One of the many things I love about countries like Tanzania and Ethiopia is the mingling of animals and people!  Farm animals share the home with their owners, especially when they are very young.  Well, we have dogs in our beds – so who are we to question…In towns as well as cities (see photo here of goats in Addis Ababba).  When driving, undoubtedly when turning a corner, you dodge a goat, chicken, or sheep.  We were sitting at a small cafe drinking wonderful Ethiopan coffee with our guide and I asked him about all the animals roaming the street.  Donkeys and goats in particular.  Who did they belong to?  How did their owners find them, etc.  He said first of all their owners recognized all their animals and that most often, the animals found their way back home in the evening from their grazing in the town.  You would see them grazing on the verges, medians, in main cities.  When the animals were being attended to, it was most often a small child.  Can you imagine a 5, 6, or 7 year old  child caring for a flock of animals on their own?  Taking them to grazing pastures quite far from their homes and spending the day by themselves with the family wealth?  When there are boys, they take care of the animals and the little girls are responsible for taking care of babies or toddlers.  It isn’t unusual to see a girl of 6 or 7 with a baby on her back in the town with no adult – though she most often was with other children.  I will really miss not seeing goats in Southern Pines or a donkey roaming in Pinehurst.  At least their are horses in horse country…

The photo above of their priest, is one that our friend Joanne Kilpatrick should paint.  This photo is a bit blurry, but I do have some more of the priest reading the Psalms in one of the wonderful churches of Lalibela.

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