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My Macchiato

My Macchiato

Spending this first week of July in Washington DC, meeting people from the community as I await the arrival of the rest of my colleagues, has given me a renewed desire to once again state my heartfelt adoration for the Ethiopian people.  Ethiopians represent the largest African immigrant population in DC – surveys show that one in every five black African immigrants here is an Ethiopian – which explains why I have been stopped so many times and questioned with delight about the Amharic tattoo just above my right shoulder blade…

Zoma! Amharic for "Long, beautiful hair"

Zoma! Amharic for “Long, beautiful hair”

The following images are some of my favorite moments from my last two weeks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; both inside the ICASA conference and out and about in the city.  Enjoy!

Hanging our banner in my Education Zone

Hanging our banner in my Education Zone

Me, smiling

Me, loving my work

Me and Sissay, my Amharic & French interpreter

Me and Sissay, my Amharic & French interpreter

DKT condom fashion show!

DKT condom fashion show!

Jesus and Sara

Jesus and Sara

Cal and Ayele

Cal and Ayele

Tires

Tires in the neighborhood

Coffee Ceremony

Traditional Coffee Ceremony

Our banner outside the ICASA venue

Our banner outside the ICASA venue

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Tshirts…

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… tshirts…

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… and more tshirts!

What's YOUR Slogan?

What’s YOUR Slogan?

Youth at the Ghion

Youth at the Ghion

Condom Art Pin making

Condom Art Pin making

With our CONDOMIZE! manequins

With our CONDOMIZE! mannequins

Art in the Community Village

Art in the Community Village

Me and "Mama"

Me and “Mama”

Condom Art Pins at the African Union

Condom Art Pins at the African Union

Lunch!

Lunch!

Inside a chat house

An afternoon inside a chat house

Ambo and lime

Ambo and lime

Lovely Rosa

Lovely Rosa

Our neighborhood in Addis

Our neighborhood in Addis

More from me soon, circa Washington DC, on our Road to AIDS 2012

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Even in our history from ancient African civilization, poets went from village to village; and that’s how stories and messages and lessons were taught.
– Tupac Shakur

Reading All About Condoms educational material on How to Use a Female Condoms

Reading All About Condoms educational material on How to Use a Female Condom

At our pop-up Zone in the Community Village

At our pop-up Zone in the Community Village

Bidia presenting the All About Condoms Use website in our Community Dialogue Space

Bidia presenting the All About Condoms Use website in our Community Dialogue Space

Eager participants in the Community Dialogue Space during a session on Anal Sex

Eager participants in the Community Dialogue Space during a session on Anal Intercourse

Adrian, Sara & Marilyn

Adrian, Sara & Marilyn

All smiles :-)

All smiles...

Covered in Condom Art Pins!

Covered in Condom Art Pins!

Handfull of ICASA 2011 branded condoms

Handfull of ICASA 2011 branded condoms

Adrian, facilitating the Condom Art Pin making program

Adrian, facilitating the Condom Art Pin making program

Marilyn and Lydia

Marilyn and Lydia

Muluken and Ashenafi

Muluken and Ashenafi

Our amazing team of volunteers

Our amazing team of volunteers

"Don't Compromise!"

"Don't Compromise!"

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Condom Art Pin making with PSI & youth at Mekdim

Condom Art Pins with PSI & youth at Mekdim

As you can imagine, CONDOMIZE-ing ICASA 2011 was truly a team effort – we were thrilled to have fantastic partners to help us implement all of our activities in Addis Ababa, especially during our final weeks of preparation for the conference.

Condom Art Pin table at PSI Ethiopia

Condom Art Pin table at PSI Ethiopia

CONDOMIZE and PSI Ethiopia implemented Surge Prevention programming throughout the capital city with partners from The AIDS Resource Center in Addis Ababa, DKT Ethiopia, EngenderHealth, The Ethiopia Private Health Sector Program, Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia, Handicap International, OSSA Ethiopia, PEPFAR, USAID and World Learning.  These activities were all aimed at preparing the local community for the surge of international delegates who would be attending ICASA 2011.  Below are a few images from condom trainings that I conducted in partnership with PSI Ethiopia and Mekdim:

Condom Art Pin making at Mekdim

Condom Art Pin making at Mekdim

Pineapple Fanta and cookies! Snacks during a focus group with PSI and Mekdim

Pineapple Fanta and cookies! Snacks during a focus group with PSI and Mekdim

A PSI illustration of condom efficacy

A PSI illustration of condom efficacy

Community feedback on educational materials

Community feedback on educational materials

Cookies and a bedroom scene

Cookies and a bedroom scene

A morning after scenario...

