Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Where are we heading with this ?

It is rhetoric and common courtesy to say that education is a foundation for development and modernization of a country with shared knowledge and skills. Educational institutes are the birth place of innovation and where ideas and thought are redirected and shaped with the civilization that time itself gives. And when a civilized brain does not get the compatible and up to standards education a generation and a society will be lost.
Some of the things that are happening does not seem to show a silver lining around the shining sun of the future of our Ethiopia’s educational system. Here I have listed short but true incidents.

Teachers: Gibson, a private school owned by an American-Somalia, lets its full time teachers give after class tutorials at a fixed wage which the teachers found it to be low to pertain with the present cost of living but the request they presented for a raise was not addressed which forced them to strike against the negligence. The non-citizen director called in the parent of every student in the school and gave a direct order that any student that is found in the compound to attend any after class tutorial will be expelled from the school for good. The parents agreed to comply with this new school rule out of free of not being able to find another school for their children if they are expelled. The stifled teachers were made to write a pardon letter to the director in both languages. ባለ አገረኛው እኮ ማን እንደሆነ እንጃ.

Students: My friend’s uncle is a 10th grade math teacher in Nekemet. We asked him how his students are doing ,his response was “I have stopped teaching math years ago now I teach my students to write their names that is the only way I can describe what I do right now  if you  understand what I mean. They did not get the proper knowledge and acquired the fundamental base at their lower grades for a 10th grade math”

Professionals: A friend of mine is a chief Engineer for the company he works for and does random interviews with new hires. The company’s accounting department had a head count open and was interviewing. One of the candidates was sent for high-level interview to this friend of mine. He asked various random questions of which one was extremely elementary that he had to apologize before hand in fear of offending the candidate. The question was to write numbers in english from one to thirty-five at gaps of three numbers which the candidate failed to do so. Yet the candidate was an accounting graduate from a government institute.

Educational System: The academic displines, Law and Pedagogy, are now only provided in government institutes in concern with the quality and standard offered in private colleges. The other change in the educational system is the new 70/30 rule which pacts with the number students that are being admitted in the two streams of study Social science and Science and technology. According to this rule, from the overall number of students that pass the ESLCE exam 70% will be assigned in Science and technology departments and 30% in Social Science departments. These new rules significantly reduce the number of Economists, law makers and thinkers.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A cry for translation

Free thinking is definitely one of the greatest wisdom that the modern world has reached to. Even though free Will is given by birth to all, practice of free thinking is often seen to be misinterpreted. Principles and ideals, rather than the once that are self-developed are considered to be hindrance to fully experience freedom and recognition of self existence. When we talk about freedom in spiritual life, the existentialism regards losing all ties which even could mean getting rid of the Spiritual guidance and restrictions. Speaking of guidance our best example would be the Ethiopian Eunuch  - Bakos - who words were “How can I, unless someone guides me?” when asked by Philip about his understanding of the passage he was reading.

Bakos needed someone to guide him to understand the passage he was reading in fear of misunderstanding and misinterpreting the actual and true meaning. He did not want to grant himself that freedom of giving his own explanation. Self inclined explanation of the Holy Bible often leads to submission to one’s own thoughts instead of the text making one spread personal opinion as a belief.
A couple of days ago I was encountered with revivalist who proclaims to have found the true God the Creator or the mother of the World and conveyed to me that “God is a female” for any follower of Christianity that is something that would split once soul into half, then the female of the two revivalist pulled out a verse from the Bible – Galatians 4:26, it reads “ላይኛይቱ ኢየሩሳሌም ግን በነጻነት የምትኖር ናት እርስዋም እናታችን ናት።..”.Hearing this was more devastating than the initial one since it only tells that exquisiteness and richness of the literature of the Bible is has gradually become underestimated let alone its spiritual and dogmatic value. I did not even dare to question or challenge or try to explain what the meaning of the verse is in relation to other related passages in the Bible in the Orthodox concept and doctrine because I was not able to see the presence of intelligence to comprehend in the short time we had standing inside a busy mall.
Jerusalem being a symbol of gospel and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering is not comprehended correctly unless we refer to standard scriptures and references given by the spiritual leaders under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Here is where the home work for EOTC and like Churches comes in picture. With the enormous amount of annotations and scripture analysis methodologies these Churches have a lot to give to the rest of the word that seems to be lost in translation both dogmatically and literature.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

“በውኑ ሴት ከማኅፀንዋ ለተወለደው ልጅ እስከማትራራ ድረስ ሕፃንዋን ትረሳ ዘንድ ትችላለችን?
 አዎን፥ እርስዋ ትረሳ ይሆናል፥ እኔ ግን አልረሳሽም።”

There are moments when you keep on hearing a word or a phrase or an idea repeatedly on different occasions or situations that it feels like a déjà-vous carrying a message that is meant for you to comprehend. It is this verse that has lately being slinking in my mind and  yesterday I unusually got various calls from friends whom I have not spoken for a long time.
Friends are gifts from God; his way of making his voice heard. If you think about it what better way will there be to touch our heart except through the words of good friends. These friends of mine were not aware of the situation that the other person called but all had the same topic.
Lately I have slowly reduced my service in church and had always felt the guilt as days goes by. The concern-topic of my friend was all about spiritual service and what should be done to help improve our spiritual life and our service. God speaks in one way or another, even though it was said about Zion this verse makes perfect sense to any one that God will never forget his children and reveals his remembrance through the words of our loved once or friends.
No matter how distant and how lost we feel,He will always find us ,no matter how hopeless we feel about ourselves He will comfort us and no matter how much we forget Him ,He will always remember us.

