Sunday, August 5, 2012

Selam's Children's Village

Selam's Children's Village has a wonderful background story.  In the early 1970's a Swedish family living in Ethiopia adopted six Ethiopian children before eventually moving back to Switzerland.  One of the adopted children, when grown, returned to Ethiopia and was so moved by the effects of the famine, started a small orphanage for children who had lost their family to natural disasters.

In 1986, Selam's Children's Village broke ground for a larger orphanage which now houses and takes care of more than 350 children from the ages of 3 months to 18 years.  Most of these children have graduated or will graduate from (when of the appropriate age to attend)  vocational training or education centers provided at Selam's.  The Village not only houses and cares for the children, but when they are old enough, gives them the skills they will need in life to earn a living and help support their families.  It's such an amazing mission, don't you think?

I've been excited to visit and the sun was shining Saturday morning so we used the opportunity to drive to Selam's Children's Village.  We headed straight to the flower nursery on the compound.  It was much more expansive than I had thought.  The rain clouds rolled in as we picked out gorgeous succulents, tiny flower buds, poppies, and more.   The first indoor greenhouse was home to the potted succulents and other plants.  I'm not a garden person so I can't tell one from another. I wish I could.  All I know is everything was green and beautiful.

We were led by two Ethiopian women through the small dirt paths from one green house to another.  The girls were in awe when they saw the large outdoor area with row and rows of flowers.
we brought his purple flower home by Addie's request
one of the sweet women who led us through the nursery and helped us carry our flowers

Addie and Bella were allowed to choose whatever they wanted to plant at home.  All the sales help support the Children's Village.  We got a large flat of flowers, some already potted, and it cost us less than $10.

The grounds were lush and green with a mysterious quality to them as if something magical could happen any moment.  The girls were like little fairies flitting about. It was raining but it made it all the more exciting to explore.

The other wonderful treat at Selam's is the restaurant that serves lunch every day from 12-1:30 PM.  It's a set 5 course meal that changes daily based on fresh ingredients.  We enjoyed fried zucchini, vegetable barley soup, bread, salad, beef with potatoes and vegetables, and finally, coffee ice cream that was frothy and perfect.  The food was wholesome and tasty.  The dining atmosphere was extremely family friendly.

When asked what their favorite part of the trip to Selam's Children's Village was, the girls quickly shouted "the coffee ice cream!" which is to be expected.  I personally liked darting the rain drops running from one green house to the next and capturing all the beauty on camera.  We will be back to Selam's for plants and lunch again! Especially if we get to meet friendly boys like these ones.  We promised them a ball next time we come so we WILL be back.


Danielle said...

Beautiful!! Your photography is so gorgeous and I love the mission of the village! I used to be in the non-profit/social entrepreneurship world before Chris joined State so I love love love hearing about these sorts of programs and seeing them running so well! I had no idea there were so many interesting things going on in Addis!

Heather P. said...

What a wonderful way to gain support for the orphanage. I'm sure the children really enjoyed your visit. I too am in love with your photography skills! Are you using a filter on your lens? The colors are spectacular!! What type of lens do you use?

Sara said...

Thanks Ladies! It really is a spectacular location. The rainy season makes everything lush and green! I'm not using any filters. I honestly wouldn't know how...I highly recommend the 50 mm lens for a Nikon. I use it almost exclusively because it's great for low lighting like when it's raining or inside. Over at my daily dose page you can see the details about the lens Heather. I do lighten them up with Windows photo fixing usually. They need some brightening. I don't own photo shop but I wish I did!

Sara said...

you know, I was thinking about it and it's all about capturing the light at the right angle to showcase beautiful things. At least that's how I try to do it because I don't have a lot of fancy equipment like flash attachments etc. The first photo is my favorite and I tried to capture the light coming down that dark path against those mossy bricks. anyway, try taking photos at different angles around the light to see what catches it best.

Fields of Heather said...

What a moving experience-thank you so much for sharing!

nick novak said...

Beautiful post, my dear! Your photography has such depth and rich color!

Julie Mathews said...
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Julie Mathews said...

I was an orphan at Salem Children's Village 22yrs ago. I'm so happy to see it's still running and doing very well. I hope to go back someday and do some kind of volunteer work there. Thank you, for sharing your pictures. Those pictures made me smile.

Bethy Denise said...

So beautiful! :D Thank you for sharing Sara!