the next morning (very common afterwards, and not indicating the procedure didn't work) so I was in there til Friday. I ate all of the heart healthy meals (continually asking why ALL patients in every ward of any hospital wouldn't be getting this food, why they'd be getting fried fish and pulled pork!).

I couldn't move around until late Thursday, after they'd shocked my heart (again). So I knew I wasn't getting movement in, but I knew I was eating low calorie and decent food. There are no vending machines, no order-in pizza in the cardiac units, you know?

When I got home over the weekend, my asthmatic lungs went nuts, couldn't hardly breathe, so I ate almost nothing til Sunday, after starting a 10 day treatment of prednisone.

On Monday morning, I weighed myself, figuring well, with all the mess that's happened, at least I should have gotten a few pounds of weight off!

Nope. I managed to miraculously GAIN 8 pounds.

While it was not happy-making news, I still stuck to my guns. Using the 'Ann stuck with it, I can, it's about changing my life, not about starving to lose poundage'.

I still haven't been able to get on the treadmill yet. BUT! That was one of my first questions to the fabulous doc at the appt when the surgery was decided on - how soon can I get back on the treadmill?

And I meant it!

I'm too pooped to do it yet, I'm aiming for Tuesday (that'll be 2 weeks from the surgery), and I'll do 10 minutes no incline. My heart's still not stable, but the stuff it's doing is common after this surgery. And even though I haven't logged my food since I got home, I have signed into Spark every day since I finally was strong enough to get on the PC after I got home.

Because I wanted to look and see the feed, see what EMMABE1's been doing. Because I knew she'd be doing something good.

Thanks for being my rock in this area. The commitment you made to changing yourself a few years ago not only made a difference for you. It's made an incredible impact on me.

Thank you for all of that -
Mary emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROSAMARCELLE 4/17/2011 10:52AM

    Very true. Let's hope this time round I manage to stay on track. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JILL313 4/17/2011 12:34AM

    Thank you for the great wake up call. . .Yes, way too often I go off program and say well now I'll take those 2 steps forward but who am I hurting but myself. It does take total dedication and willpower and even self-love to do this the way it was meant to be. I want and need to eat within my calorie range every day and up the exercise. You are such a caring and motivating person.

Report Inappropriate Comment
2BEHEALTHYAGAIN 4/17/2011 12:22AM

    emoticon blog!! Sometimes we all need a kick in the butt to get back on track--some of us more than others!! I have that problem with the sodium.....I know that it makes me retain water and that I have to keep it cut back drastically because of my heart failure, but sometimes I just get soooo hungry for dill pickles or cottage cheese or a good bratwurst or other sodium-laden foods that I know I shouldn't eat.

I need to read this blog every morning as a reminder to myself!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/17/2011 12:23:30 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
WENDYJM4 4/17/2011 12:08AM

    excellent blog. So many good points in it. I so agree with you. A very good wake up call, thank you

Report Inappropriate Comment
KERRIEH2 4/16/2011 11:56PM

    I totally agree Ann,

It is the same with every thing we do, it is commitment that makes the difference and seeing and believing in the result.
Love Kerrie emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ARLENE_MOVES 4/16/2011 11:24PM

    Thank you so much for bloging this. It couldn't have come at a better time. I was hungry and grabbed the first thing I show in the fridge. A piece of pizza. I heated it and came to the computer to eat it. Well -- it's now in the trash and I got a cup of ff yogurt instead. I know better and I just celebrated my 15 lb loss -- so why oh why.....

It's been a frustrating day but I shouldn't take it out on ME.

Thanks again -- emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HAPPYBASKET 4/16/2011 10:28PM

    Ann, that Blog should be required reading ( remember those days?) You have wonderful points & even tho I have been out of this world since dental surgery last Tues. I comprehend every word you said. Thank You for your Blogs.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NOLAZYBUTT110 4/16/2011 9:51PM

    You are so right! Commitment to go thru it all and do your best, but I wonder how many get to a plateau and cant seem to get past it? I was doing fine when I had my surgery and then the scale started to go the other way. And wonder what happened!

I am committed to losing weight and I am alway exercising but some days you just get so depressed when others seem to sabotage your efforts. Its like they are jealous of you and feel the need to sabotage you! By bringing cakes and offering such things that are not on your diet. And if you dont eat soemthing they bring , they think the worst of you. And so you cant seem to control anything when people are alway sabotaging your efforts! How do you say no when others are pushing you to eat? They alway seem to say, "come on now one bite wont kill you". I find that attitude is alway there sabotaging your efforts. You cant get rid of family or friend! So how do you oblige them? Spit it in the napkin? It makes me a nervous wreck and I give in...every sunday! I hate weekends!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOMMA_BEAR_69 4/16/2011 8:50PM

    So very true, Ann. I totally agree with you. Although we won't always be perfect, we still need to continue to do the best we can if we hope to get to the healthiest we can be!!!
Blessings and hugs,

