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St. Lucy Flute School

St. Lucy  Flute School
Class of 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 29th, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,
I have two new adult flute students: Gebremedhin and Gebrejohannes. Gebremedhin is another natural on the flute. When I showed him how to play he just picked up the flute and began to play. He is very similar to Medhanie, he learns quickly and shows a lot of musical talent. I was impressed. Gebrejohannes also did extremely well. Both are very anxious to learn the flute. I didn’t realize it last year, both wanted to learn from me but were too shy to ask. These two are so sweet. They are from Sassi and I understand that the people from Sassi are very shy.
I also gave teacher Froweine Yacob her flute lesson and Medhanie’s lesson too. Medhanie is doing fantastic. He really is playing well. He has a beautiful sound and the notes spin out of his flute. I was very impressed with his skill. He said he practiced very hard for me this summer and boy does it show. I also began the flute classes for 7B and some of the adult students. It was great; everyone has worked so hard for me. All of them are playing well.
Yesterday I forgot to mention something very important. I came to Adigrat, Ethiopia to work with the CHH (child-headed households). This is where both parents have died from aids and the eldest sibling becomes the head of the household who is under the age of 18. Some of you have heard all about this. But some of you may not have. These households commonly have 6-8 children in them and the eldest has a lot of responsibility to take care of them. Sr. Mary has been working on a project with the archdiocese and these CHHs. She asked if I would come and give flute lessons to some of these CHHs and I agreed. I now have 19 new flute students that live in the hillsides of Adigrat that I will also begin flute lessons. This is one thing I wanted to do from the beginning. Here at St. Lucy’s I’m working with children who come and live with the sisters and who live in town, but now I will be with children that live completely on their own. This should be very interesting. I plan to interview these families and take lots of pictures so I can document how music can make such a difference in ones life. This difference is already demonstrated here at St. Lucy’s with the orphans that I teach at the school.
I’m still trying to figure out how to fit in more flute classes. I have several 6th grade students who want to learn as well as I will need to give private lessons to several flute students who are in the 7th A and B classes. They are showing a lot of promise and really need the private instruction. The class time is moving too slowly for them.
I start flute classes with the house girls tomorrow. I can’t wait to hear them too. Seyoum says they are playing very well. As well I will give Seyoum his lesson. He said he has been so busy with teaching the flute classes that he hasn’t had much time to practice. This will change.
Today began the general music classes and English lessons too. I was going over the 6th grade curriculum for their English studies and I believe it is the same curriculum Dr. Doris Hall of Alabama A&M University (AAMU) told me about when I met her at the NFA. She told me that she has a friend who has developed this program and she herself wants to develop a music curriculum for Ethiopia too. Doris, if you are reading this, the front flap reads: Prepared by: Alabama A&M University (AAMU), School of Education, Huntsville, AL. USA. Program director Mary W. Spor, Ph.D, program coordinator Shirley T. King Ph.D. Is that the same person that you mentioned to me? I found this to be quite a coincidence. Also, if you can develop a music curriculum, it is strongly needed here in Adigrat.
The general music and English classes went well. I taught 2A, 1B, and Kindergarten today. The kindergarten class was too cute. They learned the “Hello” song and “Peek A Boo”. They all thought it was lots of fun to climb underneath their desks and pop up with a peek a boo. I loved it. I will get pictures of that too.
I’m off to get this on the internet. I pray the stupid power stays on so I can and that the internet has enough strength for me to send these blog entries off.
I love everyone. I hope all of you are doing well. Please write.
Love and God Bless You,
Celine

