In Ethiopia, as I lay my head down to sleep, the birds sing out the most powerful song bidding the day farewell. Singing like every song could be their last. Their greatest masterpiece. Ethiopia, there is no place on earth like you. I can never forget about you.
-Bethany Jackson Canfield
"I have learned so much from the Ethiopian people: work hard, rejoice always, and endure, endure, endure."
We've been back from Ethiopia for a year and a half. In many ways it seems like yesterday as we continue to adapt back to the US, and in other ways we are still there... no doubt we have forever left part of our heart with our Habesha friends.
While the two years we lived in the Ethiopian countryside were completely beautiful, the pain, defeat, poverty, sickness, and death that was the nationals life, weighed heavy on my tinder heart. I came back to the US heartsick and confused. So many questions without answers. Questions and doubts that wrapped their fingers many times around my throat. If I moved I felt the grasp of their acidic embrace.
In the midst of my time there I never could have dreamed of what beauty would grow as a result in me, my family and in my art. I have learned so much from the Ethiopian people: work hard, rejoice always, and endure, endure, endure.
I still have questions but I have to trust that one day I will meet the maker of all and we will finally see the beauty that we have sought for our entire lives.
In the meantime, I pain because I long for Him, for that day when I will see Him and for the day when this broken world will be broken no longer.
For today, I paint for all of us who need to see the beauty right now.
The Canfields are a family of four from Oregon, who moved to Ethiopia in 2015 to serve at a rural mission hospital in Southern Ethiopia. Brad, Bethany, and their two sons, Jackson and Oliver lived among the people of Downcountry Ethiopia for two years before transitioning back to the United States in 2017.
About the Painting
Much of Ethiopia's downcountry rural people still live in circular homes such as these. The more modern city-folk frown on the primitive look and style, but they are reminiscent of their tribe many centuries ago. Driving through the countryside, after 3 months without electricity or warm showers, Bethany and her family, were on their way to a lodge ex-pats go to for rest and recovery, with thoughts of warm showers and mango smoothies dancing in their heads, they had to stop and admire this green fertile land where some of earths best coffee cherries grow along side bananas and corn, and people live like there were no Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, whilst the richest purples fill the skies and reflect off the mountains.
COFFEE THAT GIVES BACK
When I connected with Bethany, it was because I knew she had spent time working with children in rural Ethiopia. We connected on that, coffee, and on visual storytelling. I was blown away by her watercolors she was painting and realized she would be absolutely perfect for this project. I also knew that she still has friends who work with orphaned children there. This was a perfect way to give back to Ethiopia, through hands that receive coffee from one of the worlds greatest coffee regions, and back into the lives that live there. We thought this would be a perfect opportunity to connect people visually to Ethiopia, and to send back to the trusted hands of her friends the Britton Family. The Britton family operate a childrens home in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, where they provide for the health and education needs of Children, the future of Ethiopia. You can find out more about their work at their website, weareallonecommunity.org and 20 percent of each bag of Ethiopian coffee sold will be going towards their work in Ethiopia.
Learn more about Shalom Children's Home at weareallonecommunity.org
About The Coffee
Kochere is a tiny area in the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. Ethiopia still grows wild heirloom coffee, on the original bean stocks, much of it is processed without water in what we call a Natural Process. Ethiopian coffee is world renowned for its wild fruity flavors, and this one is no exception. Rich deep tangy tangerine, sits on a creamy vanilla body. Likely a result of the orange blossoms that grow alongside the coffee. We were surprised when our supplier friends were offering such a unique flavor profile. I personally believe that it is no stretch of the imagination to compare this to one of my favorite childhood frozen orange and cream treats.
20 percent of profits go to Shalom Children's home.