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNNBEAV 4/16/2011 8:15PM

    This site is all about commitment. I also feel that those that spend so much time developing this site are owed our very best attempt to use, practice and spread the word as a show of support! After all they are spending a lot of time to bring us all the latest info., by joining; it is up to us to put it all together and Spark a new way of life!! emoticon emoticon EMMABE1, excellant blog! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
THIRDXACHARM 4/16/2011 8:04PM

    Excellent blog. I agree with you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SANDYBRUNO 4/16/2011 7:49PM

    Thank you for a good wake up call. I have been struggling lately. I will go back to where I was last year at this time totally committed to the program and making it work.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSIEPH1 4/16/2011 7:44PM

  I totally agree with you Ann !
To get where we are it is total commitment ! and if we do fall off the wagon occasionally ... we always get right back on.
Like you, my nutrition is embedded in my brain now .. and actually if I do fancy something fatty or too sweet and I eat it, I feel so yucky after, it really isn't worth it .
This is a lifesaving endeavor to many of of us,so why is it so hard??
Do we not have the strength of character to do this or are we just plain to lazy?
. Whatever it is, it has to change if we are serious ...
We Co-leaders do not get paid for what we do, we do it to help others to be as healthy as they can be.
So many of you are trying so hard I know .. but please! with just a little bit more effort on your part we can all do it!!
Love and Hugs Susie emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Ethiopia—Road trip—1970 - pt 2

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The photos in this part of my blog were taken by my Father and he also labeled them—as I cannot ask him to identify them, I am hoping the places as labeled are correct.

During the long holiday—at the end of my first year , my parents flew out and we hired a car and driver/guide/security person (he was all one!!) and traveled a bit— to see different areas of the country. The car was a large Mercedes sedan, but it ran well on the rough, unsurfaced roads.
The first place we went to was Lake Tana—the lake that is credited with being the start of the Blue Nile—which, with the White Nile flows down stream to give rise to the mighty Nile River.
Lake Tana was North of Addis Ababa.

Then we headed over towards Eritrea—past the most religious town in Ethiopia , Lalibela with its churches carved out of rock, past the Semien mountains and to the edge of the Danakil depression to see a salt lakes. There was unrest (basically political unrest) in the area but we never had cause to feel unsafe, though we passed a couple of local people on the road with rifles slung over their shoulder.

Looking back towards Lake Tana—and that could be The Semien Mountains in the background.
The drought was starting to be more noticeable as we went North.

As we drove along we saw some interesting things

Since there was no feed available they had to walk the cows along the road so the cows could get what little they could find.

We saw camels by the road as we headed North

And people waiting for a bus or other transport—the road is surfaced here so this will be the main North road.

And outside a village the donkeys being bought in loaded with firewood to sell at market. They used the wood to make charcoal for cooking.

Then we approached the lake we were heading for—that had salt—salt that used to be collected and sold.
As we walked towards the lake the ground glistened under our feet and was crisp to walk on.
It was very low here and hot!! Very Hot!!
One of the lakes here, in the Danikil Depression is—155m or –500ft (below sea level) the lowest place in the world and the year round temperature varies from 25C (77F) to 48C (118F) which makes it one of the hottest places in the world.
Only one river flows into the Depression—The Awash River and this ends in a series of lakes., the salt being formed by evapouration of the water by the heat.
A lot of fossils have been found here.
We were only on the edge of it and it was hot—so we got out fast—leaving it behind to go to Harar.

Harar is a very old city with walls. The old city is within the walls, but there are newer parts outside. It was the old city that was fascinating for us. There are supposed to be 33,000 people or there about living in this small area of a square km or so. But the narrow streets aren’t crowded,
There are many Mosques and the house where Haile Selassie grew up is within this area.

One of the gates into the old city.

Inside the gates, in the old city of Harar.

A market in front of a Mosque

A street inside the old city

Outside the walls, looking along them. Its amazing how thick they are.
The night we stayed in Harar we came outside the walls after dark, to see the Wild Dogs (Hyena) feeding. They are timid, strange looking animals and this was the first time I had seen them, though I had heard them often before. There were numbers throughout the country then —sadly their numbers have been decimated with drought and starvation to the point that they, like many African animals, are endangered.

We then headed back to Addis Ababa—over some rough unsurfaced roads

Past more signs of drought and the impending disaster (drought and famine) , that was to come to the notice of the rest of the world not long after this.

And past a couple of interesting looking villages, that shall remain nameless—because I can’t remember their names, and the slides weren't labeled!!

Until we got to Addis Ababa—and then continued on South a bit to a Resort on the Rift Valley with a gorgeous Rift Valley Lake
The town of Debra Zeit.

I had the chance to swim in the Lake and found it warm, and rather like swimming in fizzy lemonade. It was extremely buoyant and actually hard to swim as I tended to be too high in the water and my legs kicked air instead of water!!
An interesting experience though!!