St Micheal Feast Day Hedar 12 from the ETHIOPIAN SYNAXARIUM

On this day is celebrated the festival of the honored angel, Michael the archangel, the head of the hosts of heaven, the angel who is merciful to the children of men, who standeth at all times before the great throne of God speaking on behalf of the children of man. Joshua the son of Nun saw him in great glory like unto that of a general of the king’s army, and he was frightened at him and fell down and made obeisance unto him, and said unto him, “Omy lord, art thou on our side or on the side of the enemy?” And Michael said unto him, “I am the tenth of the Chiefs of the mighty armies of heaven, and this day I will give Amalek into thy hand, and I will make thee king in the city of Jericho.” This angel it was who was with all the saints and martyrs, and he made them strong and enabled them to endure patiently until they finished their strife, [and it is meet] that festivals of commemoration should be held, and gifts offered in his name on the twelfth day of each month, for he beseecheth God for the fruits of the earth, and the descent of the rains, and the [flooding of the] rivers, and for good souls so that God may make perfect all of them in integrity. Now, there was a certain God-fearing man whose name was Dorotheus, and [he had a] wife whose name was Theopista, and they were wont to make festivals of commemoration for the honored angel Michael. And all the money of these righteous folk came to an end, and they had nothing wherewith to celebrate the commemoration of the honored Michael. And because they were exceedingly sorrowful about this they took their apparel to sell so that they might make a feast. And Michael the archangel appeared unto Dorotheus and commanded him to go to a sheep-master and to take from him a sheep worth one-third of a dinar. And he was also to go to a fisherman and to take from him a fish worth one-third of a dinar, and he was not to slit the belly thereof except inside the house. And he was also to go to a flour merchant, and to take from him as much flour as he wanted. And the angel said, “Do this, and do not sell thy raiment”; and Dorotheus did as the angel commanded
him. And he summoned all the people according to his custom, and he made a feast in honor of the angel Michael. When he had gone into his store-chamber to see if, peradventure, he could find a jar of wine for the Offering, he found the interior of his chamber filled with wine, and much flour; and Dorotheus was frightened and he marveled exceedingly. When he had ministered unto all the company, and they had finished the feast, and all the people had departed to their houses, the honored angel appeared unto the blessed Dorotheus in the garb wherein he had appeared unto him before, and commanded him to cut open the belly of the fish. When he had cut open the belly of the fish he found therein three hundred dinars of gold, and three third parts of a dinar. And the archangel Michael said unto Dorotheus and his wife, “Set aside these three third parts of a dinar for the sheep, the fish, and the flour, and these three hundred dinars shall be for your own needs. God hath remembered you and the alms and oblations which ye have been wont to make, and hath rewarded you for the same here in this world, and at the last day He will make you to inherit the kingdom of heaven.” And as they were frightened at this matter he said unto them, “I am Michael the archangel who hath delivered you from all your tribulation, and it is I who have loved your alms and oblations, and have taken them up to God. Henceforward ye shall lack no good thing whatsoever in this world.” And they prostrated themselves before him, and he disappeared and went up into heaven. And the angel Michael worked so many miracles that they are innumerable. Salutation to thee, O merciful angel Michael whom I have feared from my youth up; hide me under thy prayers at dawn and at eve.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

O Onion, Onion! What’d I do without thou?

Onion is one of those ingredients that give a very savory taste and aroma to many dishes. Cooked or raw onion gives good taste to a food. Even thought a lot could be said about that my intention here is not to praise the very nature of onion but to express my concern on our addiction – that is right, I call it addiction.
It is not that I have anything against the exotic vegetable; it is just that it has caused some of us some embarrassment – by us you know who I mean – due to its distinctive smell. Few years back, I used to give computer training classes in Ethiopian Community center here in DC. The classes weren’t that big, may be a pack of 8 to 10, so I used be almost a close friend to all and they with each other .They never felt they were coming to class but joining in their groupie. One of the students have a very good habit of coming to class early, she even got there earlier than I did some times.
 One day I walked into the class to find this student of mine and the welcoming smell of a well prepared and cooked berbere sauce (Kulet).The first thing that came to my mind was that, she must have brought some food for the class seeing that we were about to finish the training a week later so I said “Jens, Did you bring some food? That is very thoughtful of you” she turned to face me from she was sitting with her right hand still striking the keys on the keyboard and said “I didn't,,,,, why did you say that ?” I wish I bit my tongue but continued saying “It is just that it smells of wot in here” I could see her index finger paused on holding the ‘J’ key for so long making  the frog on Mavis Bacon freeze on the air instead of jumping. She said, with a trembling soft voice, “but I was cooking at my home this morning ...but I had all the doors closed and all windows open…is it that bad ?” right when I was about to say “no” another student walked in  and said “ Emmm Jens  nice wot in here….. you brought us some food yay!!!”  She smiled and told her whole story again.
We spent the first half hour of the class listening to the wot appreciation and Jens supplication as each student came in the class.
Not only small provoking embracement here and there that but also that the smell of onion has become our brand or signal that an abesha is around. For instance when we walk in a elevator or a bus, you can tell if one is around without even looking!!! I swear that I did not come up with this but I heard that it is given a nick name “Yeabesha deodorant”. I have a friend who carries a fabric freshener in his car to use it on any one who hopes in with the Onio-Odor. I thought it was a bit extreme but it is desperate measure.
Let’s think for a moment that we, against all odds, agree to stop using onion in any of our cooking. I mean totally stop, not in Shiro and not even in Doro. I mean dead stop!!! .How long do you think it would take you till you start panicking even from the thought of it? Not so long am sure. It is just impossible because if you really want to enjoy a great Ethiopian food, a delicious bozena shiro or derq tibis ,doro or yeabesha pasta it necessarily needs to be garnished with the prime, if not sole, ingredient - the royal onion. If you want to read my suggestion on how to overcome Onio-Odor click here

Pay attention this is Serious

Since it is impossible to unchain oneself from the use of royal onion from our cooking as leopard change its spots I have decided to share with you some of tricks to avoid the invasion by Onio-Odor.

