• Lead. Serve. Create.

    Welcome to the Fellows' Blog

    Every other week from February through June meet us back here to find a new post by our 2018-2019 cohort of Ethiopian Diaspora Fellows.

  • Our Fellows

    Meki Shewangizaw

  • Our Fellows

    Rebekah Tsadik

  • Our Fellows

    Feven Abiy

  • Our Fellows

    Edom Wessenyeleh

  • Our Fellows

    Samrawit Tamyalew

What Can I Eat?

By Samrawit Tamyalew

Oh, Ethiopia. I was so excited to come to this land and have a taste of the cornucopia of delectable, organic, cultural food. Being in Ethiopia presented a perfect opportunity to regularly consume foods I normally would not eat, explore the Ethiopian cultural identity through meals, and have opportunities to sit with locals to learn about their experiences. Alas, it was not meant to be.  

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Turning 24 In Addis

By Meki Shewangizaw

A week before graduation I had a panic attack when I came to the conclusion that the major I picked was not what I wanted. It wasn’t really a surprise. Throughout the four years, I knew in the back of my mind that I didn’t enjoy what I was studying. I tried to comfort myself by saying I would just figure it out along the way a lazy mindset that I too often relied on.

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A Becky by Any Other Name

By Becky Tsadik

Beyoncé ruined my name. Or rather her “Becky with the good hair” line in 2016’s “Sorry” added insult to the injury of Plies’ degrading 2010 song “Becky.” The infamous “Oh. My. God. Becky.” intro from Sir Mix a Lot’s 1992 anthem “Baby Got Back” has been giggly lilted at me ad naseum since grade school—each person believes themselves the first clever one to have done so. Through college, I was teased for being a black girl with a “white” name, but I stuck with Becky because my birth name Rebekah never quite fit.  1-1

“There are good Beckys and Rebeccas: the Rebecca (also Rebekah) of the Bible was a good, resourceful brave woman, who nevertheless gave troubled birth to Esau and Jacob, whose conflicts went on to shape the conflicts between nations and races. Oops.” (Thanks, Beyonce: Being a ‘Becky’ Just Got So Much Harder.” Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast).

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South of Addis

By Feven Abiy

Due to a series of random events and last minute decisions, I had the opportunity to travel out of Addis Ababa twice in one week. Both trips required a drive southward on the expressway to cities in Oromia, the largest administrative region in Ethiopia. The first was to Adama, or Nazret, where Edom and I attended the 30th Annual Ethiopian Public Health Association Conference. We left early on a Monday morning with another coworker and traveled about an hour and a half before reaching the conference center. This year’s theme was “The Impact of Climate Change on Public Health: Ethiopia’s Challenge in the 21st Century”. The two-day conference was filled with panel discussions, poster exhibits, and breakout sessions all focused on answering the question of what Ethiopia can do to mitigate the public health challenges of climate change. It was an exciting conversation to be a part of. 

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