An Ethiopian Odyssey

By Jonathan Bartley
March 19, 2009

March 22 is the UN's World Water Day, so I wanted to mention a remarkable book by a good friend of Ekklesia (and an Ekklesia Partner) Annette Allen, which she is using to help raise funds for clean water and sanitation projects in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian OdysseyThe book is inspired by a dream Annette had. She dreamt she was back in the foothills of Addis Ababa where she went to school and had bent down to feel the dry topsoil. As she did so she knew she was there to help provide water for Ethiopia’s poor. Two years later, Annette was made redundant from her job as a corporate communications manager and vowed to make her dream come true.

The result is An Ethiopian Odysssey – a book about her journey to find nine classmates from Nazareth School for Girls in Addis Ababa and to discover what had happened to them since she last saw them in July 1964. The book includes interviews with nine school friends, including the granddaughter of Emperor Haile Selassie. It also recounts stories about the Queen, Princess Anne, the Armenian genocide, Ethiopia’s first big famine in 1973, wars and more recent events such as the 9/11 World Trade Centre attacks in New York and the Commission for Africa.

Half of the royalties from each book go to three charities: WaterAid, who have worked in Ethiopia since 1983, AGOHELD, a charity run by Abebech Gobena, the ‘Mother Theresa of Africa’ and Christian Aid’s Middle East crisis appeal.

The book has received a number of endorsements including most recently from Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) as well as some very favourable reviews.

You can find out more on the website: where there are also details of how to buy the book – and please do buy it. Not only is it a great story, but you’ll be supporting some great causes too.

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