Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year

Seeing all the FB posts about Leap Year made me think of the Ethiopian calendar.

Did you know their calendar is not the same as ours? I can't remember the technical terms but one of us has a Julian calendar and one doesn't. Ethiopia has 13 months in their calendar. Of those 13 months, 12 of them have 30 days and one of them has 1 has 5 days.

If you have any interest in Ethiopia, it's an interesting fact to know. In addition to that random fact, here's another one: it's also not 2012 in Ethiopia. It's 8 years (I think) behind our calendar year in Ethiopia.

That's all.

Don't forget the give-away just a few posts down or click here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Puzzle Pieces

Remember last year when my sweet friend, Megan, organized a puzzle fundraiser. It's been a slow sell. Today I got an email from a dear friend who was donating $500 towards the puzzle fundraiser. So, she bought 71.4 tickets :) One of the cool things about that is $330 is going towards the Crops for widows program. That allows over 10 ladies to particpate in the crops program. I am so excited. And so thankful. I'd post a picture of the updated puzzle but I haven't had a chance to tell you about it yet. With the remaining pieces all solid blue, it might take me a bit to do the 71 additions.

I'm not sure which will drive me to the looney bin first: piecing solid colored pieces together or dealing with disobedient children. I am actually joyful about both of these situations - the puzzle is a good change of pace and a good challenge and I welcome the opportunity to put more together [so feel free to buy a few pieces]. My children are a source of great joy even when one of them just mooned a sibling... oh dear! While I really want to laugh,

P.S. did you see that I'm doing a give-away HERE? I've only had two people sign up so far so your odds are pretty good.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Items and a Give-Away

This past week, my amazing [real life] friend, Murdock, brought home Ethiopian child #2.

Her son, who needs a super-identity-protector name is currently referred to as MB on her blog. But I'm not just writing about her cause she's super cool and I'm blessed to call her friend. I'm sharing with you for a few reasons. One of which is to ask you to pray for our friends with a new 5 year old member of their household. Another reason is to share about the title of this post.
With more than 15 new items on my necklace page, I'm finally ready to do a give-away on MB's behalf. This give-away is warranted on so many levels. But especially because it's been a long road to bring Taz's biological brother home. So, here's the deal:
  1. Give-Away prize is one necklace of your choice.
  2. Enter to win by posting to your blog about this give-away and linking to the necklace page
  3. You can earn a second entry by sharing my necklace link on facebook.
  4. You can earn a third entry by purchasing an item from my necklace page.
  5. If you share on facebook or your blog, comment below and give me the details so I can count your entry.
  6. I will ship for free to anyone in the continental US.
  7. Give-Away ends next Sunday at 6pm.

Welcome Home MB. I sure do look forward to meeting you!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

FOVC Feeds Kids

One of the things that FOVC does that I rarely take the time to talk about is care for the orphans. And at one of the "newer" sites, the children are in public school but still needing assistance.

At the Dale site, they have recently rented a building space where the ladies can prepare food to serve the children. Getting a meal each day is a huge improvement. In addition to the kids receiving some good 'ol nutrition, FOVC hired two ladies to do the cooking and cleaning. Which means these beautiful ladies are gainfully employed.

And you know how it all happens???

When people like you and me step up and care for the orphans and widows. It's pretty simple.

Tonight I came home from a long day of mentally exhausting work. I didn't get a lunch break. I literally had people with me all day that I was getting to assist. My 11am snack of cake held me over to the time I could eat a quick bite at 230. And when I came in the door tonight at 645, I was beyond hungry. More tired than hungry, I grabbed a cheese stick from the refrigerator and a hand full of pecans and called it good. After all, that should sustain me for a few hours, right?

You know what though. I had the CHOICE to eat or not eat today. I had food that I could have eaten. I just didn't do it. But our friends in Ethiopia. These kids that could be our children, they don't have a choice. And they don't have a voice to share about their lives.

