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wednesday's whimsy : ethiopia

  Wednesday, 3.20.13

it has been weighing heavy on my heart to blog about my travels to Ethiopia for quite some time now. i just could never find the 'right' words.

it was an experience that changed me.
an experience that was filled with every type of emotion imaginable,,, and then some.

with my upcoming documentary travels to Kenya, it is hard not to go back to the time i was last in Africa.

in May of 2010, i traveled to Ethiopia to document the union of mother and daughter, Aiya, through adoption. that story is personal & not for me to share, however if you want to read more & learn more about the power of adoption, check out ADOPT MORE!

i have written a few posts about Ethiopia as i was trying to 'process' it all. then recently, i realized that this is one of those experiences that i may never fully process,
but will ALWAYS be an evolution within my heart.

...and i'm quite okay with that.

& today, finally, on this first day of spring wednesday whimsy, i am ready to share my story.

i have decided to keep it more simple, let my pictures do the talking with just a few words & titles...

as you will quickly understand,
there is much to see.
much to process.
much to feel.
much to love.

after almost 28 hours of travel, we arrived in Addis Ababba, meaning 'New Flower'... this was my room.

' on the long road to Hawassa '

"i saw what i saw & i can't forget it." ~sarah groves

' work '

"something on the road, touched my very soul." ~sarah groves

' traffic '

i call this one ' the giving tree '.
there was something magical about this tree. definitely one of my favorite images.

a few precious faces from the first orphanage we visited

monkeys instead of squirrels, red dirt, 'work' & people along the way


one thing you get used to quickly is that animals are everywhere...
& apparently up for posing for the camera, too

in my journal i wrote,

"as i write this, the sun has started shining, yet a few rain drops are dropping...
& i feel more ALIVE than i have in a very long time."

' sunset watching '

Lake Awassa,
also known as 'Love Lake'

' Ethiopian street dogs '

he roams the streets selling 'hippo things'.
his name is Desta, meaning 'happiness'.

' Ethiopian sunset '

sweeeeeeeeeet mama & baby monkeys!!!

huts, fishing & the boat that took us to see the hippos

yes, He is!

hippo 'hunting'

do you see the hippo?!

just chilling

there is just something about this image that is forever embedded in my heart

this may be one of my TOP favorite images from the entire trip.
when we pulled up to their mud hut, there was a storm coming & everyone was hustling to get things ready before it came.
yet, somehow there is an underlying calmness to this moment that i love so much.

texture, earth, turtles & clotheslines

' sweet faces along the way '

what scaffolding looks like in Ethiopia,,, along with other sights on the road.

' downtown '

my favorite photo of the beautyFULL Aiya

rain & oncoming traffic

' dinner time '

near the end of our trip, we got to experience the colorful traditional dancing of Ethiopia. love!

' when the power is out '

' light blue 54459 '

"your pain has changed me
your dream inspires
your face a memory
your hope a fire
your courage asks me what I'm afraid of
(what I am made of)
and what I know of

~sarah groves

the last photo i took before we left...

& a quote from my Ethiopian journal ...

...which appropriately leads me to another favorite image from Ethopia which i call
' endless '

... because the truth is that no matter where the path may take you,
the experience & love you feel are endless.

thank you Ethiopia. or even better, Amesege'nallo' Ethiopia!
you will forever have a piece of my heart.

thank you ADOPT MORE for the honor to document Aiya's adoption & the unforgettable experience in Ethiopia.

if you would like to purchase a print,
click the "ethiopia 2010" section in our fine art prints gallery by clicking here!

with great love & gratitude,



hope, love, & rainbows

  Thursday, 5.6.10


i just wanted to let you know i will be out of office until Monday, May 17th, 2010 with no email or telephone access.
i will tend to all emails & calls as soon as i return. thank you SO kindly for your patience!
for any pressing matters, please feel free to contact my wonderFULL office assistant, Angela.
to email her, simply click HERE!

it was just about a year ago when i was asked to do a podcast for Voices of Detroit
& met Kimberly Leclercq who was in process of adopting her second child.
SO much has happened since then & as i write these words,
i am still in shock that in about 24 hours i will be landing in Ethiopia !!!
i cannot even begin to wrap my head around what is in store,,,

however, as i am about to embark on this long-anticipated journey,
i can't help but smile at all the sweet ways the Universe guides you,
even with all the challenges.
it is truly bittersweet...
but the kind that you actually appreciate the bitter after so you can really taste the SA-WEEEET.

ironically enough, these past two Sundays at Kensington they have had an amazing series called CHOSEN.
if i tried to explain to you how these services have touched my heart,
it would be like trying to explain to you the chemistry & essence of the moon & the stars. virtually impossible,,,
however that won't stop me from sharing some precious bits that will hopefully pull on your heart strings
in the most inspiring, magical way.

with that said,,,
i . highly . encourage .
wonderFULL . YOU !
to take a moment,
or two,
or three,
or ten,,,

and to experience the two videos below.
there are no words to describe the feeling you will have after watching them, except for your own.

The Dancer from Kensington on Vimeo.

Kenya 2010 from Kensington on Vimeo.

if you would like to see more videos created by the brilliant team at Kensington, just click here.

be sure to check out for more information!!! one of the best parts of the message last Sunday was that as we were all about to leave, he said to us to be sure not to leave & feel bad, or hard on ourselves for not doing anything or 'enough'... but to instead try to do 'something' --

as i see it, whatever that 'something' is to you will be 'someTHING' life changing to someone else.
how amazing is that?

to see more posts connected with the trip & ADOPT MORE click here!

as for me,,, my simple wish & hope is to be able to bring some love to all that i encounter & hopefully together we can make rainbows,,,
even without any sprinkles.

with love, heart & great gratitude,



  Thursday, 3.11.10

as promised from the original post "prints.passion.purpose", below is part III of III !

i stumbled across this quote which i deemed quite appropriate as a preface to this post :

"Each friend represents a world in us,
a world possibly not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
~Anais Nin.

through my recent work travels for the ah!mazing up & coming company, Ciao Andiamo a new world & friendship was most definitely born...

oh Italy,,, you make my heart. sing. without even doing a thing :

my future home... everyone is welcome :

naturally lovely :

'continental' breakfast one morning at an awesome hotel in Positano. pure Italian goodness :

somewhere in here, i left a small piece of my heart... will have to go back one day to leave a bit more :

this is Margherita & her cat Pufi. yes, Pufi. Pufi also happens to be 20 years old!!! we had the BEST time with her in her quaint & cute ceramic shop in Positano :

somehow someone stole my bike & brought it to Rome. don't ask me how?! i am just glad i found it.

one of my favorite pics from the trip and of Jon Pollock, the owner & mastermind behind Ciao Andiamo!

if you think this looks good,,, you don't even know how good it looks in your belly!!!

the sky in front of me as the sun set on the Amalfi coast (can you feel the LOVE & LIGHT?!):

the water in front of me as the sun set on the Amalfi coast :

'dal mi' cocco' restaurant in Perugia = great food, good times, even better memories! always :

pink tux? L O V E! win-win, fo sho :

parallel intersection :

oh Jonny! i *heart* these portraits of him. i feel they really depict the essence of the amazing, passionate & fun-loving person Jon is :

taken in Rome on my last night of the Ciao Andiamo adventure...

of course, the promotion for ADOPT MORE is still haaaap.pen.ning!....

***however, if you would like to connect to the gallery immediately, simply CLICK HERE!***

please keep in mind that the passcode is case sensitive!

happy "wednesday's whimsy" to YOU.


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