There was a market in town that we enjoyed an hour or so wandering round.

And then we headed back to Addis Ababa, my parents to the UK and me to the school for my second year in Jimma.

At the end of my second year there, during my long holiday, I dropped into the UK Embassy in Addis Ababa to be told it was advised that we leave as there had been intelligence that an uprising was imminent!! It was July 1971.
I decided to take their advice and returned to UK. As I left Addis—we could hear gun fire from somewhere in Addis Ababa, though it was a year or so before the uprising really took hold!!

Next week I will start a new series on my next job in Zambia. Africa—yes—but so very different from Ethiopia.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUBYCLAIRE 4/17/2011 12:16AM

    I found this blog because a friend of mine, DAWNWATERWOMAB left a comment. I saw the name Ethiopia in the title & just had to check it out.

Wonderful story. Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. Loved all the pictures, too.
My ex-husband was stationed in Asmara, Ethiopia with the US army back in 1966. At that time he was a lowly private so I was not allowed to go with him.
I hope you don't mind if I friend you so I may keep up with your travel logs. I'm sure I shall find them as interesting as this one.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAZ5346 4/16/2011 3:23PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
JILL313 4/16/2011 12:57PM

    I really enjoy reading about your past travels and wonder how things have changed since you were there . . .It's fascinating reading about what you saw and did there. I can see poverty everywhere in your pictures--drought and famine. It does make me appreciate how much abundance we have readily available to us--clean water, food, shelter, etc. Thank you for sharing your travels.

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NOLAZYBUTT110 4/16/2011 12:03PM

    Interesting and very nice pictures! But I will bet Ethiopa is not as it once was. Its a shame war and ethnic cleansing happened. (The Muslim extremeist killing those who did nto convert to islam and I know the Jews left!) The People there I hear were very nice, and the Falasha people were Jewish. I believe many are in Israel. Its a shame people cant lern to get along with each other like we do in America!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MS.ELENI 4/16/2011 10:08AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
SANDYBRUNO 4/16/2011 8:37AM

    I am enjoying your travels. Thanks so much for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 4/16/2011 6:16AM

    Thanks for sharing these lovely picures and seeing
the real country and not what the travel posters show.
Have a great weekend. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WENDYJM4 4/16/2011 5:51AM

    Interesting picture. You only ever see the nice pictures. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
1BEACHWALKER 4/16/2011 2:35AM

    Very interesting to see a different part of the world which we will never see. Thanks for that. Glad you were able to do that. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSIEPH1 4/16/2011 1:38AM

  It is so interesting to see these places though you and your parents eyes ...
Travel posters never show you the real thing ... Thank you so much for taking the time and patience to show us, what was your world so many years ago!!.
Just Awesome
Hugs Susie emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

    fascinating. Love the pictures. Your life has been so interesting. Thanks for sharing the journey with us. Love ya, Dawn emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

An Open Letter ................

Monday, April 11, 2011

To those of you who think that making the necessary lifestyle changes is too hard, or would interfere with your lifestyle.

When I was younger, actually all my life – I was overweight – and made an odd attempt to lose weight – as I did for the rest of my life until this time (several odd attempts actually – some serious) but in reality I was having a great time – I was travelling a lot, I was healthier than I deserved to be with the weight I was carrying, I was running about having fun with boyfriends and generally living life to the full and probably a bit more too!!
Every now and then my Doctor and my parents would say that I needed to control my weight, it would come back to bite me – and I’d make another attempt but they never seemed to work – but then life was good too and weight loss got in the way, besides I was fit and healthy so what could happen??!! I never cared nor thought about the future, or more correctly my lifestyle in the future!! The “now” was more important!!

To fast forward to “now” – I have no teeth – they have all gone had – and I need false ones – but there is an 8yr waiting list!! So I carry on looking like an old krone!!
I have severe osteoarthritis in both knees – my knees have collapsed inward and I am staring at a double knee replacement – and have been told that will take a year before I can exercise and do Zumba again fully, not to mention the 4 yrs wait to even see a specialist to talk about the op!!
I cannot walk far, though this is better than it was – I will never walk far till my knees are done – I need a scooter – and that has its own mobility problems as it needs a trailer to take it into town and my DH has to load and unload – and at 82 that is hard for him!! I have to take the scooter on holiday too and that is worse than having to take the kitchen sink!!
Then I need to ensure that all places we stay away from home are handicapped friendly!!
In the end one just gives up and doesn’t go away!!
Another problem - its hard to get up steps – and getting down is worse – and when one goes out, to a friends house – often there are steps – and then there are the chairs – if they are too low I can’t get up!!

And then there is driving and independence – I have to have a medical every year and because my eyes are deteriorating because of the diabetes I will lose my licence in the next year or so, We live 10miles out of the town, with no public bus service – so in effect that means I will have to rely on my DH to take me everywhere – so my independence is gone!!
And I am only 67yrs old!!
It goes on – so many things that are difficult now – and why??
Because I didn’t lose weight when I was younger and my weight led to type2 diabetes and between them the weight and the diabetes have caused so many problems to my life now!!

