End of Yetesfye Birhan

To mark the culmination of Yetesfye Birhan for this academic year the girls were invited to a Gibsha. This they understand as being an injera and wat meal. They were encouraged also to bring their Mums if they wished. The girls arrived with a variety of others: Mum’s, sisters, toddlers and Mulawark brought her grandma who is her main carer. We served the meal on trays, as is traditional and of course no cutlery was required.

I explained in Amharic to my usual group of girls that Phil was my husband and was taking the photos. China responded with “He’s sweet” and was promptly nudged by her older sister and told not to say that. Donations of second-hand clothing had been collected from various sources and lots were drawn to allow each girl an opportunity to choose about four items. They were soon in ‘free clothes shopping’ mode (I’m sure that it’s in the female genes), as they held many combinations up against themselves. It was a serious business and not to be hurried. The Mum’s were keen to partake too and gladly accepted some of the larger T-shirts.

Finally as they left the families and various combinations of girls and relatives posed to have their photo taken by Phil. They will receive a copy when we resume at the end of August. There was an air of excited chatter as groups left with bulging bags. It was while we were clearing up the classroom that someone spotted a toddler wandering around who had obviously been forgotten. He was taken to the guards at the front gate to wait for someone to realize that they had mislaid a family member.

Nothing was wasted. The spare food was given to the guards (who had a long night of patrolling the compound ahead), they also took all the scraps from the trays to give to those who would appreciate it outside the gate in the local community.

It was a great conclusion to the valuable ministry that is Yetesfye Birhan. Enjoy the gallery of Phil’s pictures. (Click the link then click the first picture then play the slide show).


What wonderful pictures!  It made me want to come back - whenever I look at your pictures or read your blog it makes me want to come and visit you again.
Where did the clothes come from?  Were they sent out or collected in Addis?
Can we send some back with you - I love going round the charity shops!
Lots of love
Lizzy xx

I agree - they are wonderful photos. I think Phil has missed his vocation. He is wasted as a Dcotor when he could have been a professional photographer.
Don't girls look beautiful in every language on earth?

Hi to you both. That party sounded like a real feast, amazing too that you had left over food after all those extra guests! The photos look lovely and very smiley.
Oh Phil, you made me laugh abut Chris's birthday cake, what a whopper but sounded sooo delicious I would have loved a bite.
Best wishes
Portia x

I think this was a great idea.  Precious time spent with family and friends around a meal with the extra excitement of gifts of clothes.  It sounds like it was much enjoyed.  The photographs are beautiful. 
I like the way that spare food is often distributed amongst the guards and in this case also beyond the gates.  

I'm still trying to think of Phil as "sweet"..... hang on a minute...........I'm not quite there......perhaps if I just try a bit harder..........no sorry - given up. However, I'm sure that he did a great job and that the girls will love the photos!

Add new comment