Monday, January 30, 2012

Ethiopia, Utopia, Eefeeopia or Eathopia

It's no secret that Ethiopia has been a much used word around here for a few years.

Ethiopia is and always will be etched on our family's heart.

But, it means different things to each of the six of us.

My husband and I fell in love with Ethiopia and not only adopted a child from there, but feel like we adopted the people of Ethiopia as our own, too. 

We pronounce it as typical Americans, "Ethiopia".

My youngest child was born there, spent the 1st three years of her life there, it is her homeland.

When she pronounces the word "Ethiopia", it sounds like she's saying "utopia".

My husband says this is because in the Amharic language there is no "th" sound.  Most Americans would never consider Ethiopia, utopia, but I've been there and maybe Little Girl's on to something.

We live in the United States; my 4 year old can quickly and easily point to Ethiopia on a world map, but Canada?  Not so much!

He calls it "Eefeeopia".

My 6 year old traveled with us on our 1st trip to Ethiopia in August, but just today when she brought home her journal from the 1st half of the school year did I realize she thought she was going to go with us again on our 2nd trip (which she did not and I thought it was always clear just Mom and Dad would go on the 2nd trip), but I had to smile at her unique way of saying Ethiopia.  Her journal entry from Dec. 16, 2011 reads: "Over the holiday I am going to eathopia."

Ethiopia, Utopia, Eefeeopia or Eathopia, no matter how we say it, this is true:  You have changed us and we are forever grateful!

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