Yes I am losing the weight – yes, to a certain degree I am reclaiming my life – but my knees will never go back, never heal by themselves, my teeth will never grow back, my eyes will never get sharper and although I have dropped both my blood sugar and blood pressure to normal levels and am maintaining them – I need to be checked for the rest of my life as the level can creep up again even with a healthy diet and exercise!!
I know you are thinking these things might have happened anyway – or other things – I agree – life carries no guarantees, but I do know that without the extra weight my body would have been a lot happier and I might even have lived life at 150% !!

So – if you are thinking about losing weight – do it now – don’t let life intrude and put you off – and hopefully you will enjoy a healthy retirement, free from at least some of the problems that overweight brings!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRACTALMYTH 4/24/2011 5:22PM

    Love you. Taking the message to heart emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
F8CONE8 4/19/2011 3:08PM

    Very powerful blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOMMA_BEAR_69 4/16/2011 9:42PM

    Very true and so very well written. Thank you, Ann, for sharing this with us. I have printed this out, shared with DH and posted it on his desk where we can both see it daily. So glad that Susie brought this to my attention.
Blessings and hugs,

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAYELENE 4/15/2011 6:18AM

    Your blog brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this with us. Wishing you all the best and I hope the medical people do something to sort out the waiting list for your surgery. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KERRIEH2 4/14/2011 10:49PM

    Love You

Report Inappropriate Comment
G293537 4/13/2011 8:40AM

    Thank you for your honesty. I wish you the best in your continued journey and don't give up, your life is worth fighting for!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ENJOYINGLIFE57 4/13/2011 6:40AM

    How I wish I could share this with my 30 year old son. I'm sorry for your pain. I hope others can learn from it before it's too late for their bodies to avoid these health issues. Thank you for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
IRON_RESOLVE 4/12/2011 11:05PM

    I really appreciate your honesty. It is very good to see you manage your weight loss, and be such an inspiration. Keep on living the good life you are now enjoying.
You have friends here who make every day great.
Imagine your life, if you didn't make the changes you have made. You would never be enjoying it as you are now.
So, thanks for the advice you offer, and keep on keeping on. Sparkpeople like you, do make all of the difference

Report Inappropriate Comment


Report Inappropriate Comment
MS.ELENI 4/12/2011 10:29PM

    You are an inspiration. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNNOTT 4/12/2011 10:11PM

    I wish I had read your blog 30 years ago! But we old gals are trying out best to make up for our foolishness of our younger years! Great blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAZ5346 4/12/2011 4:59PM

    Thank you Ann. I'm going to print your blog out and put it on refrigerator in hopes my youngest daughter will read it. Children get so offended when you bring up their weight so hopefully this will inspire her to get healthier now. She's only 31 and has her whole life ahead of her. Bless you for all you are doing to help others.'


Report Inappropriate Comment
JDBD17 4/12/2011 2:43PM

    Amen! I say things like this to my middle school students all the time, "Don't become what I've become. Take care of yourselves NOW!" (Of course, being invincible 13 and 14 year olds, they don't believe it can happen to them.)

Report Inappropriate Comment
REDSHOES2011 4/12/2011 4:19AM

    emoticonblog and I realise how lucky I was when I married a thin diabetic..

Report Inappropriate Comment
-POOKIE- 4/12/2011 3:18AM

    Reading this... well, I dont know quite what to say.

I DID make the changes before it was too late. I was 323lbs at 29, I got to 140lbs just before my 31st birthday.

Your words are so so true, I hope people read and heed them, you can't turn back time.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEW-CAZ 4/12/2011 3:05AM

    Well said Anne an inspirational blog, thank you so much

Report Inappropriate Comment
JILL313 4/12/2011 2:23AM

    You are a courageous woman for telling it like it really is . . .and unfortunately I also neglected my health in my youth just taking it for granted and now I am paying the hard price. . .I'm trying to get healthier but have a long way to go. . .I also need two knee replacements and have diabetes and mobility problems and it's all because of being overweight and not taking good care of myself. Let this be a wake-up call to all of us to get healthier now and don't take your good health for granted. Do as much as you can to get healthier now!! I appreciate your honestly and hope your health continues to improve as I really look up to you as a person . . .God Bless you.



