Thursday, April 23, 2009

Post on CNN website

I am the mother of two seven yo boys with autism. They are not biologically related nor are they twins but they do share several commonalities. Both were vaccinated at birth, both experienced materal stress in-utero , both were born in South Korea, both have a huge number of food/airborn allergies, both suffered terrible stress having three caretakers and being removed from two of them the first 6-10 months of their lives and both have my husband and myself as adoptive parents. My bio children do not have autism so I am assuming the last shared commonality is probably not the "cause" of their autism.

What I am getting at is that I have no idea what has contributed to or "caused" my children's autism. But we should all wish to find out if it is one cause, or a combination of issues because we ALL pay for autism's effects on our children and society. Families pay dearly and school systems do too. Medical care is out of reach for many families so the kids that do the best often have the parents who can afford to do whatever it takes to "recover" their children. But with all the burdens on families and society they are in fact small compared to the price our children with autism have to pay for their entire lives. With so many reports of autism developing almost immediately after vaccination it makes sense to research what the effects of all these combinations of vaccines are and it also makes sense to look at alternative vaccine schedules in an effort to decrease the numbers of children that are not developing neurotypically. It also makes sense to do testing on families like mine, on families where their "appears" to be a genetic component and to listen to and learn from families who believe that their children were harmed from vaccines on an accelerated schedule.

Autism kills. It kills the spirit, it kills via seizures, depression, not understanding cause and effect, etc. It is an unwanted intruder in our lives and like any intruder we should use common sense to do what we can to keep our children healthy, safe and autism away.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Even More Pics From Ethiopia

Ethiopia was certainly not what I expected. One of my favorite pics that I took was of this 15 yo old autistic girl and her very devoted Muslim brother. The family invited me into their mud and stick house and welcomed me with open arms. The family lives in a room the size of a small closet with a three level bunkbed and room for one chair. In a land were autism is so misunderstood that you are often considered possessed, it is very difficult for families of autistic children. This brother loves his sister very much despite the hardship that autism brings to the family. The Autism Center helped this family by helping the mother set up her own store so she can try and provide for her family.

More pics from Africa

More Ethiopia Pics

I find Ethiopia so diverse and facinating. It is like no place I have ever been before. I feel honored to have met so many wonderful people and seen so many incredible sites. The women I traveled with were awesome...all here for different reasons and all just good people. The kids I met have hearts as open as any I have seen esp. considering all that some have been through.

I pLan on posting more about Ehtiopia but for

It was very difficult to use the internet in Ethiopia so I was unable to do a lot of blogging. I am exhausted after getting home from Korea so it will be a few days before I post about Africa. In the meantime enjoy these pics!

Catch up Korea - Last Days

Well we had a pretty awesome time in Korea. Karson, Mr. "I NEVER want to go to Korea" is already planning the trip back when he is 11. It is too cute.

The day started with a visit by Kellis' foster mother who came laden down with gifts for our family. kellis warmed to her for about 2 minutes and then would not have a thing to do with her. UGHHHHH. She was being such a brat and it was embarrasing! Her foster mom, Mrs. Hong, remembers Kellis so well because out of the 100+ babies she has fostered she has only had 5 girls!!! She is very proud of her son who is a doctor and was concerned that when Kellis Came home Kylee might have been jealous as she had been the only girl...we reassured her that it was not the case!

Tuesday found us back in Itaewon going to Lee's Framing to pick out pictures. Kellis picked a flower/butterfly one, Kullen a soldier, and Karson a dragon. I found a copy of a very famous painting, and a round zodiac picture that I found interesting. Kylee picked a floral and a tiger. beautiful works for about $15 each. We also had a traditional Korean meal for dinner in the Hongik University area. No one spoke English so it was interesting trying to get a vegetarian meal for Kylee. Meanwhile, Dave went back to the antique store and bought the wooden men's hat box. It is beautiful and will be a real treasure for ou family.

From there we left the kids at home and Dave and I went out to the major
Oriental Medicine Market, Kyungdong Market. It was absolutely incredible. The
smells were so pungent and interesting. Spicy florals filled the air along with
dark earthy primal odors. Huge fungi stamped (maybe burned into the fungi) with
the word Korea on them. Willow bark, 8 inch centipedes that are eaten for back
pain or so we were told but when we discussed this with Mr. Shin he cracked up
so I am no longer sure about that. We went into a traditional pharmacy where the
wall is lined with drawers full of herbs, parts, barks, roots, flowers,etc. It
was amazing. I mean I have NEVER seen or smelled anything like it. Every shop
had a model of the human body with the the nerve pathways and (I can't think of
the word nor spell it...chacras). Huge racks of deer antlers would make a
Colorado hunter salivate for hours. I mean these were big racks. This is the
first time I have been there and it won't be the last.