September 28, 2009-First Day of Flute School

What a great day this has been for me and the St. Lucy school. I first met up with the teachers. I was so happy to see everyone. Froweine screamed when she saw me. I was swarmed by the children. We were all so happy to see each other. All of them wanted to kiss me and hug me. I have forgotten how rewarding it is to be surrounded by these children. The teachers, I couldn’t have been happier to see them again. Safia, all of the children and teachers send their love to you and miss you.
After morning ceremonies, Froweine and I, holding hands, walked to her classroom. I walked right in, the students stood up and greeted me with a big “Good morning teacher Celine.” “Good Morning class, how are you?” “We are fine thank you.” Then we burst into song, singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. The children remembered all of it. I was impressed.
After lunch I went to see some of the teachers before their break was over. I can’t get enough of these teachers. I walked with Gebrejohannes to his class and we also sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” It was pretty funny because his classroom is now in the kitchen. St. Lucy’s demolished his room because they are building a new addition to the school. Needless to say, you can only imagine what it is like to see almost 60 students crammed into a kitchen. I think this man is a saint.
As I walked out from his class I could hear one of the other 3rd grade teacher’s class singing “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” I walked across the courtyard and when I walked into the classroom the children screamed a big welcome. I mean they screamed. We sang “Head and Shoulders” followed by “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” I bet all of you at home are thinking these might be silly songs, but it is a great accomplishment for these children to sing these songs with good English and pronunciation. The English is especially difficult for them to speak and it takes a lot of work to formulate the words, let alone sing them in a song. The children are very proud they learned these songs and they just love to sing.
Sr. Reggie and I worked on our program for the English/Music classes I will teach. I spent my evening writing lesson plans for tomorrow’s classes.
At 4:30, I got to hear the flute students. This is the former 6th grade A group I taught last year. Surprisingly they have not gone much further than when I left them but their counting is excellent and all played with a good sound. Posture still needed some corrections and I worked with their hand position for the pitch C. I could see that several played with some tension so I spent time with them working on breath intake, control of the air and their support. I gave them their first assignment for next week’s class. Thank you to all the donators, the students can practice without having to be seen everyday. Each student in today’s class can take a flute and practice it all week long with out any worries of disrupting the next class. Thank you so much. They really appreciate the donations.
Tonight after supper I walked out into the courtyard to look at the star riddled sky and the half moon. The moon is so bright here that is lights up the entire courtyard. Stars as far as the naked eye can see. It’s breathtaking to sit down and just look. I always gaze too long and end up with a kink in my neck.
I’m anxious to begin tomorrow. I can’t wait to see the teachers and start working with the children. This time around I also get to teach music to the kindergarten. I feel so lucky with all that I’m doing, I can’t tell you. Being here to me is a blessing.
I must go, I’m very tired tonight. I think my jetlag has caught up with me and I’m calming down from all the excitement. I can’t wait to share more with you tomorrow so stay posted.
Love to all,
Celine
P.S. Safia, I really miss you. I miss our nightly chats. Promise me you will never skip a trip like this again.
Also, I keep forgetting to tell you that Sr. Mary has a new puppy. His name is Jackie and he is two months old. This dog is the cutest thing. He is a white fluffy ball. He is very mischievous and is always getting out, making Sr. Mary have to chase him down. While they are in Chapel, Jackie howls super loud so that he can get fed. He seems to think that if he hears Sr. Mary then she can come out and feed him. It is so funny. I will try to get a picture for you. But currently my flash card is not downloading to my computer.