Report Inappropriate Comment
DAWNWATERWOMAN 4/12/2011 12:50AM

    You are my hero! I'm not afraid to shout that from the rooftops! Thanks for this VITALLY IMPORTANT BLOG! You are SPARKTACULAR! Love ya, Dawn emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HAPPYBASKET 4/12/2011 12:45AM

    Bless your heart. That took a lot of courage to write. I know you will help someone else but goof golly miss molly. What a life you have lived. No I had not read your previous blogs on your travels. I wondered why you had gone back & forth across the states but I didn't want to pry. Now I am wondering how you met DH.. I just heard on the news tonight that they really feel that dark green leafy veggies are for sure, helping glaucoma. Wouldn't that be a wonder cure if they prove that to be correct.
Love you girl. Keep a positive attitude. You can smile & if it bothers you, you can smile with your mouth closed LOL.
Good night. Big day tomorrow

Report Inappropriate Comment
SANDYBRUNO 4/11/2011 11:49PM

    I too regret not getting healthier when I was younger. Unfortunately you can't turn back the hands of time. It takes a lot longer to lose weight once you are older.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 4/11/2011 11:39PM

    Well said Ann. It really says such a clear message that
NOW is what matters and the longer we leave it, the
more health problems we will encounter.

I am sorry that you have to wait so long for the system
to put you in line for even the appointments. As I have
to rely on the Medicare system(no private Health
Insurance) it is a timely reminder that I have to act
NOW and lose the extra kilos. I seem to lose three
and gain 4 all the time. My stupid fault...

This has to stop and I must really get serious. I hope
you get the help you need. Good for you for trying
so hard and being so open and in ways positive.
Thank you so much. emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/11/2011 11:41:08 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
SWEETPOTATO19 4/11/2011 11:23PM

    Thanks for sharing that. I will reread it often to keep reminding me of the importance of doing this now! You have a good heart, it shows! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ARLENE_MOVES 4/11/2011 11:16PM

    That is beautiful and sad at the same time. I'm so sorry you have such a long waiting list for the things you need now. I always look forward to reading your page and will continue to do so.

My DH is having issues with diabetes (besides his heart problems). He has neuoropathy in his feet and can hardly walk. He doesn't trust himself driving because he isn't sure how his feet will react in an emergency.

Diabetes sucks -- I hate it that all that is pushed is drugs, drugs and more drugs instead of finding a cure.

Sorry for ranting -- its just that people should not be treated this way -- and only for the money.

Arlene emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WENDYJM4 4/11/2011 11:16PM

    thank you for writing that. So easy to not to think what may happen to you. I think we all just carry on with what we are doing. Then we get to that stage where it is too late. I have problems with my health now because of my weight.
So great to get a reminder that this could be yourself in a few more years.
Take care

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOANOFSPARK 4/11/2011 11:14PM

    So true.....and believe me, I can attest to the same.....yeah, I will lose weight, but even then, my life will never be what it could have been....I have lost weight in the past, but life would always intervene with what I thought were plausible excuses at the time.....but I knew what to do, but over time let what I knew to be fact slip by the wayside and then ended up gaining more than before....So, I will double stamp Anne's blog with the plea.......please don't put it off...live your life now but lose while it is easier to do so.....it is a heckuva lot easier to lose when you are younger.....now it is a struggle, but I am doing it and will continue to do it simply because I know that if I don't my life will deteriorate even more..and if so, then I may as well be dead.

So, please, please take Anne's blog to heart and listen to her heart felt words of advice.....

Comment edited on: 4/11/2011 11:15:05 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSIEPH1 4/11/2011 11:07PM

  Well said Ann,
We need to hear truths like that !.
We need to realise that NOW! is the only chance we get to help ourselves and prevent these injuries occuring .
NOW is the time to start looking after ourselves , not tomorrow, not next week, or when we feel better because that never happens..... It is NOW that it needs to happen.
I also, have many debilitating problems...
But NOW I am mobile, NOW I can drive my car again, NOW I can swim, NOW I exercise, and NOW I am watching my Nutrition ...
and for those of you that say we are too Old or Sick,or Disabled,. I am 68 and going really strong..
So if Ann and I, can do it ....So can you !!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MORELIE 4/11/2011 11:03PM

    Thank you for being so open. I fear I have been on the same path as you. I am 46, and I will read you blog every day to remind me why I need to shed the weight and control my diabities.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYDIASPURPLE 4/11/2011 11:02PM

    What a beautiful and heartfelt open letter to people who eyes will open and ears unplug and heart that will get it.

You are larger then life in ways your body will never compensate for in your caring!

People who have all their body parts working reasonably will understand that yes it indeed can happen to them, with so much is preventable or the process can be slowed down if they pay attention NOW!.

I see your heart via your words.