Right across the street was a traditional market called Gwang-Sung. Vendors
each specializing in one thing: garlic, greens, fish, chickens, onions, etc.
Dried fish shops with jellyfish, squid, manta rays. Chickens being chopped right
there on big blocks of wood. Making douek (spelled inclorrectly) is harder than
it might seem so is grinding chilis into red chili powder. Didn't see a solitary
Caucasian for miles around. What was even more amazing is that the sidewalk
vendors would cover their stands with tarp/bungee cords and go home for the
night. Nothing is is incredible.

Thoughts of the day:

In the USa they have yet to invent jeans that are as small as some of the ones
being worn here. Is there such a thing as a minus 000 size?

It is a little unnerving seeing the emergency gas mask cases. Even more
unnerving is the fact that there are like 40 masks in a locked cabinet. I mean
there are 100 people in a subway car times 30 of them...seems a little gracious
considering the typical human reaction to being gassed.

How do you decide what to specialize in? I mean I would love being around garlic
all day but is there a market for it esp. when there are 10 other people in
nearby stalls selling it too?

What are those green centipedes REALLY used for?

Wednesday we woke up to pouring rain so we pretty much stayed at Eastern until late afternoon when we decided to visit the Korea National Museum. It was gorgeous. Opened in 2005 it is composed of gleaming cream colored marble on a radius curve. Beautiful colletions for the Palolethic age with tools and pottery galore, golden crowns, etc. The second floor had full scale traditional house and many galleries of paintings including the Buddhist Collection, calligraphy, beautiful wooden furniture and large tapestries. There was a 10 story high pagoda that was spectacular. It was really amazing.

We left the museum and went to Korea House for the dance performance. Kullen fell asleep but Karson and Kellis loved the dancing. The women drummers were intense and amazing. Karson loved the mask dance while Kellis enjoyed the fan dance. The singer who is known as a "national treasure" well she sounded like a screech owl...could have done without her.

We then took our last subway ride and ended back at the guesthouse at around 9 p.m.

Korea has been incredible to our kids and for our family. We can hardly wait to go back and enjoy seeing more of the country. Next time our plan is to go to Mokpo and Busan. I think it has been a real healing adventure for Karson and instilled some pride about being Korean into our boys.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day Five in Korea

Okay the subway ride to Lotte World was worth every penny. Kept everyone entertained for the 16 stops it took to get there. 12oo won for adults ( exchange is 1:1300) 600 won for children. It is interesting to see the women outside of the office buildings mopping the entrance to them. I wonder how much they get paid to do this?

Lotte World is Heaven for little ones. So much to see and do. Ride the rides until you fall off the carosol horse was the motto of the day. The reason it is h*** for parents well it is a combination of a cheap Las Vegas Cesears Palace and Disneyland on a drunken get tired so much quicker than the kids and it is terribly embarrassing when you read the ride sign that says you have to have a waist size less than 38 inches and you are needing a tape measure to see if your FAT waist will be able to be accomodated. I mean come on here folks, in America that is often below standard size. I know in Korea the average waist has got to be 15 inches but geez lets get a little more friendly to many of us of European descent.

The reason Lotte World is heavenly for parents is that it costs a fraction of the cost of Disney. About $100 admittance fee for 6 of us. Then there is the food. Cheap, cheap, Cheap so we ate, ate, ate making it probable that we would not fit in the rides (see above) A few of the interesting edibles I saw and tried today:
Peanut Butter Roasted Squid, Kim Chee Chocolate, Pajeon wrapped Hot dogs which cost about $1.80 compared with the $7 hotdog at Disney. Spicey rice cakes. It was Kullen's birthday today (yes he was able to see and enjoy it) so he chose Pizza Hut for dinner. Amoung the delicacies on the salad bar Squid Salad, Grapefruit infused with who knows what, fruit loops (yes...on a salad bar!) and once again the pumpkin obsession showed up in the form of pumpkin potato salad minus the potatoes.