Tip 1. Close all doors of the bedrooms and open all the windows that are available. It is better to tolerate the cold air than being suffocated with the smell of onion.
Tip 2. Don’t leave your bags, pocket book, jacket or clothing of any kind in the living room or the kitchen area while you are sautéing onion.
Tip 3. Just use oil to sauté instead of the traditional first water then oil procedure.
Pay more attention on the next one
Tip 4. After you are done with the cooking, boil a shampoo that has fragrance. This should be your routine task.
Use a small pan that you will separately use for this purpose
Add small amount of water add the shampoo and put the heat very low so that scent propagate slowly but evenly throughout the house.
The advantage of using shampoo instead of scented candles is that candles are EXPENSIVE and this isn’t. Make sure you get the scent that you would like your house to smell. If your house is carpeted, make it a habit to boil shampoo every now and then. So that the odor residue from the cooking that is left on the carpet is eliminated by the smell of the shampoo scent.

Hope this is helpful

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Only by His Grace

A week ago, I found myself writing about nameless blogging in Ethiopian Orthodox Church. After its publication, one of the comments I got have intriguingly clouted me. At the moment it made me feel a little appalled but as my politically savvy friends once said ,one needs words to think ,to judge ,to criticize and to justify; I did not have the right words and right way of reasoning to express my view about it. It is today, when I was watching a serial killer confession, that it all made sense to me.
Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer among other gruesome things, the detail I really don’t want to specify here. He has murdered 17 men and has been living this horrific life with dark fantasy from the age of 10 till he was arrested at the age of 31.When asked about when he felt guiltiness and remorse he said, it was when he comprehended about Jesus Christ being the creator of all and when he, for the first time, learned about the afterlife. His prior belief on evolution, which defines life as a sudden existence that comes to an end at the point of death, made life so cheap and maximally worthless, he describes. Knowing the creator of life and the world gave a brutal judgment to what he has done and the sorrow he has caused. It was not a shower of words or therapeutic treatment that brought him to his senses and to retrospect with deep regret, but the awakening knowledge of Genesis and the mystery of life in Christ.
Life in Christ is really a mystery, a mystery that cannot be rationally comprehended. Even though we can articulate about Divinity, it’ll ultimately go beyond what we speak. With that notion, Christianity is a mystery. Take the people hunter Paul, who was a devout follower, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; who violently persecuted Christians prior to his conversion. He point blankly confesses his deed. Although Paul did not see Jesus Christ in person we call him the apostle because of his encounter and his absolute conversion. His calling and conversion was a mystery which took place on the road of Damascus upon the vision of the resurrected Jesus Christ.
Orthodoxy, among other Christianity, is most known for keeping its mysticisms till this vintage point. An like other new generation beliefs that consider the body to be shell and valueless, Orthodoxy gives high value to the body since Jesus Christ ,God Incarnate has honored it and took it as His own. For instance the holy liturgy, the Laity will stand for the prayer, see it, touch and kiss the cross and the gospel, smell the incense and partake in the Holy Communion. No sense is left untouched and the senses we have are holy. Therefore our senses are exceedingly compelled to feel his presences as it says in psalm 34: 8.
The mystery does not end there, it goes all the way to the empty tomb .The empty tomb of the resurrected Jesus Christ, the beginning of the end where God reigns, Devil loses, creation is redeemed, , sorrow becomes finite and death is defeated. Looking back at Genesis, the origin of creature will all make sense. The perfection of the order of God’s creation; He brought all non-existing to existing, He made light in the darkness same as He did in His resurrection, and He brought light for those in darkness and salvaged those that were apprehended. The sublime joy that the Risen Lord gives attains a depth in our heart because the life of God has been made the life of man. This profound gift that we are granted is indeed a mystery. It is our baseline to view the world and others; the virtue for our life.
The comment I got was about being fit in the eyes of God and being the rightful one to speak about the matters of the Church. As for Jeffrey Dahmer the question was about salvation and one tiny piece of information gave peace to his mind because he finally faced his guilt and like the penitent thief, who asked Jesus for remembrance ; was purified (made fit) to join Jesus in his kingdom, the same opportunity was given to Jeffrey. This opportunity is given to everyone. Our request should be to get the peace of mind and the serenity in life that opt out judgment but with submission to live by the examples of Jesus Christ and the price He paid for us. This is done by the help of God himself when he grants us his grace. By his grace he makes us fit, by his grace we escape our sorrow by his grace we are purified of our sins. And as it say in act 15:11 “No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” by his grace we are saved.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My "death thing" that made me count my blessing


I hate doing memes. I even promised myself that I won’t do it anymore because it makes me feel very self centered. Yet at times I think it could be a good-to-now prevalence even more, for me, a way to reminisce the experience and the lesson I learned from it. You know why? Because I keep on forgetting to count my blessings or the goodness around me and whine about things that I have no control over. So you can stick around and read about it or you can ignore me, after all what do I know and who maked me the advisor about life.
It was in February of 2009 at our home in Addis, I love walking bare foot which wasn’t a very good idea especially on that day because I stepped on a nail that was jutting out a wood stick which I was not aware was laying there. I pulled it out, no blood and no pain but you know what that is right? If you get pricked by a sharp object and if it bleeds it is good but if it does not then it is bad and you have to get a tetanus injection. I went to a clinic – email me if you need the name just in case you want to sue them on behalf of me – to get the shot. So what they normally do is, they make a fairly small circle on the forearm and give you a test shot and if it swells further than the circle then you are allergic to it; if it doesn’t you will get the proper dose. I think the nurse’s orientation for geometry was crappy or she must have missed the class in her nursing school years which apparently was about how big or small the doze or the circle should be, I was allergy free and got my shot and went home.
The next morning I woke up with itching at the back of my neck and ears - I can still feel it. So we decide to go to the clinic where I got my tetanus shot and show them what had happened. The doctor said I was allergic to the tetanus so wrote me prescription to get another shot for the allergy; I went to the merfae kifel and started waiting for my much-loved killer. I waited for around 15 minutes - no one showed up by then the itching has gotten worse and the blemish was all over my neck, shoulder and chest ; it was becoming so unbearable. The doctor saw me when he passed by the merfae kifel and was surprised that I was still there.He then went to call the nurses whom I was hearing giggling and laughing in a room at the end of the hall. They came with such distaste look on their face, the why-did-you-interrupt us look. I got the shot which I really didn't know what it was mixed out of but paid 60 birr for it. She told me, with a queen of England tone, that I would feel dizzy for a while and that I have to rest.
I went home to rest, as told; any way where would I go? I looked like Quasimodo. The itching did not get better instead it got worse. I was surrounded my friends and family who were trying to make me forget the insanely excruciating itch. They used all the psychologically calming words that are available in the Amharic vocabulary አይዞሽ፣ይተውሻል፣አታዳምጭው፣ወሬ አውሪበት ፣ ጨርሶ እስኪወጣ ነው እንጂ ይጠፋል. By the way, without exaggeration and with full confident, I am one of those patients who are obediently non-complaining and easy to handle types who actually make fun of the pain so they were mislead about strength and the severity of the allergy. Now my whole body was itching even my foot sole was itching – that is so ughhh I can’t even describe it.