You are alright in my book! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Ethiopia—1969—1971 - pt 1

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

By 1971, I was getting itchy feet again when I saw an advertisement for teachers wanted in Ethiopia!! Rush to Atlas—OK—once I found it was on the Horn of Africa it sounded like fun, !! Visions of David Livingstone flashed across my mind!! Wow!! Was I wrong!!
I had this interview in Central London—in a very tatty old building that was the Ethiopian Embassy HQ. I was afraid of using the lift, it was really old and rattled. Then I was asked a few questions by a couple of dark people that looked different from what I had envisaged, much finer boned and carried themselves proudly. Then one of them looked at me and asked if I could run up the stairs—I did—and discovered that was the medical exam!!
So after finishing teaching the school year at my UK school I set off to a country I knew nothing of.
The journey was “interesting” We flew to Uganda, landing on the roughest runway I have ever experienced—all the oxygen masks fell out!!
There we were off loaded into the transit lounge—a small tin shed that was soooo hot!! There were about 10 chairs and we were left there for several hours. Then we were loaded onto the Ethiopian plane—and landed at Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa sits at an altitude – 2355m (7726.4ft) and its very noticeable—I felt puffed at once. However I should say that I didn’t notice it after a short time.

photo is the centre of Addis Ababa

This is Africa Hall—it was opened in 1963 and at its opening by Emperor Haile Selassie—he described it as “ an inspiring symbol of the noble aspirations of the African people."
It is where the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is headquartered as well as most UN offices in Ethiopia. It is also the site of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which eventually became the African Union
The striking window is to commemorate the opening of the hall by Emporor Haile Selassie.

While I was in Addis Ababa I learnt a bit about the history of a country that has a very extensive history. I have tried to give a potted version here—the history is woven into everything throughout the country, but not in a dry dusty way, as a living history. Though in another way—it was a very dry dusty country as the huge, tragic drought was just starting to bite!!

Ethiopia is a land of contrasts – of ancient history and more modern problems of uprising and famine. It is a totally land-locked country, totally unlike any other.
The people are very beautiful—very fine boned and very proud. They carry themselves proudly and are proud of their country. It didn’t matter if they were poor beyond belief, living such a hard life as most Westerners couldn’t begin to understand —they had their pride. The time I spent there made me re-assess just what is important in life.

Some of the highest mountains on the African Continent – the jagged Simien Mountains, which are World Heritage sights – are here as are some of the lowest areas – the very hot Danakil Depression – with its sulphur holes and strange lunar landscape.

Ethiopia is old, beyond imagination – as Abyssinia its traditions and beliefs date back over 3000yrs. Even before that there is record of “Dinkenesh” meaning “Thou art wonderful” as she is known there (she is also known as “Lucy” or Australopithecus). She is estimated to have lived 3.2mil years ago. Her remains have been found in a corner of Ethiopia, and sit now in the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa.

The Emperor succeeds to the throne by birth and they believe it is a divine right. As such he is all-powerful. The line of succession has come down from times long gone by.

More recently Haile Selassie came to power. He started the modernization of the country in 1916 when he was made a “ras” and was made Emperor in 1930. He played a leading role in the formation of the Organization of African Unity.
Ethiopia has been an independent country for always – except for a very short time when it was occupied by the Italians from 1936 – 1941. There is still a strong Italian influence in the country. During the occupation, in 1935 Haile Selassie came to world wide notice when he made an impassioned speech to the League of Nations. British forces together with Ethiopian Patriots liberated Ethiopia as part of the East African Campaign in 1941.
In 1942 a bill was passed outlawing slavery.
In 1952 the Federation of Ethiopia was formed though this was dissolved in 1962.

Although Haile Selassie was seen as a national figure, opinion within the country was turning mostly as a result of the world wide oil crisis of 1973, food shortages, uncertainty regarding succession, border wars and middle class discontent.
His reign came to an end in 1974 when he was deposed by a Soviet backed military junta and a one party communist state was formed.

The main religion in Ethiopia is Ethiopian Orthodox—Coptic Christian—and they even use a different calendar—the Ge'ez calendar—which has 12 months of 30 days plus 7 spare days—in effect a 13th month. As far as I was concerned that meant that we were allowed our Christmas Day off—and then got holidays for the Ethiopian Christmas in about mid January!! There were also many Muslims there.

It is said that a visit to Ethiopia is like a window directly into the Old Testament, in no other country is it possible to find ones self so dramatically transported back in time or to participate in the sacred rituals of an archaic faith.

As well as getting used to a different calendar—there was a different language. The official language is Amharic—but there are a zillion different languages, or dialects in different areas.
Amharic is written in strange characters and, though I learnt a few (very few) words of Amharic—I never learnt to read or write it!!
Their local dialect, of which there are many throughout Ethiopia, Amharic, Italian, and a bit of English were used in the area I was in.

By now you should be getting a feeling for the vastly different country that I had come to— and I was feeling as if I had been transported way back in history – with the addition of an odd modern, or semi-modern convenience.
I had been posted to Jimma—to a brand new Teacher Training Institute, that had been built and equipped by The World Bank., as aid to under developed countries.

