Ethiopia: Yaya Journal Journal Uncategorized

Yaya Journal 4: Be Strong

During my first week in Ethiopia, fellow runners would call out “ayzos” to me on the trails. I was confused since it sounded like “Achoo!” I soon learned that ayzos is an Amharic expression that means “be strong.” This past weekend I took a four hour intensive Amharic class that covered basic words and phrases. Ayzos was included and even made it to the top ten most frequently used Amharic words on the teacher’s handout. Dil, the teacher, explained that ayzos was not only an expression of fortitude, as in the case of “keep running!,” but also a way to …

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Ethiopia: Yaya Journal Journal Uncategorized

Yaya Journal 2: Surface Strength

I am not ready to write an in-depth blog post on why Ethiopia is filled with some of the best runners in the world. I have only been here for two weeks and just begun to skim the surface of this phenomenon. Here in Sululta, in the Oromia region of Ethiopia, the majority of the surfaces people run on are made of dirt, pebble, and wooded trails. The foot and lower leg intelligence that is required to navigate the uneven terrains of the majority of runs requires strength—and that underlying strength to run efficiently on this rocky ground is developed …

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Ethiopia: Yaya Journal Journal Uncategorized

Julia’s First Three Impressions

It has been over two weeks since I Ianded at the Yaya Village in Sululta, Ethiopia. The Yaya Girls are to arrive in less than two days and we have been eagerly preparing for their arrival. I have had numerous first impressions of the incredible Yaya Village but since I love things in threes (see my post about the three Ls of learning, loving, and living), I will distill my initial reflections into three areas. 1. Culture of Kindness: Since the moment I arrived in the middle of the night and Xavier, the executive director program, picked me up from …

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Ethiopia: Yaya Journal Journal Spirituality Uncategorized

Yaya Journal 1: Learn, Love, Live

It has been an incredible first few days in Sululta, Ethiopia at the Yaya Village. The new class of Yaya Girls will arrive in two weeks and until then, we are preparing for their arrival. I love things in threes. My birthday is on a third. My brother’s birthday is on a third. Om has three syllables within it (A-U-M). The father, the son and the holy ghost — basically, many powerful things come in threes…  As I take stock of my first few days in Ethiopia, I am inspired to reflect on the three Ls: learning, loving, and living. Learn the …

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Journal Uncategorized

Gratitude

I am headed to Ethiopia today and overwhelmed with gratitude for the support of family, friends, and strangers as I have prepared for my trip. My fundraising campaign for the Yaya Girls Running Program in Sululta, Ethiopia was a huge success! I surpassed my goal and raised over $8,000, which will not only fund four young Ethiopian women for the upcoming trimester, but also contribute to future Yaya Girls scholarships. Numerous companies have donated incredible gear and goodies for the Yaya Girls. Oiselle, which I run for, has contributed beautiful shirts with inspiring running designs on the front! Health Warrior has …

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Running Tuesday Truths

Tuesday Truth: Ethiopian Proverb

“Where a woman rules, streams run uphill.” – Ethiopian Proverb {Photo from the Yaya Girls Race Warmup on Website} This week’s Tuesday Truth was inspired by my upcoming travels to Ethiopia, where I will be working with the Yaya Girls Running Program for four months. I have 8 days left to raise $5000 which will fund four girls for a trimester and also pay for food, supplies, and equipment. Whether you donate $5 or $100, your contribution makes a difference in creating a new class of Ethiopian female role models. Please check out my donation page to learn more.

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