Tadeos called, he is a friend of mine, a doctor (my angel in disguise); who has been calling throughout the day to check up on me but was not lucky enough to hear a good news from the other end of the phone line. He told me with worried but calming voice that if I have trouble swallowing I have to go to the doctor (ER) immediately. It was not even an a hour later when I started having trouble swallowing and breathing and when all the comforting words stopped having any effect on me. My entire body was covered with red swollen blotches. I got dressed in water soaked shema cloth because I was so exhausted from scratching every inch of my body and hopped-in my mom’s old half alive car and off to some hospital by Bisrat Gebreal. Fortunately there weren’t many people, so we were able to finish my registration quick enough to be seen by the Doctor.
The doctor, who was very soft spoken, full figured and gentle person, started his examination with comforting words. He asked me why I waited this long to come to the hospital and I told him about the whole incident and my personal Adolf Hitler who gave me the shot. He could not believe that I actually got the anti allergy shot. He was sitting across the desk when he asked me if he could give me the shot at that moment and keep me in the observation room, I said ok ; my mom ,who has been with me in the examination  room, agreed too. He asked me to show him my tongue which I did but for some reason I felt my mouth was full when I tried to pull my tongue back. I tried to swallow a couple of times but I could not. I touched my face and mouth but was not sure what I was feeling .I felt like something was holding my head backwards against the wall that is behind the chair I am sitting suddenly my hands dropped on my lap and I was not able to lift them up. I did not know what was happening to me, I struggled and said “ምን እየሆንኩኝ ነው ?”. I saw the doctor rush to where I was sitting and my mom standing in front of me in tears. She kept calling my name “እማዩ እማዩ ወይ ልጄ” I wanted to tell her that I am ok but I could not. I struggled to keep my eyes open and fight off whatever is happening to me. I am normally ትቢተኛ ነገር so that helped for a while but finally I gave up ,everything went dark .The last word I heard was that of my mom's tearful voice “ዶክተር በቃ እንዲህ ነው ? ልጄ የምትሞተው በቃ እንዲህ ነው በቃ በቃ”
I felt I was trapped in a very small space because I could see my own body like a coffin. I was not thinking of death I was not thinking of not going back, I was not thinking about how I would miss life or that I had a lot to do or achieve. I am not sure if I was thinking at all because thinking is that of the flesh not the soul.But all of a sudden I was showered with questions, these questions were all inward it’s first strike was “…how many people have you disappointed and have asked for apology?” it came in as whisper but with a commanding and demanding tone I tried to count but before I answered the second question came “...Have you told your mom that you love her and that you are grateful of what she has done for you?” I again tried to come up with the answer but it seems like this voice knows what I am about to say and made me feel that it was not the right answer or to the right extent making me incapable to put that in words .Before I even try to utter the third one followed “…have you been there for those who needed you?” At that point I just gave up because I can feel the extent of the answer that was expected from me for none of which I had  answers to, felt so weak and helpless. Then suddenly I felt some pushing energy.If you ask me I would say if buoyancy force is to be experienced from inside the body that is what it would feel like.
All I see in front of me is a checkered light green and white shirt and hear the crying call of my mom and the Doctor .As soon as he saw me open my eyes he lifted me like a small baby and off to the IV room ; my mom following him says “እረ ዶክተር አትችላትም !!!”, taking my generous weight into consideration. The whole “death thing” took 15 minutes. I had anaphylactic shock some say it is a miracle that I revived from that.
 See death comes with no warning and no signal it is a second away and always following us where ever we go and we don’t even know about it. Completely unaware and carelessly we live, at least I do. But when that helpless moment comes all the feeling of invincibility and toughness will go away and you would face you and that voice that peeps-in once in a while and which we normally manage to ignore, that voice will stand there on the witness stand saying “I have warned you”.
It might not make sense when I say this but all I want to say is that it is always good to be on the un-guilty side and at least try to make every moment of one’s life un-regrettable by living in peace with all - at least try. Appreciate what you have and don’t whine about what you don’t. Frequently express your admiration, love and respect to the people that are close to your heart because you don’t know when you will stop being able to do so .Cherish the moment no matter how boring it is. Be so true to yourself no matter how much you might hate it and be forgiving no matter how much some people don’t deserve it - at least I feel the same  thing about some people but I force myself not to hate them and remember that they will have their moments with their inner voice too. Any way I better stop my Dr.Phil preaching here or I could go on forever.
So that is it!!!, my “death thing” experience that really made me count my blessing .I thank my God that I am still alive.