September 27th, 2009

Today is the actual feast day of Meskel. But the celebrations begin on the Saturday before. I didn’t find this out until this morning.
I began my day with Mass at the Cathedral. Abba Selassie Tesfay was saying mass. I wished I understood Tigrinya more so I could have understood his sermon. The sisters shared it with me over breakfast. Seeing Abba Selassie Tesfay is so wonderful. For those of you who have not heard of him, he is the organizer of the OMCA that I wrote in my blog. Take a look at what he is doing. Consider sending him donations.
Today the feast day was celebrated in the town stadium. The festivities began at 9am and are still going at 9pm as I write this blog entry. I hear the beating of the drums and the traditional Tigrinya music in background.
I went the festival wearing a new white traditional Ethiopian dress. It is very beautiful and I wanted to honor the feast day with wearing something nice. Sr. Deste and I went together and met up with the house girls who were already there. In the center of the stadium was a tall, something that looks like a Christmas tree with a cross on top. The tree was encircled with several Ethiopian Orthodox Clergy and others wearing traditional clothing. After several prayers and chants the priests ignited the tree and burned it down. It is tradition, as the tree burns the cross will fall. Whichever direction it falls shares with the village the upcoming year’s fortune. The cross fell to the west, which from what Sr. Deste says is ok, it is best though when it falls north. As the flames engulfed the tree, the entire stadium screamed loudly as they anticipated the upcoming year’s good fortune.
After that Sr. Deste, a minor seminarian, and I walked around. I danced again and was delightfully greeted by many towns’ people. I was standing there watching the dancing, meat BBQ, and other traditional displays when one of Seyoum’s friends called out my name. It was Seyoum’s good friend Tahari. I shouted with delight and we hugged and kissed for a long time. I asked if Seyoum’s was around and he said that he was. Moments later, my dearest friend in Ethiopia appeared before me. We ran to each other, embraced in a strong hug and cried with happiness to see each other again. I was so happy to see him.
I told Seyoum that I would arrive in October. I came early to surprise him, the other teachers, and the children. Seyoum was very surprised. I then ran into Ghirmai and Abraham, two teachers at St. Lucy’s, followed by another friend of Seyoum’s who is also called Ghirmai. We all hugged and kissed too. Moments later Atakelti approached me. He has been such a good friend to me, helping me stay in touch with all my friends in Adigrat by letting them use his computer at the archdiocese. He helped the teachers with their English and how to use the computer so they could write. We embraced strongly; it was so nice to see him too.
Safia, if you are reading this, everyone sends their love. Everyone wishes you could be here with me. Everyone wants to know when you will come back. It is so hard Safia to not have you here with me. It is so hard to have you not get the hugs and kisses too. But know they send them to you just as much as they have given them to me.
Seyoum and I were inseparable once we reunited. We visited all the exhibits and talked and talked. Later we went to lunch and talked some more. We ate tsholo and injerra with mez to drink. It was fantastic. After lunch we walked back to the convent and I showed him all flutes. He was delighted to see them. I was delighted to share them with him. We then looked at several of the pictures Safia took and he loves them.
I started to feel a little sick and very tired. Seyoum and I said good-bye and I went to bed. I woke up several hours later sick. I must have gotten sick from something I ate at the restaurant. I spent the remainder of the day in bed. When it was dinner time, Sr. Mary made chicken soup. She gave me some sprite and I ate the soup. It made me feel a lot better.
I ended my day talking with Sr. Reggie (St. Lucy’s Principal) about the music program and everything she and I are going to do. I found out several of the teachers have left St. Lucy’s. Soloman Twabe has left and now works in Mekele, the teacher that tried to carry me on his back last spring when we climbed the mountain and Abraham quit and found work elsewhere, and I can’t remember the other teachers, but a total of 7 are gone. The school has 3 new teachers and Sr. Reggie is in the process of hiring more. My favorites still remain though. Seyoum told me today that they are all anxious for October to come, boy are they going to be surprised tomorrow when I show up. Just like I surprised Seyoum today.
It feels so good to be back in Ethiopia. What a time to reenter the region than with one of their kick butt feast days. In spite of getting sick today, the annoying experience with Ethiopian Air, I have to say I am so happy to be here again it is simply an amazing country indeed.
I send my family all my love. I miss all of you very, very, much. I wish in the worst way all of you could be here to share this experience with me. All who are reading, you too, come to Ethiopia. Enjoy this land of deep culture, faith, and love.
I want to finish this blog with a message to my husband Dan, I send you my deepest love, thank you for allowing me to come back and work with these children and people again. You are the best husband anyone could have. I love you. My dear friends, the house girls, the priests, and the sisters all tell you thank you for being so generous with letting me come back and stay for such a long time.
God bless all of you. Please write I love hearing from everyone.
Love,
Celine