I have to confess that seeing a blond Snow White was pretty hysterical along with the wicked witch cackling in Korean. I actually filmed that one. Some of the funny signs I saw there (you have to love the Korean language when someone translates it to English)

You will get wet a little during the ride but you can feel at rest cause it is clean water

Not allowed to medical sensitivity

No allowed to pregnant

Do not reach your hands, feets or items out

No drunken ride

I also love the masquarade flag of nations in which the flag for the USA had a joker symbol with the words BIG HEAD...who wrote that and which subliminal message is the correct one?

So we rode and rode, went bowling, bought pottery from a traditional potter at the Lotte World Folk Museum ...which.... needs more that just a passing mention. It really is a wonderful place to introduce yourself to Korean culture? Did you know that the design of the roof tiles reflect a specific period in Korea's history. Dragons for one period, flowers for another.They had full scales models of houses during different dynastys. Huge models of the palaces along with the ENTIRE royal court and subjects. Also had the traditional Chinese Medicine including the deer antler and shark fins. I made Dave fork over some money for the kids dressed in traditional clothes taken by a crabby young man. 30,000 won for that but hey...we are in Korea!

Stopped by Lotte World on the way home. I am in love with that food market except for the price of fruit. 13,000 won for 4 tangelos. But oh the smells of different kinds of kim chee some of which could probably be used to power cars, the fish, all the I don't know what the heck it is but the textures look so incredibly good that you want to run your hands all over everything. I tell you, I could live in that place...forever.

So if you are accosted on the subway no one will help or at least the people tonight would not. I guess they figured a loud big woman like myself should be able to handle anything but frankly I did not know if I would be doing anything improper by slugging a much older man in a suit and tie who grabbed me by the leg about 1/4 inch below my crotch and dug his fingers into me while yelling at me to sit down next to him. I said as loud as I could "stop it" while people are watching this happen. Again, this time a little louder "STOP IT, Let GO"...nothing. Then extremely loud while he is hurting the heck out of me "I SAID STOP IT YOU ARE HURTING ME!!!" About this time I seriously considered whacking him with my pottery when he suddenly stood up and drunkingly crashed into the door and went to another car. I truly believe this was a rare incident because we have met nothing but very nice helpful people whiel riding and have never had a bit of trouble before.

So that is the end of our day. I am bruised, beaten up and have whiplash from several of the rides. Should you go to Lotte World go to the water show called Oddessey...nice, quiet and peaceful. I sure wish I knew how to post pics from here. I have taken...I kid you not 829. My card holds about 1100.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day Four in Korea in which Cheryl Gets Gray Hair

Well today has been interesting and exhausting. Did I tell you that Eastern down in the lobby has a bathroom with those incredible luxury toilets. You know the ones that have the heated seat, that rinse you off after you are done doing your business and then dry you with warm air? Needless to say I like that bathroom but Dave gets impatient when (in his words) "You decide you must pamper your butt." Excuse me if this is too graphic... and yes I agree it is a thought that can elicit night terrors but I do think it is kind of unique to these parts.

We started by taking the subway to get to the Seoul City Tour bus. First thing that happens is I can't find Kullen. My heart drops. Look around. Panic. Look around somemore. Now if you have ever been on the Seoul subway you know it is a madhouse, full of people, fun to ride but insane at the same time. Easy to loose a child esp one like my son. Then just as I feel I will lose it I hear a voice "surprise, here I am Mom" and out he pops from the telephone booth 2 ft away!!! Man if this kid survives until his next birthday (which I might add is tomorrow) he will be lucky. Thirty gray hairs later and we get on the Green Line and off we go.

The Seoul City Bus Tour is great. Fairly cheap and you can get on and off the bus at your leisure. We started by getting off at Gyeongbokgung Palace and were disappointed to see the guards of Changing of the Guards fame on the other side of the street. Bummer. Little did we know that we did make it and saw part of the ceremony. The kids loved it esp Kullen who loved the nice shiny gleaming swords and anything else that could be considered weapon-like. They were also having right in front of the palace a "Look like a Korean in Traditional dress" morning. No sizes for kids but Dave got dressed and the boys put on the hats while Kellis whined. I got some nice pics. Back over to the guards. Pics with the guards. Kullen decides to run over to the BIG Korean Drum and whack it...I get yelled at...then they decide to put up the sign that says NO NOT TOUCH THE DRUM....did I say something about Kullen making it to his next birthday???????????????????????

Well, all I can say is that when you are 6,7, 4 once you have seen one palace you don't need to be bothered looking at another. Scratch palace hopping off the list. Maybe next time we come we will see a second one. So we leave and as we are leaving here come the guards again in a prosession. THe kids loved watching a listening to it all.