Now I have revised it so I think it will last me for the next whatever months.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Anonymous Blogging in the Ethiopian Church

As the inheritors of faith and the Church poised in the brink of the 21 first century ,cyber has become one the major means of communication among the Laity of the Ethiopian Church as result we have a number of blogs about and for the Church .Praise be to God we are able to get news, dialogues and articles a lot more sooner and in a more legitimate way, yet most of these blogs have anonymous owners which has forced many of us to be very skeptical about them, questioning their credibility which made the time it takes for these blogs to be well recognized and accepted more longer than it usually does .When we come to readers of these blogs, a tendency of putting comment as anonymous or using avatar names is very common. So no matter how aggravating and important the issue is, to have an open discourse has become almost impossible making one unable to determine what potential is dependable-participant if change is initiated to happen.

  In its normal occurrence – cyberism, the screen cease to be a medium of communication between real people who exist elsewhere and also a place where we forward our ideas and views regarding an issue, just like we do in real world (in person and face to face interaction).The other occurrence is when a person creates a virtual character in the virtual world as proxies for themselves (avatar), so enabling their controllers to live in complete self-complacency behind the screen without being known. For instance a person can imaginatively use a phrase, name of holiday or a famous person for their avatar.

As this is not an in-depth researched writing on the original of the various reasons for why people prefer to use an avatar (second life) I would like to point out the most common one which is modesty, playing the biggest role since this has opened a loop to the rivals of the Church to use such methods to distract participants or readers from the topic of the subject that is being discussed by putting a disturbing or unrelated comment. These cyber bugs not only create a diversion but also support the erroneous act and challenges that the Church is facing by putting across their vocabulary decorated words and justifying it, hindering the formation of a strong foundation for open religious discourse that would bring about the desired change. 

I would only like to point out its effect by stating a small example
A manufacturing company might hold an electronic “town hall” where employees and stakeholder can participate from any part of the world. They can use avatars or second life as long as that second life can be linked in to a person meaning an employee or stakeholder and that avatar is a registered user of that virtual conference. The company can deliver the required message to everyone without any miscommunication and misapprehension. But at the end of the day since technology does not provide or grant its reward freely and for the business to be able to utilize the power of machines and manufacturing tool, the workers have to be become part of the machinery and bend their labor in to the discipline. In short what it means is that they have to be physically present to do the work.

 The Ethiopian Church, more than ever, is in need of a voice that says “NO” to all the wrong doings that have gradually worsen. The conflict among the fathers which has led to formation of an exile “synod”, the miscommunication that erupts every now and then at various Bishoprics between Bishops, clergy and the parish members, the abandoning of rural Churches and the flight of clergy because of the lack income, the uninhabited clerical schools, the muddle up administration and Hierarch and a lot more. This can only be attended by speaking up and re-involving in the ground work discipline and as the manufacturing company requires it workers to be physically present at the work place the Ethiopian Church needs a Laity that is spiritually committed, well informed and accountable that is dependable and sensitive about the faith and the well being of the Church. Avatar or Second life fail short on providing that role to the Laity since a real name and real face cannot be attached to the views and comments and discussion made.

Taking the rightful place
 It is undeniable that there are individuals that have given themselves to take up their role on the internal and external challenges that the Church faces, both in real world and cyber.
 For instance Dn Daniel Kibret who we all know for his books, his profound preaching and his invincible stand to the Ethiopian Church has always been an individual who forward his views and forte beliefs openly. And now he has merged the cyber world with the same tone and tune.
His blog has enormous amount of viewers and followers and the time it took the blog to be well know was very short since Dn Daniel Kibret has an established profile in the minds of public.

Even though everyone has differences on aptitude but as the children of the Ethiopian church all has one thing in common and that is the royal priesthood as mentioned in the first epistle of St.Peter, the second chapter and the ninth verse, the Laity has the obligation to take up that rightful place. As a one of progression of such spiritual and revitalized commitment I would like to recommend the following to cyber Ethiopian Church Laity:

1.       Be able to put your proper name because it is the voice of the individual in the voice of a group that actually counts in an ethical religious discourse. It will also suffice a proper flow of discussion rather than one “anonymous” referring to another “anonymous”.
2.        Be able to put proper identity because on doing so the discussion is given proper weight and credibility, as fictitious names are misleading whether a view or comment forwarded is the same person using different names (also known as cyber bugs) or actually a view of different individuals.
3.       Be able not to be very quick-tempered while putting comment no matter how upsetting the issue might be because temper will only stir up strife.
4.       Even though there would be comments that try to agitate the atmosphere, be slow to anger and try to calm the contention.
5.       Be able to always remember that these are not a political but a religious sphere and words have to be chosen wisely.