A morning after scenario...

Tigist and youth at Mekdim

Tigist with young people at Mekdim

Condom Art Pin making to close a focus group at Mekdim

Condom Art Pin making to close a focus group at Mekdim

"Condoms only work if you wear them."

"Condoms only work if you wear them."

In addition to our partnership with the Surge Prevention team, we were also working with local artists and community volunteers to ensure that CONDOMIZE at ICASA 2011 had a uniquely Ethiopian feel…

Making the furniture for the CONDOMIZE Coffee Ceremony Zone

Making the furniture for the CONDOMIZE Coffee Ceremony Zone

Sisay varnishing a freshly made table

Sisay varnishing a freshly made table

Running errands in our neighborhood

Running errands in our neighborhood

Sisay's cousin, keeping our guesthouse clean while wearing my hat

Sisay's cousin, keeping our guesthouse clean while wearing my hat

Me and Lucy the cat, working on the CONDOMIZE social networking initiative

Me and Lucy the cat, working on the CONDOMIZE social networking initiative

Lucy on my bed

Lucy on my bed

Ayele on our patio with the CONDOMIZE banner, make completely out of colored condoms

Ayele on our patio with the CONDOMIZE banner, make completely out of colored condoms

Stuffing condom cases in our converted kitchen : work area

Stuffing condom cases in our converted kitchen / work area

And finally, at Millennium Hall

Hanging the CONDOMIZE banners in my Education Zone

Hanging the CONDOMIZE banners in my Education Zone

"Love Smart. Play Safe."

"Love Smart. Play Safe."

Stay tuned for photos from our time in Ethiopia outside of the capital city, and finally images from CONDOMIZE at ICASA 2011!

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Children in Arat Kilo

Children in Arat Kilo

I am just now back home in New York after being based in Ethiopia for nearly two months this fall.  As many of you know, I truly love Ethiopia – I have traveled there frequently since my first visit in 2004, and everything from the language, the food, the culture and especially the people have always made me feel warmly welcomed.  Below you will find some images from my time in Addis Ababa this November

In The Condom Project van

In The Condom Project van

Our neighborhood tailor

Our neighborhood tailor

Our neighborhood flock

Our neighborhood flock

Ambo and Coca Cola keep the team going

Ambo and Coca Cola keep the team going...

Donkeys, my favorite animals

Donkeys, my favorite animals

Puppies, just outside of our shoe maker's storefront

Puppies, just outside of a shoe maker's storefront

Roadside construction

Roadside construction

My team and I stayed at the BL Guesthouse near Arat Kilo, and I could not have been more comfortable there.  My room was on the second floor with a balcony that overlooked our beautiful garden and surrounding rooftops.  The guesthouse was made complete by a resident cat named Lucy and a shed that we converted into a kitchen and workspace for the duration of our stay.

Lucy the cat, exploring my room

Lucy the cat, exploring my room

The garden and our German housemates, preparing for a camping expedition in the north

As seen from my balcony: the garden and our German housemates, preparing for a camping expedition in the north

Our generous neighbors, whom we met while on a search for garlic... which we eventually found at their house

Our generous neighbors, whom we met while on a search for garlic... which we eventually found at their house

Adrian, just inside his balcony, making Condom Art Pins

Adrian, just inside his balcony, making Condom Art Pins

Joshua cooking dinner during a regular blackout

Joshua cooking dinner during a regular blackout

One of the nicest things about staying near Arat Kilo was the close proximity to so many things – friends and colleagues lived nearby; local restaurants and fresh groceries were just down the hill; and we were walking distance to ISAPSO, our partner organization that was working to create our CONDOMIZE tie and dye condom cases:

The ladies at ISAPSO

The ladies at ISAPSO

The tie and dye process

The tie and dye process

Drying the cloth for our condom cases

Drying the cloth for our condom cases

We were also a short drive to Memnon, the local company responsible for the sewing and screen printing of our CONDOMIZE tshirts for ICASA 2011

CONDOMIZE!

CONDOMIZE!

