Ethiopia: Yaya Journal Journal Uncategorized

Yaya Journal 5: The Great Run – A Running Party

What a day the Great Run was! Instead of being called the Great Race, it is called the Great Run. It did not feel like a race, but more like a running experience. Let me explain: Instead of having a bib, participants in the run wore a red shirt that they received at registration. When I arrived in Addis, an hour before the race was due to start, the sea of red shirts were already in full-on party mode. In the States, people are often very solemn and nervous before the start of a race. In comparison, the Great Run …

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Running Videos

ROO Video: The Journey to Entoto

The Yaya Girls journeyed to Entoto for a challenging workout. They live at 8,858 feet in Sululta, Ethiopia, however wanted the higher altitude of over 10,000 feet for their kilometer reps. Their workout consisted of 4k, 3k, 2k with 2 minutes rest in between on a hilly field loop. In order to get to Entoto, the Yaya Girls traveled around 90 minutes by minibus and foot. They did not cool down after their workout since they had an over 90 minute walk back through the forest. The Yaya Girls not only train hard on a daily basis, but also study …

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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 3: If You Can’t Run, Walk.

During the past month of being at the Yaya Village, I have been sick twice with bad stomach ailments. These illnesses have been humbling experiences and have left my body in a fragile state. Although I believe that being a runner means pushing one’s boundaries, being sick has taught me the importance of respecting my limits. I have been forced to listen to my body by resting and not running. At the Yaya Hotel, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Julia Bleasdale, an accomplished professional runner and Olympian from the UK. During my return back to health, …

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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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