Hello from Harambee

We are halfway into our week long Harambee family camp in Naramata. The girls have been playing soccer, dousing their friends in water fights, getting their hair done, summing, competing in an amazing race, and drumming every morning. Weve been nothing if not busy. I was co-organizing the “Night Out for the Fairer Spouse” (aka Moms’ Night) and the Ethiopian Cooking Lessons, so today is the first chance I’ve had to reflect and upload my photos.

For anyone who hasn’t been, Harambee is a camp for adoptive families with children of African heritage. It not a relaxing week… It’s more like non-stop cultural activities all day long. But the girls love it… Ad we totally see the value. There are many families that look like ours, black teenagers to look up to, friends to be made and friends to see… And of course, the girls develop more pride in their shared African heritage.

Spice says that her favourite part of camp so far is competing in soccer. She loves running around and being part of the team. Sugar actually stopped going to soccer after the first day, but has preferred running around with friends. Her highlight so far? Daily trips to the TUC shop for freezies! I think Jason and I’s favourite time was the wine tasting night, cackling and spitting with friends. Sorry about spitting on your foot, T!

I actually really enjoyed the cooking lessons this year.. It’s a ton of work, but I liked working with my buddy M. We did one session of the basics: injera, doro wat and yellow lentils. The last session was quick Ethiopian dishes: beef tibs, shiro and alecha vegetables. But we did this another session on Tuesday where M did coffee ceremony, and we showed pictures of Ethiopia. Traditionally, we’d just all sit around and chat for two hours while she made coffee, but we didn’t think people would enjoy that. So we added a picture show, and I think people liked the pictures, and narrative including insights into Ethiopian life and culture.

The other thing I was co-organizing was the night out, and that went really well. We had over 40 moms, and a couple of dads, out for a picnic on the beach. We had catered, delicious Indian food, and local wines from the Naramata bench. For you wine followers, the best matched wine was a Muscat d’Alexandria from La Frenz… So floral and a perfect level of sweetness for the pungent Indian butter chicken! We also had a juicy Merlot-based rosĂ© from Hillside and a Gamay from Desert Hills. Both nice wines… But the Muscat stole the show.

So what’s on the schedule for the next few days? Well, the is Dad’s night for Jason, more soccer, the silent auction, more drumming, etc. we have lots of butter chicken and Ethiopian food to eat as leftovers so I really will get to relax and enjoy….

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