Tigray: A Bit of Flora and Fauna

Addis Ababa


30 April 2011

Dear Chloe, Maxwell and Myles,

Cc: Family and Friends,

Thank you again for your thoughtful birthday gift.  The “lug nap-sac” blanket and pillow kit came in very handy on my camping trips in Africa.

While I was traveling in Ethiopia and Djibouti, I was fortunate to see many birds and animals.

One of the birds is yellow.  It hangs upside down in a tree as it builds a nest.   Another bird floats up in the sky, looking down to the ground to find a meal.  One big bird was in a garbage dump.  I suppose it was there to help clean it up!

All the people I met in Ethiopia have bright white teeth.  They break off a small twig from a tree and use the end of the stick like a tooth brush.  They call the stick “Colgate.”

Most of the people in Ethiopia are farmers.  But sometimes they cannot grow enough food to feed their family.  So they must walk a very long way to a small town where they pick up a huge sack of grain that is donated by the USA.   They load the sack on their donkey and go home.  They don’t have any trucks.

Also, there are no school buses.  Children about your age, Chloe, must walk many miles to school.  When they come home, they take care of the animals on their farm.

The pictures of the animals and the birds and also the trees are on my website. 

Can you identify them?

Each photo has a number.  Make a list for me and I will add the names to the photos.  Of course I will give you full credit for all the correct answers.  (Actually, I really need your help.  I am not sure of many of the names.) 

 I am certain we will also be getting help from my friend Jeffrey Z who has been a bird watcher all his life.  And we will also get help from my friend Paul B who loves to see wildlife when he travels.

I hope that one day you will also be a bird watcher and a lover of wildlife and nature, and that you will travel around the world.  Then you will see all the birds and animals for yourself.  And also some fish?  And, snakes!   And bugs!!


Uncle Jan


My friends,

Chloe, Maxwell and Myles live in Miami.  They are the children of my nephew Jason and his wife Carrie.  Right now they are 8½, 4½ and almost 2, but I expect they will grow up quite rapidly.  Chloe is going to sleep -away camp this summer!!


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