I want to talk to you today about my favorite word, Chiggerellem. It means “No Problem” or “Hakuna Matata”, or “no worries”. This word, Chiggerellem, sums up my experience in Ethiopia. Nothing is ever a problem, no one is ever worried, there is no stress, there is no rush, it is just “Chiggerellem”

A few examples…

Friday we went to the Bethany office to discuss the final plans for our training. There was a miscommunication and we realized that instead of just Jill, Julie and me going to Nazereth to observe foster care families, that all the training participants were scheduled to go with us… 30 people! This was NOT the plan we wanted. We were stressing and trying to figure out what to do. 2 minutes later, Hemi (Bethany Admin Assistant) had called all the participants, canceled the trip and rescheduled them to come to the training on Wednesday instead. We discussed how this would have happened in American. If you had 30 people planning on an overnight trip to a city 2 hours away, and had to tell them “no” the training is in our city, 2 days later, BIG PROBLEM! Here in Ethiopia? Chiggerellem.

Saturday morning, we were supposed to meet Yoseph at 9:00 at a church to observe the Sunday School program. We were late due to a shower with only one drip at a time and a long trip to the bank to exchange money. We got there at 9:30…. The Church was all but empty and Yoseph had not arrived yet. He came 5 minutes after us. Chiggerelem.

Tonight, after dinner we (the 3 American girls) wanted dessert. The entire was shut down, nothing was open. But Danny said “Chiggerelem!” And sure enough within 5 minutes he found us a Yemen bakery that was still open. We told the woman inside, we did not know what we wanted (it all looked so different) and she said “Chiggerelem!” and brought us a sample of everything.

Finally tonight, in the pitch dark, at 11:45 we were just around the corner from our guest house, when we were stopped by a stalled car. The man did not attempt to move the car out of the one way road, but had the hood open and was working on it in the dark. We sat for a minute and it was clear he was not going anywhere, so I took my lesson from Ethiopia and said “Chiggerellem!”, and we walked the rest of the way home : )

PS there are a few things that are “chiggerella” (it IS a problem) for me.
1. Showers that drip and just stop working all together when I have shampoo in my hair
2. Digestive issues in a rain/hail storm on the top of a mountain in a museum with no bathroom or electricity
3. Slow, Slow internet
4. Showers that drip and just stop working all together when I have shampoo in my hair

Caio for now!


2 thoughts on “Chiggerellem

  1. Great philosophy to live by…sure wish “it” was that easy here in the United States! I think every other culture accepts this, why can’t “we?”
    Love reading your blog Sarah!

  2. Laughing out loud :). Mission for the rest of my days? To have more of a “Chiggerelem” attitude. Miss you, but all is running smoothly so far without you.

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