Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Happy New Millenium, Ethiopia!

Today, Ethiopia celebrates its own new millennium. Welcome, Ethiopia, to the year 2000!

Ethiopia is the only country which still adheres to the Julian calendar, introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 BC. This calendar includes an extra month, only five days long (unless in a leap year), which over time has placed the country seven years and eight months behind the Gregorian calendar. If not for Pope Gregory XIII who began the Gregorian calendar 400 years ago, we would be celebrating the beginning of the twenty-first century in the United States, too!

Ethiopia, in its tradition, will celebrate this New Year today on 1 Meskerem, or September 11, which marks the end of the rainy season and the beginning of spring and all the beauty it brings to the country.

The Ethiopian Millennium will be celebrated from September 2007 to September 2008. Today the celebration will jump start with the Grand Millennium Concert, opening ceremonies with 2000 artists and dancers, and the Taste of Addis Africa Festival. The celebration will continue year-round with exhibitions, major sporting events and environmental measures like 2 Trees for 2000, challenging every Ethiopian to plant two trees by the close of the second millennium.

We at Children's Hope are excited to be a part of this new century in Ethiopia with our adoption program, and are eager to develop our humanitarian aid efforts in this country. Orphan sponsorship within Ethiopia is slated to begin in October 2007.

This month so far, we received a referral for two siblings - a 14-month-old girl and her 3-year-old brother. We were thrilled to be able to refer them yesterday to a Children's Hope family. More referrals are expected soon!

Congratulations to this family and congratulations to Ethiopia on this much celebrated occasion!


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