Friday, November 13, 2009

Tesfaye Updates - by email and telephone

Friday morning November 13th,2009:
Email - I woke up to an email from Tesfaye in which he apologized for the slow response to my last one. He said that when he thinks back to everything here in Vancouver he is sad and it seems like a "memory". He misses everybody and has seen almost all of our family in his dreams.  He is also happy to be back learning at school, and started a new school on October 27th; next week he already has some exams.

Telephone call - In his email he gave me a phone number to call and Nanci and I did manage to reach him on our first try. The conversation was a little difficult because of a big delay or echo when you talk, but he sounded extremely happy to hear our voices - you could tell he had that big smile on his face as he talked to us.  He is feeling good, sharing an apartment with another young man who had surgery, and working hard at school. We asked him how his eating is, and it seems that since he got used to eating a wide variety of western food here in Vancouver he now gets a little tired of a steady diet of Ethiopian Injerra meals; oh well, at least he has enough to eat.  As we were talking  he was just on his way to Dr. Rick Hodes' house for Shabbat dinner and was looking forward to it. We will talk again soon, and I said I will look into trying to get to Ethiopia towards the end of January to try to go with Tesfaye to see his family back in his village in Gojjam.  We'll see.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A newly discovered update from Tesfaye (photos added Dec.9,2009)

Monday November 2nd, 2009: The last couple of weeks I have been hoping for more details from Tesfaye when he sends us the occasional email. Well, today I kind of felt like I had come upon some rare old lost text, when upon reviewing an email from October 13th I saw two attachments that I had not noticed or read before, and which required the downloading of a program to convert it to a format my computer could read. Below is a summary of the two attachments and some extracts I have reproduced:

1. Reactions to Tesfaye's return: In one of the attachments Tesfaye said how happy he was to see his friends in Dr. Rick Hode's house, and
how excited they were about his return and how happy they all were about his successful back surgery. He also said that he met his best friend from the years when he lived in the "Mercato", and he couldn't believe how Tesfaye now looked; similarly, he met his nephew, a policeman in Addis, who also couldn't believe the change in Tesfaye's back. Finally, the same reaction when he visited his last school and saw his friends and the Director. When Tesfaye spoke to the Director of the school he asked  if he could skip to Grade six, promising that he will study very hard; the Director seemed willing to allow it.

2. Beautiful farewell and welcome sentiments: In the second attachment Tesfaye reproduced the lovely Farewell message from my children, and included two Welcome messages from a couple of sweet younger housemates of his that I have had the pleasure of meeting. They both praise the miracles G_d performs, and express how much affection they hold for Tesfaye. I have reproduced those two Welcome messages below in their unaltered beautiful original wording and spelling:

A Note from Balemleye:
"Welcome to Addis My Brother.
God is always with you, God loves you very much, God mad surgery for you, you know what you are good person, God loves you. From Balemleye to my brother Tesfaye Negussie. You are truly very special and that's just why it is so wonderful to be welcoming you to enjoy together, the times that lie ahead, welcome."
A Note from Zemenay:

"A Hearty Welcome to Great Brother Tesfaye.  From your Sister Zemenay.
A special welcome that has with it many good wishes for you; may you find everything absolutly wanderful and pleasant in every way.  Tesfaye did you see what God mercail [sp.miracle].  Tesfaye, God mad you to straight, God is so kindness and lovely, you can't tell about God, it is so many you can't finsh.  If you do good thing and if you listn he will make you care and straight, so there is no like God.  I'm happy because you are straight.  Tesfaye, I can't tell you, I'm mor than hapair. Are you? "

Lovely heartfelt sentiments for a special young man.