September 26th, 2009

Today is the celebration of the feast day Meskel. This is a very big and important feast day for the people in Ethiopia. The feast is the celebration of the cross. It is about how Christ died on the cross for us sinners and if we follow the cross we will conquer all evil and keep Satan away.
It is so wonderful to be back in Adigrat, Ethiopia. I smiled as I entered the town last night. I sighed a big sigh of relief when I saw the mountains and countryside and the people all walking about. Just as it was preparations for Easter, all the people had been fasting for the feast day. Carnage again was heard everywhere. The village people were killing their sheep and goats to prepare for their big feast day. I smiled when I heard it and remembered Safia and I and how we felt so sorry for the animals.
Feast days with the sisters are delightful. We had a lovely lunch. Following lunch the priest, major and minor seminarians, the white fathers, and several other people were invited to the priest’s big barbeque. Safia and I heard about this BBQ when we were there the first time. This is when they prepare several animals, drink scotch, and have a merry time.
We arrived at the BBQ where a dead goat was being gutted, sliced apart, and body parts were placed on an open fire of coals and wood. Every bit of the goat, except the head, was cooked. The brains, intestines, heart, kidneys, ribs, everything went on that fire. The sweetbreads were the first part of the meal. Platters of intestines and other various organs were placed before us. The Bishop led grace and for our table, Abba Selassie Tesfay cut up the organs and handed them out. He tried very hard to get me to eat some of it. I told him “no way am I going to eat intestines father, can’t do it.” It reminded me of the show with Andrew Zimmer where he travels around the world and tries extremely different foods from different cultures. I’m sure if Andrew Zimmer was here, he would eat it. Next came some ribs, I had some of that. Abba sliced small bits of meat and put them on a plate with small seasalt cakes. The salt cakes are broken into little piles of salt and the meat is dipped into the salt, then you eat it. It was extremely good. I was given a healthy glass of mez(homemade Ethiopian honey wine) to go with it. The mez was strong so I a little drunk.
Later that evening the tradition of Meskel continues. Dried straw is tied together in long torch like poles. There are about 6 of these poles. They are piled together into what looks like a campfire. Each home in Adigrat prepares this special ceremony, then all the village people gather together and have a big party, which I will get to a little bit later.
The ceremony begins with some of the older house girls beating the drums on the right side of the house. As they approach, the guard of St. Lucy’s torches this campfire. Prayers are said to the holy cross and chants are sung. Then one by one, each person jumps over the blazing fire to receive God’s grace, for good luck and a prosperous year. Each little house girl jumped over the fire. One of the sisters picked up Luam and draped her over flames several times sending her blessings and good luck. Then they looked at me. “Come on Celine, jump over the fire.” (Which by the way is jumped over 3 times.) I was scared. The fire was blazing and I was certain I would catch my skirt and netsala on fire. Sr. Deste took my netsala and I jumped!!! Each time I jumped I could feel the flames burst up my skirt and the warmth of the fire slightly singed my skin. Everyone shouted with delight as I jumped my 3 times. I was impressed I had the guts to do such a thing. First I had raw meat cooked straight from the body of a goat, and then I jumped over flames of fire. What’s next in this enchanting land?
Next several of the sisters and house girls picked up the torches and we sang and walked around the grounds of the convent. It was dark, the stars were out, the moon was at its crescent and I was in the midst of all these lovely children, beautiful chants, beating drums, and flaming torches. Boy I love Ethiopia, such a cool place. It is so strong in its traditions and faith.
After we finished the procession around the convent, we went to the school, and gate entrance, spreading the flames all around, sending blessings everywhere, dancing Tigrinya, and singing the chants. Next we headed over to the cathedral, where the big party was at.
Filled in the courtyard were the townspeople and priests. We sang, carried torches, and beat the drums as we approached. The girls who were beating the drums joined with others in a circle around the torches that were a blaze in the center. We gathered our torches and placed them in the center too.
We clapped and sang songs with the drums going. Next we all start dancing. I was asked by the sisters to get in the center and start dancing. I did. I can’t help myself, when I hear those drums, I start to move. Thanks to Lemlem (Ethiopian friend in Seattle) and attending Ethiopian parties I have learned how to dance. Boy oh boy do the Ethiopians love to see a foreigner know how to their traditional dance. As I passed by several ladies they wagged their tongues and shouted at me with delight. Sr. Deste said they are doing this in honor of me because I know how to dance their traditional style. I was so honored by so many people.
I ran into several of my students, we hugged and kissed. I visited with many village people. It was delightful.
I returned to the convent late and very happy. Only in Ethiopia can one see such a thing. This place is amazing.