Tonight, I want to be their voice. These children whose pictures you may have looked at briefly. They want to say "amaseganallo", which means thank you, for caring enough to set aside a few dollars each month to feed those who are in desperate need of nutrition. And as someone who's been there and looked at those children in the face and knows their needs are beyond our comprehension, I also want to say thank you!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Birthday Celebration

It's my birthday TODAY. I have one wish for my birthday today. For people to partner with us int he crops for widows program. I figured if everyone that wished me Happy Birthday on facebook would donate$5 each, we could really make a difference in the lives of women who are still getting hit HARD by drought. But it doesn't just have to be my facebook friends.

You can make a difference too!!!!!

Will you consider a $5 donation today for the crops programs? The fundraiser is already set up. You can give via paypal or credit card. It's super simple. It would be the best gift. Click here to give:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Coffee & Bees

Alright friends, I need your help. Our friends in Ethiopia need your help. What do you know about growing coffee trees and coffee bean production? How about bee keeping? Do you know a ton? Please share. Leave a comment or email me at tam4buit at hotmail. What's that? Are you saying that you don't know much? Okay, then, can you think of anyone you do know that would have knowledge in either of these areas?

Both of these pictures below were taken in October at one of the model farmer's farm. In the first one, there are coffee trees in the foreground that are being propagated. I was glad to see this couple so advanced in their farming techniques.

While we were there, and I was seeing all the different things they were doing, I wondered if they had any bees. Bees are great for honey. Honey is a great sweetener and a product that can be sold. But from the perspective of growing plants, bees play a hugely important role of pollinating plants. So, I began asking about bees and this is what the model farmer took me and showed me:

Yes, friends, those are bee hives hanging out in the shade. I was super excited to see this was occurring and immediately wanted to do more. This was the first time I saw bees in Ethiopia. I want to bring more bees to the Shanto area.

But 3 months after my trip, I've done very little with this thought. Well, my friends, that needs to change. I need a crash course but a thorough course in coffee production and bee keeping. Soon, we hope to develop both of those programs in our FOVC sites.

P.S. one of our FOVC sites is the location of the best coffee in Ethiopia. As I sit here early in the morning at my computer, I can just see how FOVC can start their own coffee exporting business. Wouldn't that be a cool way to support widows????

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Necklaces Plus

I've sold the baskets and one necklace this week. Thank you Cassie and Nicole. There are plenty more. I have more in the process and will try to catch up with posting more pics after I'm finished with the Sweetheart Supper on Tuesday.

Check out the necklace page and scroll through to find one you like. Want a basket? I've sold the 3 that came home in my luggage but there are more at

Happy shopping,
Tamara B

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rockin' My World

Do you remember my friend, Boltase?

I wrote about her on my blog in a post titled Starvation is Real. She was one of my crops widows who was very near death. Tonight, I was able to chat with Desalegn, the guy who leads FOVC in Ethiopia. He shared that Boltase is doing well but has a shortage of food. That first part is music to my ears.

The second part is rocking my world. It's not like Boltase is the only one who has a shortage of food. Did you know the famine is still destroying lives in Southern Ethiopia. Yeah, I haven't been very good at sharing that. The famine was expected to be 4 months. And you know what, that 4 months is up but the famine isn't.

Right now, people should be planting maize for this next crop season. Only problem is that the rains still aren't coming. And my ladies, along with everyone else, aren't planting crops without water to get them to germinate. They are waiting for rain. For some of those ladies, I know they are praying for rain. Would you be willing to join them? Your donations of dollars are impacting these ladies. With the money you've given, FOVC is able to give widows seeds to plant. The problem is that it still needs to rain. A small amount of rain is needed to plant the crops. But it will be needed to keep the crop growing.

When I was chatting with Desalegn earlier he said "Sometimes I become sad when I see widows and children and some elders are crying for food and walking here and there to find food". That's heart breaking. I was there. I met those ladies and their children. I met the model farmer and his wife. They are all suffering. There is much greater need than the little bit I saw. Will you join me in partnering with FOVC?

