Michael’s passing

He was one of those friends with whom you passed ungainly (and often unseemly) formative years. He’s heard all of your hare-brained schemes and you, his. He’s seen you at your best and your worst. He’s seen you full-of-yourself and he’s seen you utterly depleted. He’s seen you in love and lovesick. You shared long […]

PHOTO BY JERRY SCHARF Women and children walk through a teff field in the Oromia region of Ethiopia, just outside of Addis. Teff is used to make Ethiopia's beloved bread, known as enjera.

Travels in Africa

INTO THE ABYSS Four months after Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie jetted into Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa to pick up their adopted child, Zahara, a group of less celebrated Americans were circling the city in a Boeing 737, their noses pressed to the windows, marveling at the unexpected patchwork of lush, green fields. […]

PHOTO BY JERRY SCHARF | View from plane approaching airport at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Travels in Africa (part 2)

INTO THE ABYSS (Part 2) Our wild-eyed ride through Nairobi’s poor eastside ends abruptly as we pass through the gates of the Safari Park Hotel. Within minutes, we’re being handed hot towels to press to our travel-weary faces, sipping cold mango drinks and nodding replies to the hotel staff’s Swahili greeting: Jambo! The word means […]

PHOTO BY JERRY SCHARF A woman hauls river water to her home in the Kembatta Tembarro area of Ethiopia. Home plumbing is practically nonexistent here. This is a poverty where children spend their days hauling water from rivers to their homes instead of going to school.

Travels in Africa (part 4)

INTO THE ABYSS (Part 4) The official language of Ethiopia is Amharic—an ancient Semitic language closely related to Hebrew. The problem is that fewer than one in seven Ethiopians speak their national language. The rest speak one of more than 80 languages, many of which are based only on oral traditions with no written roots. […]