Blog entry 9-25-09

Dear Family and Friends,

I have to say, Ethiopian Air is the worst airlines in the world. When I arrived in Addis I had every flute checked in customs. Customs wanted to know why I only bring flutes into the country and I responded because I am a flute teacher and I teach the flute. A little frustrating but ok, I understand they are just being careful.
I spoke to my husband and shared with him my hassle with customs and said, “Surely since I have already had my flutes inspected and they allowed me into the country I shouldn’t run into any more problems.” NOT!!! I got back to the airport; the same people that checked me out to Addis were checking me into the airport. Once again my suitcases with the flutes came up as a red flag and they asked me to open the suitcases and show me what’s inside. I looked at them with confusion but did what they asked.
In order for me to get as many flutes into one suitcase I had to strategically pack the cases to fit as many as possible into one suitcase. Ethiopian government had to check every flute in those suitcases again. They asked the same questions that they asked me not even 8 hours previous. I did what they told me and I was passed into the airport. I went to check in for Ethiopian Air. Here we go again. The suitcases exceeded the weight (which was different from the information on their website and I even called the airlines to make sure I was in compliance the day before my flight). The check-in clerk told me that they could only accept 30 kilos and I had exceeded that amount. They asked, what’s in these suitcases? I responded flutes, so I had to open the suitcases while they checked out every flute. I breathed a deep breath and let them investigate the instruments and told them I teach a flute school in Adigrat at St. Lucy’s Primary School. They told me because I had exceeded the weight that they would send one suitcase today and the other suitcase tomorrow. Now I’m getting annoyed. I said, “according to your website and the person I spoke with Ethiopian Air assured me that it is ok for me to exceed the weight a little bit and I only need to pay for the extra amount.” “I have to take this suitcase with me today; it cannot come tomorrow as I will already be in Adigrat this evening.” The clerk could see I was getting mad and said, ok, this one time I will let you. I thought to myself, what the heck, you did this the last time I was here. I guess I will hear the same story the next time I come back.
The situation got worse. As I went upstairs in Bole International, I checked out the screen to see if my flight was on time. Last time Safia and I had to wait six hours for our flight. My flight was on time. I wanted to call Safia and gloat over the fact that I was on time. But I looked at my watch and noticed that it was 3am in Seattle so I decided not to.
At Bole International, before one can take a domestic flight, you have to go through customs to screen all baggage that is carried onto the aircraft. Again I was pulled aside to check my bags. Again, every flute in my carry on was looked at. Did I mention to you that as each flute was checked the officer would open the case upside down? Not only did I have to repack each time they investigated my luggage but I also was catching the instruments from hitting the floor. When it got to my flute I said, “Don’t touch it! I will open for you.”