A sign on the wall inside the Memnon office

A sign on the wall inside the Memnon office

Pattern on a shelf, next to a stack of tshirts freshly printed for the Great Ethiopian Run

Pattern on a shelf, next to a stack of tshirts freshly printed for the Great Ethiopian Run

Memnon's screen printing machine

Memnon's screen printing machine

Our Ethiopian inspired artwork

Our Ethiopian inspired artwork

What's YOUR slogan?

What's YOUR slogan?

Up next, our work with local partners to prepare for ICASA 2011 plus images from our time outside of the capital city of Addis Ababa:  Debre Zeyit in the Ethiopian countryside and a weekend in the Omo Valley 🙂  Stay tuned!

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How good to migrate anew everyday. And how beautiful to settle anew everyday.
– Rumi, via Dream and Reality at Istanbul Modern

November in Arba Mich, Ethiopia

November in Arba Minch, Ethiopia

It is sunrise here in Istanbul, and I find myself awake and listening to the sounds of a distant mosque’s call to morning prayer.  Lying in bed and scrolling through my photos, I am overwhelmed by how lucky I am to be able to travel around the world and do what I love for a living.

I am truly grateful for the experiences I have had…

Turkish coffee with a friend in the Tophane District of Istanbul, Turkey

Coffee with a friend in the Tophane District of Istanbul, Turkey

Evenings in Arba Minch, Ethiopia

Evenings in Arba Minch, Ethiopia

the people I have met…

the people I have met…

Market Day in Jinka, Ethiopia

Market Day in Jinka, Ethiopia

Outside a family home in Ethiopia's Omo Valley

Outside a family home in Ethiopia's Omo Valley

Ethiopia's Hammer Tribe

Ethiopia's Hammer Tribe

the beautiful things I have seen…

the beautiful things I have seen…

"Bridge of God" in southern Ethiopia

"Bridge of God" in southern Ethiopia

Baboons outside of the Ethiopian Crocodile Market

Baboons outside of the Ethiopian Crocodile Market

Donkeys on the road to Konso, Ethiopia

Donkeys on the road to Konso, Ethiopia

Sand sculptures on the beach in Durban, South Africa

Sand sculptures on the beach in Durban, South Africa

and all of the wonderful work I am privileged to do.

and all of the wonderful work I am privileged to do.

Gathering for an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony & teaching women how to use a Female Condom

Gathering for an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony & educating women about the Female Condom

Taking questions on stage in my CONDOMIZE Zone at ICASA 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Taking questions on stage in my CONDOMIZE Zone at ICASA 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

And with gratitude for your loving support and kind attention…

With gratitude for your loving support and kind attention –

More from me soon.  xojl

More from me soon. xojl

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After my trip to Egypt this fall (see my post about A Day In Cairo), I returned to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the Marathon Meeting for the International Conference on AIDS & STIs in Africa.  As many of you know, I have been back on the African continent since November 1st and am now preparing for CONDOMIZE at ICASA 2011 next week.  But before writing about my time here now, I wanted to first post a few pictures from the fall…

Sheep grazing down the road from BL Guesthouse

Sheep grazing down the road from BL Guesthouse

My neighbors

My room on the garden at the BL Guesthouse

My room on the garden at the BL Guesthouse

Three essentials in my work - condoms, coffee & shoes

Three essentials in my work - condoms, coffee & shoes

The following photos were taken at Memnon, an Ethiopian company that is creating and printing all of the CONDOMIZE tshirts for ICASA 2011.  The United Nations Population Fund felt that it was very important our CONDOMIZE ICASA products were Made In Ethiopia this year, and I am proud to say that we have been working closely with local manufacturers and purveyors to ensure that everything possible (shirts, condoms, even the furniture in our CONDOMIZE Zones) is Habesha.

CONDOMIZE silkscreens at Memnon

CONDOMIZE silkscreens at Memnon

CONDOMIZE silk screen

Silk screen printing

Silk screen printing

The photos that follow were taken at the ICASA 2011 Marathon Meeting, during which many of the important decisions about the all-Africa conference are made:

Inside the Marathon Meeting room

Inside the Marathon Meeting room

Meeting in progress

Meeting in progress

Tizu and me, setting up for CONDOMIZE

Tizu and me, setting up for CONDOMIZE

Sisay and Tizu

Sisay and Tizu

À la mode - Condom Art Pins!