This is an old “Gooney Bird” as we used to call them—A Douglas DC3—it was a mighty aircraft—landing on airfields that other planes wouldn’t have a chance of—as it needed a very short landing space and take off length. Often the runways were in the most difficult positions. I knew of one on top of a mountain that if the plane had “missed” it would have fallen off the mountain!!
This was a real introduction to the country I had come to—the plane had canvas slung seats round the edge, facing in—and they loaded the passengers then threw the “luggage” into the middle—this might include anything from cases to boxes to chicken and goats (live) - but we all flew together, and many times through tropical thunder storms with lightening flashing all round!! Amazingly they had an incredibly good safety record.
I flew on that plane up and down from Addis to Jimma many times in the 2 years I was there, Since it flew fairly low we could see a lot of the country we were flying over.

The main road to Jimma from Addis Ababa—yes its unsurfaced!! And Jimma town from the air.

Jimma lies south west from Addis Ababa—about 330km (205 miles) down a very rough road that certainly was not an all weather road. At the time I was there it was an 8hr or more drive. Because of the state of the roads and the fact that one drives on the right—or as near to it as possible, I didn’t have my own car for the 2 years I was here.
Jimma is at an altitude of 1676m (5499ft) so lower than Addis—but certainly well above sea level.
Jimma is the largest town in the South west—and used to be the capital city of Kaffir, named because it was the chief coffee growing area in the country (when I was there) but the provinces have since been dissolved.


The donkey park—when people rode their donkey to town (they used donkeys instead of horses often) they “parked “them on the outskirts then went into town, and after they had done what they came for—they collected their donkey and off they went.

View of the hills outside Jimma—they show some green still but look very dry too.
My land lady in Jimma grew coffee. A lot of coffee comes from Ethiopia—Arabica beans are very famous and excellent. The Ethiopian coffee bean is in demand in the Western World as the quality is very high.
She used to always have some beans drying outside on racks in the sun and then they were rubbed clean, roasted over charcoal heaters and made into coffee to drink, which we did—lots of it!!.

Coffee beans growing and—the coffee bean

I was to work at the Teacher Training Institute—firstly unpacking equipment and setting it up as it was a brand new institute, and then teaching . The TTI was on a hill a bit outside the town.
I found somewhere to live, just down the road from the TTI.—I had the unit furthest from the camera!! It consisted iof a single room for sleeping etc with a very rudimentary kitchen and bathroom out the back—in the open corridor that went the length of the building. It was a place to sleep and work—and the woman who owned the units was very nice and I often ate with her. She was Ethiopian but had been married to an Italian and had an Ethiopian/Italian son about my age (single and good looking!!). Her husband had gone back to Italy. She was the one person who really helped me to understand the traditions, customs and differences in this wonderful, but very different country.

The TTI at Jimma, as you can see it was only just finished

Work at the TTI—since it was so new the students were expected to make the pathways etc—and when they were thirsty from working in the hot sun—they had a drink “waiter” who got water from a trailer of water that was bought in and filled their mugs—no disposable cups here—just enamel mugs!!

The covered area at the back of the picture is the “students laundry” and as you can see the paths are still being made.
I was always impressed by how much the students wanted to learn, by their enthusiasm and by their hard work.

For the second year of teaching I was transferred to the High school. It was in town, where as the TTI had been on a hill outside the town, so I needed accommodation nearer town, I rented a lovely flat from the same land lady.

My house girl wearing the Ethiopian National dress—a shamma.
She looked after my house and me for both years I was in Ethiopia.

I had one out of 4 flats in this building—beautifully finished, typical Italian. Tiled floors and well fitted kitchen and bathroom. The main thing was that there was no water—lovely taps and bath in bathroom, water loo, , sink in kitchen—but NO running water.!!
We are used to reticulated safe water in the developed countries, but there was none of that here. We bought water in 4gal kerosene cans—that the water sellers got from the river. A lot of things happened in the river!! The water was murky browny colour and smelt!!

The river was the bathroom for the local people—they washed themselves, did their clothes washing, children played and washed their animals there, and the water sellers collected water and sold it to the houses from there, to be used for drinking and all other purposes!!

All drinking and cooking water, even water to brush out teeth was boiled for 25 min and filtered before use!! It worked—I was OK during my stay, probably got immune to diseases!!

It does teach one to conserve a precious resource though and to appreciate the supply of clean water in the Developed World.
I doubt that, though there have been changes in Ethiopia, they have good clean drinking water freely available even yet!!

It would be very remiss of me not to mention the huge part the girls and boys from the USA Peace Corps played in Ethiopia while I was there. They often dropped into our flat for a weekend break, and I was lucky enough to tag along with them on vaccination runs on a couple of occasions, so I saw their work first hand.
They traveled to the most inaccessible places, in very difficult conditions vaccinating everyone they could catch (literally) against smallpox. It was because of their fantastic effort that smallpox was almost completely eradicated., at least in Ethiopia. They were a wonderful group, great fun, the ones I met, and extremely hard working!!
The US should be very proud of them and their efforts.
I am sure the experiences they gained during their stay there, will have in some way influenced and enriched the rest of their lives, as mine have done for me.
It crossed my mind that it would be so strange, but not impossible, for any of them to be reading this now!!

