Wednesday's Whimsy : Ethiopian Girl

i have quite a lot on my mind,
today in particular,,, & let's not even begin with all that is on my plate.

yet, there is this little nagging inner 'voice' that keeps telling me 'i need to blog'.
not because today is Wednesday,
so technically time for a "wednesday's whimsy",,,
but because blogging helps
re-energize my thoughts,
re-inspire my creativity
& release whatever it is that has been 'weighing' in my path.

so, i knew it was time to introduce you to the beautyFULL inside & out woman who is...

Aster :
i feel that the introduction of Aster is the perfect way to begin one of many posts about my recent travels to Africa to document an adoption.

as you can clearly see Aster is beautiful. i don't think you need to even speak to her to know the immense beauty she effortlessly radiates.
Aster worked at the Addis Ababa Guesthouse, where we stayed during our travels in Ethiopia.
she worked there during the day & attended school at night.
despite the language barrier, Aster & i were able to communicate quite well --
i don't think there was a day that i was there that she didn't make me laugh out loud.

Aster helped me with my Amharic (the Semitic language spoken in North Central Ethiopia)
& always answered all my questions with the biggest smile.
the first time i met her she walked up to me & said "you work too much" ,,,
i couldn't help but laugh inside thinking 'wow. this coming from someone who has known me just from observation, merely a day.'
note to self at that moment -- something's gotta change.

one morning, as i was helping Aster make my bed, i asked her how school was the night before & what she was studying.
she told me she was in "grade 10" ,,, and that "she was a country girl. must work during the day, and school at night."
i smiled & told her i thought that was wonderful & i was so proud of her.
...and just like that, it was one of those moments that just stamps your heart permanently.

later that evening we were all asking each other how old we were. i found out Aster is 28.
i was even more proud of her & the dedicated woman that she is.
on the last day that we were in Ethiopia, we were sitting outside enjoying the bit of sunshine that had decided to greet us that day.
Aster asked to braid my hair & i looked at her, thought about it for a second & said, "sure?!" not really knowing what to expect.

as she pulled, tightened & braided, wetting my hair in between, we talked, we laughed & laughed some more.

"today, you Ethiopian girl," she said to me. i smiled & said, "to be so lucky. i am very honored."

there was something that transpired as the braids completed that i know i can never properly express in words. it was a perfect way to end my Ethiopian journey & the perfect reminder of how one single person can affect another.

you never know how.
you never know when.
all you have to do is




i traveled the long 28 hour journey back home with my braids.
not only did i not want to take them out, i also knew that i had to document them.
i needed to remember exactly how i was feeling when i returned 'home'....

because i knew

that there would be a day

like today

where i could easily let my 'mind' get in the way
& forget what really matters.

L O V E ,

thank you's

...& the strength and realness that is an

Ethiopian girl'.
to say that my experience in Ethiopia was life-changing is an understatement.
you will begin to understand why more & more as i continue to blog.

Aster was a big part of this & for that, i am forever grateful.

dearest Aster,,, the definition of a brilliant, brave, proud & radiant Ethiopian girl,
my 'thank you' to you is immeasurable. i hope you know an ounce of how greatly you touched my heart.

Betam ameseginalehugm!!!
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