I was waiting for check in with my ticket and to get my seat assignment. The clerk called my name and checked me in. Of course my name was red tagged again! I’m not kidding. They asked you have a piece of luggage that is suspected and we need you to go downstairs to get it cleared before we can put it on the aircraft. I looked at the clerk and said, “You have got to be kidding me? I already have cleared that suitcase 3 previous times, seriously?” “I told the clerk, you better not make me miss my flight, that will get me very, very upset.” The clerk could see I was annoyed. I turned around to walk with her to the place where they had my suitcase. As I turned around I saw everyone looking at me. They all had concerned looks on their faces as if I was a terrorist. I began walking with the clerk pulling my carryon and laptop. The clerk told me I could leave my carryon and laptop with the guard. She assured me they would be safe. So I did. We walked and walked to the other side of the airport, through some doors, and down several flights of stairs. The clerk was walking so fast that it gave me asthma. We walked out to the tarmac and there stood my suitcase with the customs officers. They asked me to open it, I did, again every &#@! flute was looked at. Examining each one, asking why I’m taking so many flutes, the same questions, the same procedures, the same opening the cases and the flutes falling out. Now my patience has had it. I yelled at the customs guard to stop it, be careful, these are instruments for students at a school. The guard looked at me, although an adorable Ethiopian woman, said, “We have never seen flutes like this, so we wanted to see them.” “Really?” I looked at her. “The only reason I am going through all of this is because all of you are curious?” “Yes,” she answered, “we wanted to see what they are, thank you for showing us.”
As I walked upstairs I thought to myself, next time I’m shipping the damn flutes. This is ridiculous.
I returned to my gate and took my carryon luggage. The guard, which is the same guard from the first time, told me I had to put my luggage through the scanner again. Now I want to swear at this person. WTF? I thought to myself. I did, whatever, I’m almost done with this.…..
When I walked to the aircraft I was extremely annoyed. My nesfala was wet from the torrential down pour of rain from going out to the tarmac the first time around. I could have cared less that I was in a low cut tank top. I took off my nesfala and boarded the plane. Because of all this stupid chaos I was the last to board the plane. All the seats were taken (I found out that I really don’t have a seat assignment) and all the space overhead was filled and nowhere to put my carryon luggage. The flight attendant told me to stow it under my seat, it didn’t fit!!! She could see I was completely annoyed, ready to cry, so she took my carryon and stowed it with her luggage. She was very nice. The poor man that I sat next too could also see I was really frustrated. As I sat down my purse, laptop, and head pillow fell all over the place. The sweet man tried to pick it up for me but I was so mad I told him to leave it alone. Poor guy. Later on the flight, after I calmed down, I began to speak with him, he was a very nice person. A professor at the Mekele University, I believe he said geography, but his accent was so strong I really couldn’t tell.
I met up with Faviano, our driver, he was loading my luggage; the nice teacher came over and made sure I was taken care of. By that point, I shook his hand and hugged him Ethiopian style and thanked him for being so kind to me. Faviano and I drove off to Adigrat…

