My first day of training is March 1st, 2013. During lunch at this training event, we all have to go around and present our research project. This project is research but more of a hands on research. We are allowed to use the Internet for the initial research but must discover a real experience to go along with it.
In all my Internet research about Ethiopian culture, one stood out for me. Coffee Ceremony. I entered some keywords in Google and at the top of the results page was a link for Blessed Coffee (pronounced bles-sed). I said, “oh how cool, an Ethiopian cafe”. Yeah, not so much. I sent an email to Blessed Coffee to verify that they were not a cafe and to see where I could buy their coffee. Thinking this was a long shot, figuring I probably wouldn’t get a response – but I did.
The founder of Blessed Coffee actually responded. He sent a link to a few places to buy the coffee. One of them is a co-op market that was by a membership, but after asking Tebabu, the founder, if the membership was required, he said that it wasn’t.
I then asked him if he could help me with something. I explained that I am a single woman adopting from Ethiopia and part of my assignment was to learn something about their culture. I also explained that I was intrigued by their coffee ceremony and I’m interested in including that in my new life as a family tradition.
To my amazement, he emailed me back and invited me to his house where him and his wife would give me a traditional coffee ceremony. How awesome is that?
The ceremony in a nutshell is a community social event comprised of three rounds of coffee, with the last round being the “blessed” coffee.
To learn more about the coffee ceremony, click HERE.
My mom was excited and wanted to go with me. It makes me so happy that she is here to walk this entire journey with me.
We arrived at Tebabu’s house this past Saturday at 11am. They were still setting up but it was great to see it from beginning to end. Tebabu was great explaining the difference between coffee and why the ceremony is such a wonderful way to create community. His wife was equally amazing as she explained each step of the ceremony as she was going through it.
I asked if I could take pictures and they of course welcomed it. I took one at each step so you can get a better visual of what I am talking about. We also got a group photo or two at the end before we left.
Not done yet.
Tebabu and his wife are also the founders of the Ethiopian Festival that occurs in July. The festival is two years old so this year will be the third year. Tebabu puts together a festival booklet and he asked me if I would write an article sharing with the Ethiopian community, my physical and spiritual journey of adoption. Wow is right! They also invited us and our friends and family and I’m very excited to participate. I believe he said either this year or next he hopes to have a special area of the program for adoptive parents and their children.
I hit the jackpot!
To top off this wonderful experience, he offered his family as our extended family. A friend of his family stopped by (not sure I know how to spell his name) and he also extended himself as a resource for when I bring my child home. They all said that if I have any questions about culture or whatever, they would be more than happy to help me.
At the end of the ceremony, Tebabu suggested we go around and say something to end our conversation. I can’t even put into words everything they said, but everyone make my eyes moist and my heart swell.
I have made a lifetime of new friendships as well as a new branch in my family tree. I can’t wait to see what the future brings me.