Longing to here good news

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My mom my pearl

It was after we got back from the gym, busy in the kitchen to fix some hot plates. My mom is, as usual, doing her magic with the food just to please my nutrition-picky nature and to make it less fatty, less carb more veggie and more vitamins and I, as I always do, was sit on the counter and chattering when I got stung by a mosquito “Weye bembiwa nekesechegne...” I told my mom and she said “...weye menabatwa…” and blindly kicked to the direction I was looking at to see the mosquito. My mother kicked the mosquito for me.
You might think it childish but it pondered me for while but I hadnt had the words to describe what I felt.
A few days back one of my post got 67 hits in two hours that was, for a no body like me, a kick off for enormous excitement. I had 5 comments, many “likes”s and many “interesting”s and felt like I got a topic that I could relate with others on. What was very fascinating about it was that I never even intended for it to get that much attention even though the topic was something that have staggered for quite time my intentions was solely to express what I felt and believe. My mind went into cycles to reorder directives that I should read and immerse myself in these topics if it is something that interests my readers but then something hit me. It was that conscious call that happens rarely yet makes you feel like you are being questioned in the witness stand and the question was about recognition: If you are thinking of recognizing others interest how about giving deserved recognition to the people that had great role in your life, recognition to good moments, recognition to the love you felt, the hate you felt, the resentment, the happy and funny moments, the “this is it” moments? I had to give my response to it which  made me decide to write about my most valuables that are close to my heart ,the ones I call my pearls of life. So I share the memes about the pearls of my life.
Pearl Number one:
The Lady you just read about at the top, my mom – Konje - is my pearl, just one of her kind.If Webster knew about her definitely the meaning of mother in the dictionary would have been replaced by her picture. She has been everything to me and I mean literally .She has been the father and the mother combined and she was so good at playing both roles that it has never felt real that I ever had a dad. It was when I was 7 years old that tough-times emerged in our life; my mother got fired/laid off from her work with no notice or compensation. Our family at that time was me, my mom and my baby sitter who actually brought her two kids who are technically my brother and sister; since my mom was the only provider of the house our whole life depended on her. She was 38, back then, who had no other experience than her 20 of being Chief Secretary at an export company and who had three children and two adults including herself to feed. At the moment looking for another work became impossible but she was not stressed or seem worried.She exhausted all her savings and we had no family to turn to.Now that I look back at it., everything seem to have a dead end but in all this, the one thing she has is a winning spirit ,she was/is always a winner who never gives up or loses hope easily. A fighter with a big heart
5 months after she lost her job she opened a beauty salon in our home, in the living room with just one hair dryer and two iron scissors.My baby sitter washes the hair and my mom does the rolling and styling and the funny thing is she had no clue on how it is done.My brother put a sign board for the salon and obviously the name was ማ የውበት ሳሎን. Her customers were a bit doubtful of her abilities but never said a word because they were all paralyzed by her incredibly nice personality and charm. She is  multi talented and creative person who dared any challenge ,one time her old friend who is my God mother told me that she used to match against men in a boxing flight wearing gloves and everything and that gives a cringe to a chicken like me who does not even have a gut to watch boxing on TV.
10 years passed like that, in which time my mom made hand crafts and made dresses for the women who come to get their hair done. Sometimes they refused to buy the dress they ordered after she spent all her energy and money. She worked at her sister’s coffee factory sorting and pulping coffee beans which she was paid so little that that disappointment nearly broke her strong heart, she prepared berbere and shiro to sale and she even bought 2 bee hives and sold the honey for some time and unluckily the bees flew away. She basically did everything that was out there to be done just to provide food in the table but all this time she managed to send me to school and give that indefinitely unconditional love. She finally won her court case with the company she worked for who had to finally pay her compensation with all the penalties due.
My mom is my hero and my best friend who still fascinates me with her high spirit and big heart and whom I could never pay back but just understand and treasure. I would not have been what I am without her even though I am not proud of what I am or feel like I have given her what she desired for me .She is a person who carried the entire burden and kept me untouched and let me live a prestigious life and after all she has done for me she still feels obligated to kick the damn mosquito for me.
I love you Konje yene enate

Ayaya America ...this is true story uncensored

‎(Teacher) After solving this problem I will give u a 10 min break...
(student)... if u don't I will break ur face
(Teacher) ...That was a good one hahahahaha

Is the teacher a knucklehead or a Nitwit ?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Deje-selam: the wikileaks of EOTC

I have been a frequent reader of Deje-selam for about 4 years now and as far as I know it has been the outlet for all the current news in the EOTC. But since the Church has lately become a house of chaos Deje-selam’s dynamics coherently and gradually changed.

One thing is true, EOTC issues are very close to the public and we get to read them on tabloids and other papers which always lack religious ethics, vocabulary, evidence and eloquence Deje-selam has fill that gap. Most times issues hit Deje-selam even before they happen which I feel has been very confusing for those individuals to believe that this isn’t someone among them or an insider who is trading them out whichever the case may be it has been a big pill to swallow not knowing the inside leak .The frustration has led them to finally decide to sue Deje-selam a blog site hosted on blogger.com and which does not have an officially known owner. For me it is like catching air. Deje-selam has become the wikileaks of the EOTC .Just like wikileaks who for the second time has released the largest military leak – the Iraq war log – Deje-selam has been exposing documents, memos and logs of individuals or groups in Church.

As the saying goes “Truth hate delays” I believe Deje-selam should continue its service and delivery no matter how difficult it is at times to only talk about dirty scams.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

After all the Jews were right.....lol aye bemotkut

Walls of Jericho

Just another phone conversation with my appealingly cute humorous cousin.
It is about our common friend who is a new driver with a new car - name is kept anonymous for fear of overrated ridiculing
Me: - አናንመስ የት እንዳለ ታውቃለህ ?
My cousin: - አይ!!! እሱ እኮ አዲሱ መኪናውን ይዞ የሚሄድብት ቦታ ሲያጣ ጊዜ የሚኖርበትን apartment እንደ ኢያሪኮ ግንብ 7 ...ጊዜ ዞሮ በክላክስ ሊያፈርሰው ነው

Saturday, October 23, 2010

God is my Shepherd

እግዚአብሔር እረኛዬ ነው፥ የሚያሳጣኝም የለም።
በለመለመ መስክ ያሳድረኛል፤ በዕረፍት ውኃ ዘንድ ይመራኛል።
ነፍሴን መለሳት፥ ስለ ስሙም በጽድቅ መንገድ መራኝ።
በሞት ጥላ መካከል እንኳ ብሄድ አንተ ከእኔ ጋር ነህና ክፉን አልፈራም፤ በትርህና ምርኵዝህ እነርሱ ያጸናኑኛል።
በፊቴ ገበታን አዘጋጀህልኝ በጠላቶቼ ፊት ለፊት ራሴን በዘይት ቀባህ፥ ጽዋዬም የተረፈ ነው።
ቸርነትህና ምሕረትህ በሕይወቴ ዘመን ሁሉ ይከተሉኛል፥ በእግዚአሔርም ቤት ለዘላለም እኖራለሁ።

