Agazh’s license expired on February 13, 2013 and the renewal process began February 14th. The Ministry of Justice Charities and Societies Agency does not begin processing license renewal applications until the current license expires and it allocates 2 months to complete the renewal process. First, we completed a form providing Agazh’s background information.Then we submitted tax records, and projected budgets for the next 3 years, making sure that no more than 10% of Agazh’s projected funds is planned to come from outside Ethiopia, as is law for NGOs operating in Ethiopia.
This month, Agazh volunteers began preparing the soil next to Agazh’s office, for planting. This area will be used as a demonstration area to demonstrate the most efficient planting techniques, such as soil amending, properly spacing seeds, and following appropriate watering regimens. About 10% of the population who participated in Agazh’s Study reported being trained farmers and growers. Some of them lost their livelihoods when their land was taken away by government as Addis Ababa expanded and became increasingly urbanized. These individuals can play an integral role in developing this demonstration area. Able-bodied Agazh elderly will grow produce that they can consume and also sell in the market for income.
We are also very pleased to finally announce the launch of Agazh’s website after some delay on launching. Please check it out and share it with those who may be interested to know about Agazh, and the state of the elderly population in Ethiopia: www.agazh.org
My mom visited for 2 weeks and in between her visits to countless family members, we took a short trip to Lake Langano. Lake Langano is about 200 km southeast of Addis Ababa, it is one of several lakes created by the Ethiopian Rift Valley, which was formed at the end of the Miocene period. Some of the Rift Valley’s faults are still active, with the rift expanding at a rate of 5-7 mm annually, while others are considered inactive. Lake Langano, I believe, is north enough that it is on an inactive fault. Here is a picture of my mom, Aunt Asru, and cousin, Yohannes, on the shore of Lake Langano.
Since Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia in 1991, Ethiopia has become a land-locked country. Many Ethiopians still talk about how Eritrea should rejoin Ethiopia and how Eritreans are “part of us.” The most commonly heard complaint though about Eritrea being an independent nation is: “they took our coast.” In the last 22 years, Lake Langano has become Ethiopia’s most popular beach, with several hotels and resorts popping up around its shore. Here are pictures of Asru, Tadu, Yohannes, my mom and me at a Langano resort, and my mom and I with a resort horse on Lake Langano’s shore.
Also while my mom was visiting, we celebrated my cousin, Bazin’s son’s christening. Here are pictures of: the christening, and baby Gabriel in a plate of injera, as is tradition after a baby is christened!
And finally, I recently found an old picture of Asru and my mom from when they were in elementary school. Neither of them recalled exactly which grades they were in, but they told me this photo was taken in Dodola, Ethiopia right after school was dismissed for summer break. Then they modeled for a recreation of the old photo!