Archive for December, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope you are enjoying your holidays.  The children of CCCE are celebrating Christmas twice this year.  They had Christmas on December 25 with Sam, Noah, and Natalie (a friend visiting from Washington).

Noah, Sam and the Little Children of CCCE

Sam, Noah, and the Boys

Ethiopia follows the ancient Julian calendar and celebrates Christmas on January 7.  Allie Sebree and Bob Devine arrived in Soddo today.  They brought wonderful gift bags for all the children.  These gift bags were lovingly prepared by the congregation of St. Peter’s Church in Malvern, PA.  It is amazing the amount of gifts that can be stuffed into a one gallon Ziplock bag!  The bags will be given to the children on the morning of January 7.  The children will go to church, have a special feast, and enjoy time with Sam, Noah, Allie, and Bob on Christmas.

At this time of year, I think about all the people who help Aerie Africa and CCCE.  I am grateful for the sponsors and benefactors of Aerie Africa.  Without you, we could do nothing.  I am thankful for the dedicated volunteers with their endless energy who keep Aerie Africa running.  I am so happy that we have Sam and Noah working in Soddo and making such a difference.  Finally, my heartfelt thanks and awe go to Henok and Dr. Kelemu.  With their vision and leadership, we have an orphanage that is a happy, loving home to our children and is a model for other children’s organizations in southern Ethiopia.

Following are some of my favorite pictures from 2009.


Selamawit, Zelieke, and Banchwosen

Allie, the Prince, and Princesses

Afework with his wonderful smile

I hope you and your loved ones have a blessed 2010.


A New Boy and a New Lamb

On Friday, CCCE welcomed Bercate.  Bercate is a three year old boy.  He is the twin brother of Konjit, one of the little girls who joined CCCE in November.  Amazingly, Bercate and Konjit were separated soon after birth.  Sam reports the reunion of Bercate and Konjit was joyous.  Both were laughing and hugging each other.   Bercate has rapidly adapted into the CCCE family and his happy, mischievous personality has quickly emerged.

Bercate and Henok (CCCE Executive Director)

Konjit and Bercate

If you are interested in sponsoring Bercate, please contact Janice Mack at

Everyone at CCCE is excited by our other new arrival.  One of our sheep had a baby lamb.  Dawit announced this exciting news to Sam and Noah by running to tell them that “A Son is Born”.

Mother and New Lamb

The children, Sam, and Noah have spent the last two Saturdays planting the vegetable garden.  It has rained several nights.  We are happy for the rain for our garden but the farmers do not welcome the rain at this time.   They are harvesting their crops including teff, the grain used for injera.  The rains damage their crops and make it difficult to harvest.  After last year’s drought, the crops are badly needed.  Hopefully, the skies will clear and we will use well water for our garden.

We have a well!

CCCE began work on a water well last week.  (It had actually been started several months ago but worked had stopped.  Sam and Noah ignited new enthusiasm and got work started again.)

They hit water yesterday and continued digging today.  Sam and Noah report much water coming from the well. The well water will be used for the garden and the animals (sheep and chickens) and will be a real blessing for cleaning when the local town water is not available (all too often these days).

Workers Digging CCCE Well

I spoke with Sam and Noah today.  They sound like they are doing great.  They report that all is well at CCCE and the Aerie Transition Homes.  The new children are settling in and starting to interact with the other children and Sam and Noah.  The new nanny nurse is doing well and is making a big difference with the younger children.  A new chore schedule has been introduced by Sam and Noah.  Sam said everyone had a comment about it!

All in all a good week – a steady water supply and healthy, happy kids!