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Damn!!! Railway

Living in the US has taught me that life is not as Sleeping-beauty where you have others to do things for you. Here minute, second and milli-second matters a lot. Coming from Ethiopia where time is, as you know, not very important I would have loved to have a laid back and lazy life as I did back home. If you think about Ethiopia, we have been around for 3000 years and there isn’t really much to hurry about so if I have to do something today, I can do it or I can do it tomorrow ironically speaking I went by the clock not the time but here everything runs on due date.
Time in sync

It all started with the railway station which had its own clock which was different from the hotel clock and the bank clock and the entire rail users clock because back then the concept of time was not relative.It became a problem to be able to make it in time to pick up the guests for the hotel or the money for the bank therefore the only alternative was to sync the clocks with the railway clock which eventually became the standard. Gradually other institutes sync their time with the bank or the hotel so the only option that is left for a local-bragger with a clock is to sync his clock with the rest of the world. With the same token I place myself in the local-bragger’s shoes; I needed to sync my clock with my apartments lease office, my student loan, ,my gym subscription and the meter parking because not paying on time has its own consequence (YeQelete mezegeb), back then you would just miss the train but then again missing the train might mean you were not in time to pick up the bank notes oophs!!! So are you going to close the bank for a day or not pay the wages of your employees? Even worse your employees might strike or sue you in court for not paying them oophs!.
YeQelete mezegeb
Not being in sync with other relative clocks now is not as spontaneous as it used to be. Now it will not forget nor forgive instead it will give you time to sync your clock and just to make sure you won’t un-sync again you will take the full pleasure of paying your enemy to note down your indignity points on the YeQelete mezegeb (Credit history).It is an oxymoron like buying a lash so that I could get backlashes.YeQelete mezegeb works in a really witty way:
YeQelete mezegeb point 1
You are on your way to meet your friends – you found a great parking space on the street side right in front café your friends are at – parked in delight and run off to catch up with old conversation and laugh – engaged with a happy mood you decided to change spot and out to your car – out of the generosity the sweet police man left you a white piece of paper on your windshield – a love note that says you are fined 100 dollars for parking on a rush hour spot which just started 4 minutes ago. Sync your time and pay it or 4 weeks later that will be double still if you don’t the records will be passed to the lawmaker and you will be charged with offense.

YeQelete mezegeb point 2
You wrote a check to drop off at the lease office of your apartment – on your way to the lease office with the check on the side seat your phone ran and it is your boss - engaged in the conversation on things you should have done at work, you passed the lease office and reached you’re apt – completely absent mindedly slammed the door of your car and off to the PC to impress your boss how hard working you are – 4 days later you get a letter that say you have not paid the rent and that the fine is 15% of your rent – too bad this time it has already gone to your Qelete mezegeb so next time if you decide to change apartment – they too refer to the same mezegeb so you have to pay half your monthly rent as a deposit because you are not trust worthy neither thinks your Boss oops!.
I can go on but all I mean to say is everything and every action counts so for a person like me who finds it really hard to compartmentalize, who gets distracted by a sad story on the news or by thinking about a friend who is in need or a very hard working boss the only thing that worked for me is asking myself the question “What is that something that is mine and that has a clock which is not in sync in short what is not current?” But then again this is something that I need to ask myself again and again so that I don’t fall out of time or relative clocks. This triggers a prominent question about life and systems.
The railway was built for me, I suppose, and so is other systems in effect life will be easier but apparently these systems demands a lot a time from life that there is no time to live. So as for me dear friends I rather lay back and gossip with Wezero Debritu who is my neighbor back in Ethiopia and makes a damn good coffee.
Please note this is now way a challenge or way to define life but rhetoric way of expressing my laziness.

Friday, October 8, 2010

ያልተገበረበት ርስት አይረጋም

ሃይማኖትና ምግባር የአግዚአብሔር የወግ ዕቃዎች ናቸው።
 ምዕመናንም የአግዚአብሔር የወግ ዕቃዎች መሆናቸው የታወቀ ነው ።
ከእነዚህ ከሁለቱ ዕቃዎች ከምግባር እና ከሃይማኖት አንዱ እንኳን ቢጠፋ ምዕመናን በሀላፊነት መጠየቃቸው አይቀርም ።
ቅዱስ ጵውሎስ የአግዚአብሔር ያጠፉ አግዚአብሔር ያጠፋዋል ብሏል።
ሰው ሆይ!  
ከአግዚአብሔር ትዕዛዝ አንዷ እንኳን እንዳትፈርስብህ እና አንተ ደግሞ ከአግዚአብሔር ቤትነት የፈረስክ እንዳትሆን ተጠንቀቅ።
ጠዋት ከመኝታህ ተነስተህ ቀን በዋለክበት ውለህ ለምሳ ማታ በመሽህበት አምሽተህ ለራት የምታስበውን ያህል ለበጎ ምግባርህ እና ለእግዚአብሔር አምልኮት አስብ።
ከበጎችህ አንዲቱ ስትጠፋ እንደምታዝን ካንተም  ሃይማኖት ወይም ምግባር ሲታጣ እግዚአብሔር ያዝናልና።
ፍጡር ሁሉ የአግዚአብሔር ገንዘብ ስለሆነ በዚህ በገንዘብነቱ አዛዡ የአግዚአብሔር ነውና ለእግዚአብሔር አልታዘዝም ለማለት
የሚቻለው የለም ።
የመምለኬ አግዚአብሔር የሆነ ሁሉ አምልኮት እና ሃይማኖት የአግዚአብሔር ገንዘብ መሆኑን ይውቃል።
እንዲሁም ቸርነት ባለጠግነት ኃያልነት ፈራጅነት እነዚሀ አራቱ ነገሮት የአግዚአብሔር ገንዘቦች ስለሆኑ በቸርንቱ ያጸድቃል በባልጸግነቱ ያበለጽጋል በኃያለነቱ ሁሉን ያሽንፋል በፈራጀንቱ በእውነት ይፈረዳል ስለዚህ የአግዚአብሔር አምልኮት ፍሩት ውደዱት አመስግኑት የፈሩት እና ያመለኩት በስጋ ተጠቅመዋልና