Back on the bus. Go past the War Memorial of Korea...decide to go there on Wednesday when it rains. Go past the National Museum of Korea...another Wednesday adventure. Head to Itaewon. Look for Mike's print shop which we find is now named Lee's. It is closed. Bummer. Found an incredible antique store with a traditional hat box for them men's traditional tall hat. Considering this but how the heck to do you get it home? Stop for quiznois subs. The kids have never had one due to their previous to this trip gluten free diet. They devore them. How much forbidden food can these kids put away? See a hysterical sign there that says Smoking Time Am7-Am10 and PM 8-Closing time. Oh, specially priced combos are not available on the weekends...could we pretend it is MOnday then? They then go to Cold Stone Creamery (another previously forbidden delight) while I go to Joy Jewelry and order 5 necklaces in Hangul of my kids names which they will deliver to our hotel before we leave. YIPPEEE.

Then we headed over to Namsangol Traditional Korea Village. Last time I came there were two other people there but today it was packed. The vendors were nearby hawking their yummy corn cakes, chestnut cakes, pine nut pink coated treats and numerous other things that looked interesting or gross depending if you are 48 or 7. What was special about today at the Village was that all the traditional games of Korea were being featured. There was the bow and arrow shoot...did I say something about Kullen making it to his next birthday????....the traditional see saw which I might add is much harder than one would think but something that Kullen excelled at. The best part was watching two ladies in the 60's who were able to do it and here the thawp, thawp, thawp as they landed in perfect synchrony.They were amazing. They also had a game in which you cast arrows into a jar (don't know the name but did take a pic of the directions on how to play), the traditional rope swing, Yut with Horse, and a spinning top game in which you use a whip to get it going and keep it going, etc. It was great to see families with young kids as well as the much older generations playing these games and enjoying themselves. The laughter was infectious and hearing old and young laughing together was just music to my ears.

Suppose to go to Korea House for the performance today but one of my children was acting up and exhausted us to the nth degree...I don't think I have to name names here if you know what I mean.

Thoughts: Never have I been in a country in which its traditional clothing has such bright colors along with the guards uniforms. Dyed purple and pink ears on a dog with matching that is almost sinful. How do you teach kids to try much less eat dried squid? Is there any bribe that is big enough for that? I wonder how many people get run over here per year? I have yet to see any drivers flip someone the bird. It appears there is no road rage that would be an interesting research project. How many gray hairs can one little boy give one momma in a research project necessary for that one...43!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Most Amazing Day - Korea day 3

Today we spent the early morning walking around. We found a little pocket park where the kids played and the old ladies of the neighborhood exercised. It was so much fun to watch everyone. Stopped for a Dunkin Donut which is NOTHING like the DD in the states.

At 11:30 a.m. Karson's Foster Father picked us up. Holt also sent a volunteer translator named Yulie who is 25 and in college majoring in English. She was fabulous. Foster parents live over the Han River, and in a suburb about 20 minutes outside of Seoul. It was absolutely beautiful there. Small mountains with agriculture. We went to their house which was absolutely gorgeous and immiculate. There we met Halmoni (Foster Fathers mother) She just grabbed little Mr. 'I have sensory issues" and hugged him with her whole heart while he held on for dear life. It was precious. FF has an amazing museum quality rock collection which he showed the kids. They also have a traditional Korean dog (called something like a Puszan) which the kids loved. The paintings in their house were amazing. Then the gift giving began in earnest. Shoes for Karson and shirts for all the kids. A beautiful piece of pottery, necklaces for Kellis, and a very special raised Tiger/Dragon plaque from 2002 to the FF which he gave to Karson and a baseball from a famous Korean ball player.All we brought was a cake..losers that we are.

When we went outside to go to the restaurant I commented about an incredible old house next door so the FF took us there. It was a traditional house built in stages the oldest being 300 years old. We were introduced to the owners who showed us around. The original well was there and we were told members of the Chosun (? I know I am not spelling it correctly) dynasty had lived there. It was amazing. Meanwhile, because there was not a lot of room in the car for all ten of us, Karson's foster mother grabbed his hand and started walking with him to the restaurant...and he went willingly. I guess he sensed the love that she has for him because this child who is often anxious was at peace. They held hands the entire way under her umbrella. I almost cried it was so sweet. Stopped off at a horse farm in the area and they were thrilled to know that Karson rides.

