Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Uncommon Coffee, Common Grounds

A few days ago, Barb, Judy and I, were invited to coffee with our Ethiopian friend, Tsege.

Here is a link if you are interested in reading about my first Ethiopian coffee.

Tsege also invited her friend, Gennet, to join us.

We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast of eggs, injera and kik klicha, made with yellow split peas. I took some fruit kabobs as my contribution to our gathering.

Of course, we had Tsege’s specialty Ethiopian ambasha bread, which she has shared many times with us. A bit later, with our coffee, we had popcorn—a staple almost always included at an Ethiopian coffee.

Gennet reminded us that the purpose of coffee is for women talk. She briefly talked about the sadness about all of the wars of men and the difficulty of starting life in a foreign land. It is impossible to choose a good and bad side. She said, “No one is bad all of the time.” Women just want to protect their families and provide for them. She thinks that it would be a better world if all the leaders were women.

Mostly our conversation was women talk—the same topics that the women in Ethiopia gather to talk about. We talked about children and recipes and shopping and food. Our Ethiopian friends were surprised that Judy’s daughter used a midwife rather than a doctor when she had each of her children. They were very interested that my daughter-in-law used doulas when her children were born. Gennet’s daughter is a medical doctor but she also encourages pregnant women to use a midwife.

Finally we prayed together—for Christian spouses for our children, for health concerns, for those less fortunate, for governments. . . as sisters in Christ, united in spirit.

I love it that our Ethiopian friends know the meanings of their names. Letenasaiye, Tsege’s sister, arrived home from her job as we were about to leave. She lets us call her, Letina. Her name means “servant of the Most High”. Gennet means “paradise” and Tsege means “a young green plant.”

It was fitting that Tsege gave me some rue herb to bring home. She told me that it is healthy and that I should break off a sprig and let it steep in my coffee or tea for several minutes before I drink my beverage. She also told me that it is mentioned in the Bible and sure enough, we found it. And so it is, as I drink my coffee this evening, I meditate on these thoughts.

Most importantly, act justly and love God. But also do not neglect to give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs. from Luke 11:42


Teacher's Pet said...

Brenda...I knew when I read the title of your blog this one was going to be a 'winner'...and it is. Great blog...and I'm thankful for Christian friends from around the world...thankful for the friendships that we share...and for your sharing the love of the Lord through this post.

Rebecca said...

The verse at the end goes with our sermon for this Sunday (and next).

I like the names & their meanings. If I could pronounce them, I'd suggest them for future grandchildren.

What is the name of the herb?

It seems you captured the gist of the morning enough that it made my heart yearn for similar fellowship!
And popcorn....

Brenda said...


The name of the herb is rue. I had never heard of it before and was surprised when the Ethiopian women told me that it was mentioned in the Bible.

Bernie said...

Oh Brenda, a lovely way to spend your afternoon, wonderful ladies, good food and beautiful conversation, so love reading about your friends and their culture, loved their names....Hugs

Diana said...

I remembered the first time that you wrote about having coffee with Tsege!
It looks like a very enjoyable experience Brenda! It is fun to experience different traditions of different cultures. You are very fortunate! Love Di

Wanda said...

Great post of wonderful friendship Brenda. I agree with your friend Gennet about all being better if women ruled the world...Peaceful it would be!!!


Dee said...

How nice of you to share your coffee time with your friends. I love the title of your post. Is the coffee strong? and who would have thought popcorn would have such prominence.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

How lovely!!!! I love this post!!! And Jackie is absolutely right!!! Your title for this post is just PERFECT!!!! I love the way the sprig ties into Scripture...what a gem that is! Thanks for relaying that!!! I will always remember it with a smile...really great post, Brenda! ~Janine XO

Mummy McTavish said...

Isn't it great to have friends who can teach you new things and share special times like this with you! How wonderful that she opened her home for you to all fellowship together!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Hi, Brenda!!! Just stopping in to see what you are up to...Love you! Janine XO

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Hi, Brenda!!! Are you okay? Or just very, very busy? You are in my thoughts!!! Love to you and yours~Janine XO

Rebecca said...

Where ARE you? Missing a glimpse into your busy life :)

Teacher's Pet said...

Brenda....Hi my friend. I do hope that all "B" well with you.
I am smiling as I write that...and...while traveling throught the Empire State of Georgia, I saw several hives of bees. You know who I thought of, doncha? Yep! You, my friend.
Hugs to you.....