Archive for September, 2010

Allie Sebree’s Summer Trip to Ethiopia

This post was written by Allie Sebree who just returned from 13 weeks in Ethiopia.

I recently just returned home from a three month visit to Ethiopia.  I spent 6 weeks in Soddo and 6 weeks in Addis Ababa.  I had an amazing time with the kids at CCCE and had many great new experiences at the Kidane Mihret orphanage in Addis.

There were quite a few new kids at CCCE that I met this trip.  They are all very cute and smart.  Mekdas, a seven year old girl,  is already learning how to read in English!  I also enjoyed getting to play with Asnakech, a five year old girl, and Eyerasalem, a 13 year old girl.

Asnakech and Eyerasalem

Many of the CCCE kids are attending Oxnard Youth Academy, a local private school.  While I was in Soddo, I got the chance to see their end of the year ceremony where they honor the kids who were at the top of their class.  There was singing, traditional dancing, and an awards ceremony.  They called students who were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in their classes up on stage to receive a certificate.  I was called up on stage to help hand out awards.  Abayneh received an award for being 3rd in his class.

Awards Ceremony at Oxnard Academy (Abayneh is receiving an award)

Just before I left Soddo, I had the chance to go with the CCCE kids on their annual field trip to Lake Langano.  We managed to get all the kids up and ready to leave by 5:30 am.  We were rolling out of Soddo by 6 am on three buses.  After a four hour bus ride we finally arrived at the lake and the kids got straight in the water.  Katie, Sam, Noah, and I all took turns taking the little kids out to the deep water and attempting to teach them how to swim.

Swimming at Lake Langano

I want to extend a special thank you to Henok, CCCE’s Executive Director, for all his outstanding work and kind hospitality.

Henok with Belen (Nanni) and Bineyam

‘The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth’ – Desiderius Erasmus

Once again, our CCCE children have done great in school.  First the really BIG news:  Michael and Asrat scored high enough on their 12th grade examination to be admitted to university!  They will be our first two CCCE children to go to university.  Only 5% of students in Ethiopia attend university (compared to 63% in USA).  Both Michael and Asrat have worked incredibly hard for the last four years and studied many hours to accomplish this terrific milestone.  We will find out which universities they are attending in the next few weeks.  University starts in October in Ethiopia.

Asrat

Michael (with Adisu)

And more exciting news!  Two of our kids, Adanech and Mindahun, did great on their 10th grade examination (officially called Ethiopian General School Leaving Certificate Examination) and are admitted into preparatory school for university. Only 30% of tenth graders score high enough to go to preparatory school.  Also, Asfaw who took the 10th grade examination last year and missed being admitted to preparatory school by a tenth of a point retook the examination this year and did great.  All three will be attending preparatory school in September.

Mindahun

Asfaw

Asfaw

Adanech

Many of children in kindergarten through 7th grade were in the top 10 of their class.  Our stars are:

Abayneh - Grade 7 - 3 of 25

Ushule - Grade 7 - 8 of 25 (with Habitamu)

Merdekyos - Kindergarten 2 - 1 of 25

Aregashe - Kindergarten 1 - 7 of 44

Banchiwosen - Kindergarten 2 - 2 of 58 (with Konjit and Nanni)

Adisu - Kindergarten 1 - 1 of 44

Nebiyu, Biniyam, and Serkalem took the 8th grade examination in May.  Their scores will be available mid-September.

This summer the children have attended summer school, had many English lessons from Katie, and been tutored by Chu Chu, our Dean of Students.  We expect to see even more children in the top ten of their class in January.

This year all our children from kindergarten to 10th grade will attend private school.  In these schools the classes are smaller and the teachers are well trained and enthusiastic.  This is a great milestone.

Happy New School Year!!