We soon arrived at a very traditional Korean restaurant. Sit on the floor, cook in front of you type. On the menu was duck which actually tasted like ham. Incredibly good. Of course the floor was heated and it was so warm and cozy eating with such wonderful people. Lots of traditional Korean side dishes too, duck soup, fresh fruit and cherry juice for dessert. It was so funny to watch Karson (the picky eater) while his foster mom FED him. I have to give him lots of credit because he tasted everything that she put into his mouth. Oh the pictures I took!

From there we loaded up into the car and drove to Bucheon stadium where the cherry and azalea blossoms were in full bloom. FF bought everyone ice cream and we hiked up the mountain. It was full of families picnicing and just enjoying the day. Why is it no matter where you go you can always find food on a stick? In this case it was corn on the cob on a stick...too funny to see people hiking in the hills eating corn on a stick. There were also the corn cakes and those crispy brown/yellow bugs. We asked Yulie if she ate them and she was horrified. LOL! That younger generation. Anyway, the area was absolutely beautiful with all the blossoms. Incredible really. After hiking down the mountain we went into the museums in the stadium complex. Karson's FF had to show us the rock museum. It was beautiful. I can't describe how incredible it was. Who would have thought rocks could be displayed in such an amazing way? From there they took us to (I don't know the name) a place that teaches children traditional crafts and has master craftsmen. We saw the most amazing kites in the kite room. Hundreds of them. Dragons, butterflies, square ones with intense paintings. THe Hanbok making room, the painting room, and finally the woodcarving room. We met the master woodcarver who is a friend of the FF and makes his display bases for his rocks. He gave all the kids wooden key chains that he carved. They are a real keepsake. You can have these master artisans make you whatever you want and they will ship them to you after the work is complete.

After all of this it was back to the foster parents house where they served that lowly cake I talked about along with fresh fruit. I have to tell you that this family was so good to our kids. FM instisted on carrying Kellis on her back and she is in her upper fifties. They were the most gracious people on the planet and kept telling us that they were so pleased that we brought Karson back to Korea to see them. The FF and mother just kept touching Karson and loving brings tears to my eyes just thinking about them and their interactions with him.

Tomorrow we will take the City Tour via the bus, go to Korea House. The kids are really at a fun age to be doing this and it has been an incredible opportunity for them. Karson's FF is 65 and you know if we had waited until Karson was a teenager there is a good chance that he might not be around. As it is Karson will have wonderful memories of people who loved him the first 6 months of his life. We are so grateful!

Korea Day 2

Well today we went down to meet Kullen and Kellis foster moms. Kellis did not
show up but called saying her mother in law was in the hospital so we
rescheduled for Tuesday.

Kullen's FM remembered that it was his birthday and brought him the most
beautiful cake I have ever seen. She brought a little gift for all the kids. She
is so nice and sweet. She is still fostering and brought along the little boy.
He was adorable. He is with Eastern and born 7/12/09 ( I think) with the same
name as Karsons. Dong Hyun (not sure if it is spelled the same) Saw all the
foster mothers in the hall with their little ones. THey are just too cute.
Kori from the Holt BB last night with her new daughter. She is just a
sweetie.Anne is such a little doll and I loved watching her eat Cheerios.

This afternoon we went to Holt to visit Karson's foster parents. Well we had
heard the Holt had moved across the street and the exit sign on the subway had
changed from 8 to 7. Needless to say we got lost. Finally found the place and it
was where the foster moms bring their babies for checkups and where parents meet
their children. We were in the wrong place. Now post adoption is in the guest
house building and the original building is going to be torn down. Went to the
Paris Bakery to have lunch and then headed over to the guest house.

Anyway, foster parents were held up so we went down
to play with the babies at the reception center. There were few babies
there.Foster Parents (both of them) arrived with their daughter and
granddaughter. They were so wonderful to Karson. He was itchy and his foster
mother talked about how difficult he was to take care of due to his skin
problems as a baby but that he was sweet and good. The appa is such a wonderful
man. I remember when we met Karson that he cried when leaving him. It is so
obvious that they loved and cared for him. The SW told them about his autism
and they were wonderful with him. Anyway, they invited us over for lunch
tomorrow at their house so we are going sans interpreter...should be

Monday, April 6, 2009

March 31, 2009 Ethiopia

Woke up to no electricity at the hotel this morning and when we returned it was more of the same. Tonight the place is being run via generator.It is kind of funny. Well, I knew this trip was meant to be a discovery of self/things/etc.