I put this little fundraiser together because I care. Because I've been there and seen the need up close. Because I know the impact that your dollars make when I spend my vacation and money to travel to Ethiopia and train these widows. I would love to widen the circle of influence. I'd love for you to join me in raising $2,500 in the next few weeks to impact and change the lives of 10 widows. Can you give $25? Would you share this with at least 9 friends who will also give $25 and together you can sponsor one widow? Facebook, tweet, email, blog... whatever it takes. Join hands with your co-workers, classmates, siblings, girlfriends for real, sustainable, change. I promise, you won't be dissapointed.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

New Things... Sharin' the Love

My sweet friend Nicole rocks! Knowing that I was selling bead necklaces to raise funds for my next trip to Ethiopia, and knowing that I still have lots of puzzle pieces to sell, Nicole emailed me to help. It's a way that she can get involved. Thank you Nicole! Nicole loves to upcyle and make domino necklaces. So, let me tell you a little more about them.

The domino is hand picked to be used. Her hubby drills the hole (it's more delicate work that you'd think) and she does the design. After the design is on the domino, she coats them with a thick resin and then cures them under glass for several days.

So, here's the deal.

With your $21 donation towards 3 puzzle pieces, I will send you one of these cool necklaces. I have the following domino necklaces ready to send to you:
  • two "worth the wait" (pictured on the left)
  • two "ethio flag" (pictured in the center)
  • two "family hope love" (pictured on the right)
  • one "love forever" (top picture on the right)
But guess what, Nicole is so creative and cool that she also offered to make some custom necklaces. Those look pretty awesome too. This one below she sent to my friend Megan:

So, if you want one of these cool custom domino necklaces, you can make a $35 donation and send the pic you want on the necklace.

Again, Nicole, I can't thank you enough for how you've participated in serving others. You may not be able to go to Ethiopia, you may not have a million dollars to donate to the organization, but you can use your gifts and talents. Nicole, you're doing just that. What a treasure you are!

On another note, I have a bunch of bead necklaces to get rid of. Donating $26 will get you a sweet necklace that directly supports my next trip to Ethiopia. But, it also impacts the ladies in Ethiopia who make the magazine beads. This one I just added. The magazine beads are interspersed with colorful glass beads.

This might be a little lengthy, but hang in there with me. I have one more very important thing to share.

Meet one of my sweet friends in Ethiopia. This is one of my widows. She's a beautiful lady. A hard working lady who serves FOVC in many ways. You are impacting her life. You are changing her family tree. As a widow in Ethiopia, she has nothing. Except her children to care for. With the assistance of FOVC, she has a job and an income. She's one of FOVC's widows. And when I was in Ethiopia in October, I would often find her preparing food for the children or working on a craft project. In this picture she's working on bracelets which can now be found on FOVC's website.
Our FOVC widows receive training in other areas too. While some are in the livestock program, others are in the crops program, and others are working on crafting. Check out these baskets they made that snuck into my luggage on my return flight. The sell of these baskets directly benefits my widowed lady friends in Shanto, Ethiopia.

As I've mentioned above, I have a few new things on my necklace tab here on my blog. Check them out and see what you can buy. If you order in the next two days, I can probably get it to you by Valentine's Day.

P.S. my birthday is coming up soon. One of my birthday wishes is to get everything on my necklace page sold so I can add some new stuff...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Coming Soon

I have some new necklaces completed and one sold from the necklace page. I hope to get that page updated soon. My to-do list is quite lengthy this week since my Judah is celebrating his 4th birthday on Sunday and we're doing a family gathering on Saturday. But hopefully in between Super bowl commercials, I can get my blog updated.

After all, you're really going to want to see the necklaces donated by a dear friend that she and her husband so neatly crafted. Can't wait to share those with you too!