1. Dearest friends, family, and followers,

    Since December, we received 130+ book donations from you all! THANK YOU SO MUCH. You have all helped us exceed our goal of 120!!  I don’t need to tell you how big of an impact a single book can make on a child, but please know that your donations are increasing the literacy rate and building a reading culture in the Leku, Ethiopia. I am eternally grateful for your support, and so are the students of Leku Primary School.  Your books are loved and read daily here.

    Again, thank you! I cannot express this enough. [If you were not able to send us a book but would like to: it is not too late- there can be never too many books for a school.]

    Thank you notes are coming your way soon! 

    Lots of love,
    Yours truly and the students of Leku, Ethiopia.

    [Photo by Melanie, my new Leku PCV sitemate!]

     

  2. [February 15 - 18, 2014]

    DEMYSTIFICATION TRIP with G10 Trainees!

    Our Peace Corps Ethiopia program has now welcomed G10 [Group 10] into country! As you may recall from the previous Demystification Trip we did with G9Peer Support Network [PSN] members also took G10 Trainees to various PCV sites to “demystify” them about Ethiopia and how PCVs work / live.

    This time, I took 3 gentlemen [Health sector Trainees] to Ataye, a town in East Amhara. The PCVs of Ataye, Chad [G8, Health] and Alec [G7, Education] were exceptional hosts, arranging programs to show us all the diverse activities and projects they do at site. We saw beautiful parts of East Amhara, met many of their local friends, work partners, compound families, and the wonderful female high school students / Club GLOW leaders [who went to Camp GLOW last summer], ate delicious local food [tibs, tagabino, k’ai wat, bayayinet, special ful, etc.] and drank lots of buna [coffee] and avocado juice. Our G10ers were able to see not only work that a Health Volunteer can do at site, but also cross-sectoral projects that Chad and Alec do together. 

    Currently G10 are going through their Pre-Service Training [PST] in Butajira, and will be swearing-in as Volunteers on May 2nd.  Best of luck to you all G10.

    [THANK YOU SO MUCH CHAD and ALEC!!]

     

  3. Abi being Abi. [Chad’s landlord’s son]

     

  4. Scenic views, a little outside of Ataye, East Amhara.

     

  5. Little Hirut and I visited our dear friend Alganesh, who used to live in the same compound as us. It is always a good time with these ladies.

     

  6. [December 26th, 2013]

    Months overdue, but here are the amazing students from our first Grassroot Soccer Group [8 girls and 11 boys] who graduated from the program on December 26th, 2013! For the Graduation Ceremony, some of the students prepared a skit about reducing stigma and discrimination against people with HIV/AIDs, and others prepared a quiz type game about the lessons we had. The MC of the program, Yohanes, read aloud a poem he wrote about Grassroot Soccer. I cannot be more proud of them all.

    Afterwards, Maza [my superstar counterpart] presented certificates to each graduate: Certified to Help Stop the Spread of HIV/AIDs! and I presented one for her at the end: Certified to Engage and Empower Youth to Stop the Spread of HIV/AIDs! Upon receiving the certificate, Maza said, “This is worth more than 1,000 birr!”

    I could not have done this without her. Even though Maza cannot be my counterpart again for the new group of students this semester, she has been so helpful [arranging meeting times and registering students, etc.], I am incredibly lucky to have her working with me. 

     

  7. Grassroot Soccer Graduation [December 26th, 2013].

    Students prepared a skit about reducing stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV/AIDs.

     

  8. YOU GUYS!!

    The books that you have donated (via BetterWorldBooks.com) towards Leku Primary School and students are slowly but surely coming in- a million thank yous!

    So far we have received 106 books [updated February 27th], but we still need a little more help to reach the goal of 120.  If you weren’t able to send us a book yet, no worries! There’s still time and you can make these students so happy with a single book! You know you want to send a children’s book to the adorable students of Leku Ethiopia ;D

    How are these books going to be used exactly?
    Every day students come to my classroom during their break time to read, so we will use your donated books to have read alouds, reader’s theater, and free reading time, to increase the literacy rate in Leku, as well as build students’ love for reading. Also, any time I have a club meeting (Girls club, English club, HIV/AIDS + Grassroot Soccer club), students who come in early get to sit down and read your books!

    I already donated, what else can I do?
    First of all, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! You are making a huge impact in these students’ lives. You can further help us by spreading the word- Email, facebook, twitter, tumblr, hand-written notes, whichever way you like :) Plus, eventually a thank-you note from my students will reach your mailing address.

    How can I help you reach your goal of 120 books? 
    Through betterworldbooks.com, you can send us a used book (or as many as you wish) to my town with no additional shipping costs! Yes, FREE SHIPPING!Plus, BetterWorldBooks is having a winter blowout sale- children’s books are less than $4/book, and you get 40% off on an order of 5 or more items!! After you ordered the book(s), please email me which ones you sent, as well as your mailing address for thank you cards.

    Shipping address:
    OhnSoon Kim
    P.O. Box 64
    Leku, Sidama Zone
    SNNPR, Ethiopia
    [no zipcodes]

    Email: ohnsoonkim@gmail.com

    Book Wish List / Suggested List [Please send us any of your favorite children’s books, even if it is not on the list!]

    Lots of love from Leku.