The High School was much the same as the TTI—but I taught English as a foreign language as well. We also were expected to teach any subject that was needed if teachers were absent!! This got difficult if it was an Amharic class!!

We had a bit of a distraction here—since the buildings were surrounded by trees—a family of Colobus Monkeys lived locally. These are beautiful black and white monkeys with a long white tail and a very showy white cape that lifted as they jumped and looked spectacular. The monkeys used to gallop across the metal roofs of the buildings and every so often a face, or two would appear at the window. Very amusing and off putting!!

Colobus “pupils” in the tree by the school. They were very inquisitive.

Moving tables and chairs from one room to another in school!! We never had enough - so we "pinched" them from the other rooms, sometimes the students took their own tables and chairs from class to class with them.

Slightly further south was the town of Gambella situated on the Baro River. I was lucky enough to get a ride down to see this town with a Peace Corps vehicle. It was a truly authentic example of an Ethiopian village.

The River Baro at Gambella

Gambella where there were lots of “tuckles” in the town area

An authentic “tukle” is a native home—one room circular—mud brick walls, thatched roof—often protected by a thorn fence round the group of houses.

While I was in Jimma I was extremely fortunate to be invited to a fellow teacher’s wedding. The bride was very shy and they rarely have many photos, though a few of their friends took some—but I was able to get these.
The first is the bride and groom, and the second the Bride’s wedding party.
Unfortunately (but naturally) the service was in Amharic and a Coptic Christian service and I couldn’t understand a word of it!!

Next week as I travel round parts of Ethiopia by car and the drought becomes more obvious so does the history of the country.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1BEACHWALKER 4/16/2011 2:24AM

    What an adventure! Don't think I would have liked living in those kind of conditions, especially the water part. We sure do get used to the luxuries of life and those poor people probably still have to put up that! Great photos! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NOLAZYBUTT110 4/7/2011 1:41PM

    Lovely story. I knew the Poeple were a very proud people and hard working
and many Christians, but I have read many have left Ethiopia now. Especially the Jews that were there! Is that true that many have been killed by the Muslims who were prging the area of Christians and Jews? Do you still have contact with anyone there? I heard the Muslims were taking over and forcing people to convert or be killed. Is that true? It looks like a lovely place. I will bet your learned a lot! Thanks for sharing! P.S What did you teach? susan

Report Inappropriate Comment
WENDYJM4 4/7/2011 5:32AM

    thank you. what a wonderful insight to this country. I enjoyed reading it. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MRSBENNETT2 4/7/2011 2:27AM

    Your writing is beautifully descriptive! What an interesting country.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SMYLEERED 4/7/2011 1:10AM

    Wonderfully described; I could almost feel myself being there, riding down an unpaved roadway, but admiring all the beautiful surroundings.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Wouldn't it be perfect to write a book of your travels while teaching?

Report Inappropriate Comment
VXWALL1942 4/6/2011 10:46PM

    Well written and beautifully laid out. I enjoyed this portion of your journey into Ethiopia. Your opportunities to experience this beautiful and history filled country are enviable. Must admit to a degree of curiosity over the changes that may have transpired since that time.


Report Inappropriate Comment
GOANNA2 4/6/2011 10:28PM

    Thank you. What an interesting country and you give
a great insight. I have done volunteer tutoring at our
local TAFE(English for Migrants) and a lot of people
are from Ethiopia. They are very proud and some of
the ladies still wear the beautiful coloured clothes. A
lot of their children attend my school and one parent
said that alas, the children born here are forgetting
their language. They are very grateful to be here, but
they do miss their homeland. Just bring us more stories...

Report Inappropriate Comment
VIAFREE 4/6/2011 9:52PM

    thnx for sharing

Report Inappropriate Comment
JILL313 4/6/2011 9:27PM

    It is so fascinating reading about Ethiopia through your eyes. . .I love the stories and unfortunately I've read clean water is still hard to come by there. Thank you for taking the time to share your adventure with us. Loved reading it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MS.ELENI 4/6/2011 7:46PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSIEPH1 4/6/2011 7:44PM

  Thank you Ann for taking the time to show us this previous world of yours ... it is so interesting and give us all an insight in to the country and its cultures Hugs emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SANDYBRUNO 4/6/2011 7:17PM

    This is very interesting. I always love to hear about different areas of the world. It must have been fascinating to experience all of this first hand.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GAARAMA 4/6/2011 7:08PM

    I enjoyed reading this,I am sure some things have changed for the better. Thank you for sharing your adventure and memories I am looking forward to another posting.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NCURTIS10 4/6/2011 6:30PM

    I have a child I have been sponsering for several years in Ethiopia through Compassion International, so this is very interesting to me!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYDIASPURPLE 4/6/2011 6:28PM

    It is interesting to see the Ethiopia of 40 years ago! I hope people know that it was 40 years ago. I like the pictures and the description from that capsule of time!

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 Last Page