ምንጭ፡ -  ስነምግባር

Saturday, September 25, 2010

የጋጋ ስጋ and the Lazarus Measures

The 50 pounds meat outfit that was shredding the media the past week hit me in so many ways. I wanted to anticipate or philosophize and say something about it but I got engaged with different thought perspectives that cascaded or contradicted with one another that it made me feel like a chauvinist if I don’t relate and give meaning to it. A meaning that would that could be measured with the moral virtue as being right or wrong.
So where does the sense of right and wrong come from? For some God reveals his laws and they get elevated with his love which makes them commit to it for life. For others it is moral reasoning and the choice they make. But as the moral naturalist it is due to the observation and moral attitude built through the history of relationship which is the remedy for influencing and inspiring ሕሊና. Moral judgment is generally a moral behavior which will make an individual be more sensitive to others point of view. The thirst of recognition is sometimes the lack of being well equipped with fairness, justice and virtue or lack of being good at anticipating and feeling other people’s feelings and pain. Or in short not being able to go out of the Me zone.

Me compliment is about everything but me. It is about the hungry child who dies from deficiency of food or the unfortunate woman who gets raped on her way to night shift work or the father who could not afford to send his bright young boy to school or the people who year after year live in poverty and all those who does not have a choice.
Choice: the privilege to neglect an alternative. It is very intriguing to know what this small word can mean, there are people who starve (diet) by choice and those who starve not by choice some who are naked by choice and some not by choice but then again there are people who strive to succeed and gain superiority and there are some who abandon everything they have and decide to live in the wilderness.
Even though there is many ways of refining cooperative moral beliefs, a progression of reasoning takes up a major role. Consequently a meat dress an exclusive way of achieving recognition is outrageous for some domain and for some it is a question of even-possible since the need t
o eat has not yet been satisfied. This might not be an offensive deed 50-100 years from now because by then reasoning might have reached to a stage that positively justifies such action.
So where do we draw the line between reasoning and ignorance? For me the best reference is ancient history and most of all, the Bible. Because these stories really challenge our moral virtue and sometimes force to reconstruct our belief, views and the ground of fairness right from scratch. The best parable is Lazarus and the rich man. It represents the two faces of this world Lazarus the un-benefited, un-dressed, the hungry, the one that struggles to survive, the one with oozing sores -- therefore unclean and the weak and the rich man who dresses well and eats well and lives it up every day. Neither of them has chosen but were granted or favored through situations.
Lazarus Measures
Regardless of what happens in the afterlife the moral of the story is that if we are the benefited one in life we should seek the opportunity to think for and be sensitive about those who are in pain or disadvantaged and be able to respond more powerfully to the plight of an individual. This, I think, normalizes the awfully altered moral virtues of acting responsibly.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ladies firsቱ ቢቀርም ምንም አይደለም

A conversation between folks waiting for an elevator
….the elevator arrived..
ወንድ 1  ................ቆይ ሰዎቹ ይውረዱ
ወንድ 2 ኧረ ምን እነሱ ብቻ….ሌዲስ ፈርስትም እንጂ  (አብራቸው ወዳለችው ት እየተመለከተ..)
ሴትዋ  ኢትስ  ኦኬ ግቡ
ወንድ 1 .. ኖ ኖ ኖ ግቢ ..
ወንድ 2 ..ግቢ ፕሊስ
………….ገባች………….ገቡ………………elevato ሄደ
…………1ኛ…..2ኛ……3ኛ ፍሎር ደረሱ
………elevatoሩ ቆመ በሩ ተከፈተ
……………………………..ወንዶቹ ቀድመው ወረዱ   L
Cultural clash at times make society a victim of un and re learning. Even though there is no contradiction in the notion of the subject, the way it is conveyed and expressed is carved by the culture of that society. The difference is prevailingly observed when cultures cross as civilization merges and influences due to many social reasons. Bring this to my topic the notion of respecting women, all human beings in that matter, is positively accepted by any civilized society but the way it is expressed is different in every culture.
As a Diasora individual I struggle in this process of unlearning and relearning culture other than my own and “Ladies first” is one.
Ladies first
Although there are many speculations abounding the origin of this tradition the impelled resulting-concept is: Respecting Woman. So knowing this does neither make me feel less respected nor make me evaluate a man’s gentlemanliness with that measure, since this is not a tradition I grew up in. One time, I was coming out of a convenience store and a guy, የእኛ አይነት ሰው የሆነ ሰው  in other words originally not from the US or any like culture, coming in the store held the door open for me and said "first ladies!!!.." unfortunately he was standing opposite the side the door opens so I technically had to pass under his stretched arm so that his effort of practicing “Ladies first” doesn’t go to waste . So I learned my lessons and if a guy says “.Ladies first...” or "first ladies!!!.." which ever appeals to him I would ask back “Are you sure?”, because for me the phrase reads not ladies first but safety first or first safety.
 I believe that it is not phrase but the thought and the motive that matters, if the ethical idea of respecting others is well internalized then the expression is noticeable not only by the way that person treats others but also by the way she/he carries her/himself. Refining a personality is a change process that keeps getting better and better in time through unlearning wrong traditions and relearning the good once. The learning curve is not linear because not everything we learn is good or everything that we unlearn is bad. So the perfect equilibrium is obtained, if obtained, after many trials and errors since life itself is about the experience. So in the same context if የእኛ አይነት ሰው የሆነ ሰው  guy forgets to practice the Ladies first phrase does not make him a coward or lesser of a gentleman so ladies firsቱ ቢኖርም ጥሩ ነው ቢቀርም ምንም አይደለም ዋናው ሴፍቲው ነው.