...the Life and Times of Karolyn Lewis.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Ethiopian Adventure... Part 1

The highlight of the decade came earlier this year when Lee and I crossed the Atlantic for the very first time and visited Africa.  We had such a good time, we went again about a month later.  Yeppers... I've been to Africa twice, and I will brag about that every chance I get.

I've wanted to dig my toes into the African sand ever since I took African American Folklore at Florida State University.  I had no clue as to how or why or when I would make it there, but I knew I wanted to go; and finally, after many years, I did! Although I kept my feet firmly in my shoes, I was not disappointed with my experience.  It was absolutely amazing.  Unbelievably amazing!

Since a picture says a thousand words, I think I'll share a few from my trip.  While most save the best for last, I'll start with my most favorite image (in case you don't make it to the end...  and there will be subsequent parts to this adventure so the end is in the distant future).

Something about this lady absolutely captivated me.  I met her at one of the stops we made while in the country.  If I could sit down with anyone in the world and have a cup of coffee, it would be her.  I would ask her to start at the very beginning and tell me everything about her life, her family, her culture, and her country.  I would try to remember every word, as I know it would be a tale worth telling. One day, I hope to have a portrait painted from this picture.  I'll hang it proudly on my wall.  For some reason, I think she deserves such honor.

Moving right along, here are some random shots, many of which were taken while driving over 90 miles an hour down a road (seriously... I had brief moments where I thought we were going to die).

If I had a nickel for every cow and goat I saw, I'd be rich.  They were everywhere.  EVERYWHERE!!

We were able to visit an Evangelical Christian church service.  It was quite the celebration.  Notice the women up front with the giant drums.

We were super happy in this picture because we had just been cleared at the Embassy.  Our adoption was declared full and final by the US government.  We are in front of the transition home owned by our agency where kids stay between court and embassy.  We stayed here on our second trip.

I just love this picture.  The flag was mounted on a boat we used on Lake Hawassa.  It reminds me of Waving Flag by K'Naan. Wait, I think I hear it in my head right now...

 When I get older 
I will be stronger, 
they'll call me freedom, 
just like a wavin' flag.  

Sing along... don't be scared.

I've heard studs called sticks before, but these studs really were sticks. 

These huts were actually very large.  We peeked into one and we were blown away by the size.  It's told that most times, huts double as shelter for families and livestock.

Check this out... a mud hut and a power line.  I'm not smart enough to photoshop this all together so I hope that you believe me when I say this is fur-real (shout out to my friend Mylene who I know will get a kick outta that one!).  Don't forget to notice the pole/tree.

A view from the guest house on our first trip.  It was not uncommon to see really nice places and really dumpy places side by side.  Covenants and Restrictions aren't much of a reality there.  

Take a gander at these children. I like the older kid in the blue and white shirt with the red pants.  He looks to be a pro at having his picture taken.  

Ok, so I've never been more in love with my husband than I was at this moment.  On his knees and surrounded by dirty little kids, is a man whose heart is bent towards good.  And he's all mine. 

A lady and her baby... 'nough said. 

A view from the Horizon House terrace (the nice place in the Embassy pose earlier).  Don't miss the satellites in the upper left corner.  Also on every tin roof were rocks, tires, or anything heavy enough to keep the roof from flying away.

Two strapping young men I snuck a snap of on the streets of Addis Ababa.  

This little town reminded me of the wild, wild west.  

We saw tons of pack mules.  Oh, to know what they were packin'...


I do love a good tree!

Another view from the terrace at Horizon House.  It was Timkat ( Epiphany;  aka: the biggest Ethiopian celebration of the year) and the streets were packed.  More Timkat pictures to come.  

To wrap up this segment of My Ethiopian Adventure, here's our first ever family picture (minus the rest of the family).  Our little guy doesn't look very happy.  He's not.  Trust me.  It took a few days, but his heart-capturing smile made an appearance.  Thankfully, it's still there.

More to come in Part 2...  


  1. I just love reading about your family and getting know you and yours over the miles! Miss you!

  2. Just amazing is all i can say .. and believe me i am rarely ever speechless.. your family is Beautiful from the B all the way to the L. I love your images ! great capture, composition.. a great eye comes from the heart.