You know what I discovered? I discovered that I belong home with my family. That I miss them terribly and that I really don't need to go around the world for adventure and doing things that are helpful to others when I have all that at home and all that to do at home.

Today I went to the house for children with disabilities. There are at least 4 kids with autism there. The kids are taken care of well enough but it was a very eye opening experience. The kids with autism had no structure and were basically allowed to do what they wanted. There was no WAIT training, no gentle hands, no nothing. This really worries me as these kids will become dangerous as they get older if they do not get the structure that they need to survive in this world without hurting themselves and others. What will happen to them? I had one of the boys sit on my lap and worked with him to not bag, hit, bite, etc. With a lot of sensory stimulation he was able to quiet down. All these kids need so much more sensory work. And it is no ones fault they are doing the best they know how. I am going to do a training on Friday and will try to set up a schedule for these kids, do some neuro type work, etc. Hopefully, It will help in some small way.

Another thing I was appalled about today was the lack of racial awareness that some parents have about what it means to their family to bring a child of color into their family. I am really upset that the agencies do not do more to make damn sure that these families understand that their children will experience racism and so will their families. Parents need a very through education about how racism will impact their children's lives. If nothing else the agencies OWE it to their kids to make sure parents understand the special obligations that they have to their kids when they adopt a child who is a different race than they are.

This afternoon Hannah and I ate with the women of the house. We had injera which is made of teft and a tomtatoe/bean like mixture with potatoes/carrots. You eat it with your hands. It is very good. Tonight, however, Hannah is puking her guts out. Not sure if it was the food or something else. Please say a little prayer that I do not spend the night before the porcline god.

Tomorrow we take all the special needs kids to the Hilton pool. I am a little concerned. I will also interview the head of CHSFS Ethiopia. I will say that the trip has been going well. Joey has been doing a fabulous job of organizing everything and keeping spirits bright. Life is good and we are a very lucky people in our part of the world.

March 30, 2009 Ethiopia

Today I spent the day at the autism center. They have multiple classrooms where they teach speech, do sensory play, learn to sit quietly, etc. Mostly I worked on press releases and re-doing some Joy Center informational media info. Wasn't exactly what I had in mind but it needed to be done. I saw horrid pictures of children whose hands and feet were bound because they were hurting themselves and witch doctors told the parents they were possessed. It was pretty unbelievable and sad. They were thrilled with the items that were brought esp the autism awareness braclets as they are having a big festival. Zemi was also grateful for the CARRS tests thanks to the Autism Center at Fresno State and the thinsg I brought from Exceptional Parents in Fresno.

Went back to Layla House and almost immediately headed out to Big and |Little A Hope. This is an orphanage for children with AIDS. They are given the AIDS cocktail and most of the kids appear to be doing okay except for one little guy with a distended stomach who was 4 and looked to be about 2. However, the facilities themselves were depressing a full of needs. New cribs, stimulating toys, more clothes, etc really appear to be needed. The kids at Big A Hope were doing homework when we were there. They were so proud to show what they were learning.

Saw alot of women carrying water containers down to a local well. Also saw the local butcher with his goats in front of a store, one of them down to just feel and entrails if you get what I mean. Lots of interesting sights. Men carrying bundles on their heads and construction done with wooden scaffolding. The women here are just beautiful. It is funny there is a sort of pit barbacue place out front and I hear country music coming from it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

More Pics

March 29, 2009

The Grrek coastline was incredible. Soft blue waters, snow capped mountains. Stark contrast to Africa which was eerie. |You see the blue see and all of a sudden a stark desert. Miles and miles of nothing...sand dunes shaped in swirls and whorls of nothingness. Incredible. Flew over Luxor Egypt (hi Nissim!) not take pictures out of the window, mosques everywhere, large artiliary sitting on the airport grounds. UN planes. Nervous stewardesses. Of course, I did take pictures.
The Nile snakes along the countryside, dipping and disappearing here and then. It is vast but with nothing around it.
Ethiopia. The people are colorful and wonderful. The babies and kids at the orpahange are gorgeous. Lots to do. Hands to hold, noses to wipe, games to play. I washed laundry with the women. \back breaking work. The kept asking you want to stop. NO. I don't know how they do it. Went to the autism center. It is incredible. Zemi has done alot. Better than some places in the states. Ethiopia has surprised me. It seems to be less impoverished than Tijuana.

Back From Ethiopia

I tried to blog from Ethiopia but was unable to. Hope to post my impressions before we leave for Korea on Tuesday. Meanwhile here are some pictures. Too tired to write.