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Salaamta-I'm in Addis Ababa

Salaam to all my family and friends,
It is so nice to be back in Ethiopia. I can't tell you how good it feels to see the sisters and the workers at the Silus Guest House (place where we stay while in Addis). I arrived in Addis around 10:30 last night exhausted. The trip from Amsterdam to Addis was a long one. First the flight was overbooked, then we were delayed getting on the aircraft because of the previous flight before ours was running behind. Then we had to walk out to the tarmac and get on a bus and drive way out to nowhere to catch our plane. I was tired, hadn't slept in a day and had to carry my heavy suitcases up the flight of stairs to get on the plane.
After settling in I immediately fell fast asleep. I woke when the plane was taxying to the runway strip. I looked at my watch and it read 12noon. My departure time was at 10:15. We taxy for what felt at least 30 minutes to the farthest air strip in Shilport and the captain came on the speaker to tell us that the air crew accidently forgot to remove a piece of luggae from a passenger who chose to take a later booking. So we had to taxy back 30 minutes, then wait for them to unload, reload our luggage and get permission to get out of Amsterdam. It was well after 1pm before we finally took off.
We arrived at Kartoum late, had a large amount of luggage and passengers to unload and then the aircraft had to be refueled. This took another 1 or so. If anyone who is reading this will know that by the time you are leaving Amsterdam to take that final flight to Africa you are exhausted. It seemed like forever before I finally landed in Addis.
The lines to get through customs stretched back into the airport. about 1 hour later I finally got through, got my luggage and proceeded through the final check point to get into Addis. I was stopped by customs because of the flutes. I knew this would happened but this time, one of the officers was not wanting to let me go through with the instruments. I had to once again beg the government that I'm here to teach the children in Adigrat and this is the sole purpose of bringing in the flutes. Once again the officer had not ever seen an instrument such as this and so he first want to know why I'm only bringing in just this type and then wanted to know how one could learn such a thing. It was very hard to speak to him in English because he really didn't speak English he spoke Amharic and I'm not good in this language at all. He got his supervisor, she came over to look at the instruments, looked at me, smiled and asked "are you a music teacher?" "yes" I answered. "I'm here to teach the orphans in Adigrat." She smiled again and said "thank you and welcome to Ethiopia" and sent me on my way. I was relieved.
I met up with my sweet sisters and went to the guest house. I welcomed my more than anything and crashed.
I leave for Mekele in just a short time. I wanted to update everyone. I hope Ethiopian Airlines will be an easier flight than the first time around. I'm prepared if it isn't.
I love everyone at home and hope to you write to me on facebook, cferland00@gmail.com, and this blog.
Love,
Celine

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,
Here I go again. I'm packing flutes and music for my second tour to St. Lucy's flute school. I wish to thank Cathy and Melanie Templin, Bonnie Blanchard, Keith Curtis, Rose Johnson, Gordon Brown and Bob Frymeyer of Flute Finders for their donations of flutes. My biggest thanks goes to Marilyn First and her friends for their extremely generous donations of flutes and repair of all the flutes that I'm taking this next time around.
This time I'm taking 20 flutes! This is at a total of 29 flutes for the school so far. We are still in need of more flutes though-at least another 11. If you can or know of anyone who can give to this school and the children that would be wonderful. As I have mentioned before your generosity goes a lot further than is imaginable.
I have to say I'm anxious for my return. I cannot wait to see the children, the sisters, my flute students and the teachers. I have made so many friends with all of these people that I consider them to be my second home and family. My only sad part is that my niece will not be able to join me this time around. She is busy studying her photo journalism and working to pay for school. I know that I can speak for everyone in Adigrat that she will be soarly missed and I'm sure all will send her their love. For me, it will be the hardest to go without her. I had such a fantastic time getting to know her. Night after night we stayed up late, editing our blogs, laughing at the days events and discussing lessons plans for the next day. I grew so close with her and I love the bond she and I have now. We still to this day laugh at things that happened on our trip and will give each other glances of our inside jokes that will stay with us for a lifetime. Safia did such a fantastic job writing for my blog and taking pictures that I will seek her help again even though it will be 8,000 miles away.
When I return to St. Lucy's it's going to be a week early. Outside of the sisters no one knows of my early arrival. I plan to surprise everyone, just show up for the morning ceremonies and continue where I left off from my previous visit. I can't wait to see their surprised faces and big smiles. It will be a happy reunion indeed.
This time around I will add English classes for the kindergarten children and spend more time assisting in the general music classes with the Seyoum. I also plan to open up flute schools in Zalaambasa and Sassie too.
If anyone would like to hear about my next trip and its next direction I am giving a presention of it tomorrow at Seattle Pacific University at 2pm in Beegle Hall, room 201. Please go to www.spu.edu for directions and www.seattleflutesociety.org for more information about tomorrow's event.
Also, please write to me. I love hearing from everyone while I'm over there. I will do my best to post pictures but if I run into same trouble as we did the first time then I know y'all will understand and upon my return another slew of pictures will be posted.
For now, I leave you with all my love and send everyone my very best.
Love to all and God Bless You,
Celine-Marie Ferland