À la mode - Condom Art Pins!

We were also invited to a lunch and traditional coffee ceremony at the house of Sisay and his mother.  Sisay has been our driver and a TCP team member since 2005 – and his mother is an incredible cook!  It was such a pleasure to be invited into their home 🙂

Sisay

Sisay

Sisay's mother and little neighbor

Sisay's mother and little neighbor

251 is the country code when dialing an Ethiopian phone number from abroad…

More photos soon from November & December, here in Ethiopia… xojl

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Earlier this fall, The Condom Project had the pleasure of training an incredible group of students and peer educators in the Bahamas.  This was very special for our team, as it was the first time that The CONDOMIZE Campaign had trained a group to CONDOMIZE their own community without being able to be in that community to see the program through to implementation…

And we are thrilled to report that the amazing participants from Bahamas Red Cross, The Society Against STIs & HIV (SASH) Bahamas and The College of The Bahamas (COBUS) have done us proud 😀  They are going to be a wild success at the 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference, and The Condom Project will be sending all of our love and support to them while we are in Ethiopia this winter!

Condom Art Pins!

Condom Art Pin making!

Adrian, our CONDOMIZE Artistic Engineer, leading the Condom Art Pin training

My workshop on condoms, lubricants & additional safer sex supplies available around the world :-)

My workshop on condoms, lubricants & additional safer sex supplies available around the world 🙂

Fantastic participation from the Peer Educators at Bahamas Red Cross, SASH & COBUS

Fantastic participation from the Peer Educators at Bahamas Red Cross, SASH & COBUS

Demonstraing the fit of a finger cot...

Demonstraing the fit of a finger cot...

... and my favorite party trick: How to Make a Dental Dam Out of a Condom, Using Only Your Teeth

... and my favorite party trick: How to Make a Dental Dam Out of a Condom, Using Only Your Teeth

How To Use a Dental Dam

How To Use a Dental Dam

A brief overview of how condoms are tested, with a demonstration of the destructive effects of oil-based substances on latex barriers

A brief overview of how condoms are tested, with a demonstration of the destructive effects of oil-based substances on latex barriers

The CONDOMIZE Campaign on Twitter, sizzling with Bahamian tweets

The CONDOMIZE Campaign on Twitter, sizzling with Bahamian tweets

Africa & the Caribbean connect, via Twitter

Scouting the 10A bus route for condom distribution during the 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference

Scouting the 10A bus route for condom distribution during the 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference

Roundtable on condom distribution techniques

Roundtable on condom distribution techniques

Amanda, organizing roundtable take-aways...

Amanda, organizing roundtable take-aways...

Mock set-up of the CONDOMIZE Zone!

Mock set-up of the CONDOMIZE Zone!

Welcome to the Condom Art Pin making table!

Me, training the Presenting Educators on CONDOMIZE Zone set-up

Me, training the Presenting Educators on CONDOMIZE Zone set-up

Victor from SASH, taking his place behind my table of safer sex supplies available around the world

Victor from SASH, taking his place behind my table of safer sex supplies available around the world

Me, with the Caribbean Presenting Educators (aka, the Bahamian versions of me)!

Me, with the Caribbean Presenting Educators (aka, the Bahamian versions of me)!

A review of the budget...

A review of the budget...

... and lunchtime!

... and lunchtime!

Adrian with Condom Art Pin trainers

Me & the Peer Educators from Bahamas Red Cross

Me & the Peer Educators from Bahamas Red Cross

Me & the gentlemen from SASH Bahamas

Me & the gentlemen from SASH Bahamas

To quote one of our recent CONDOMIZE blog posts… “Our future’s so bright, we’ve gotta CONDOMIZE.” I am so proud of you, Bahamas!!! The 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference is going to be amazing 😀  Sending you much love from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia… xojl

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The final segment of a week-long photographic recap of our summer at AIDS 2010

At AIDS 2010, The Condomize Campaign succeeded in putting condoms back on the  global agenda. The international media reported that condoms could not be missed – they were everywhere, reaching nearly all delegates through 5 venues inside and countless activities associated with the conference.

During the Vienna Youth Force Pre-Conference, The Condomize Campaign’s workshop on Promoting Condoms Beyond Prevention was voted the top, most useful session by youth delegates.  The Global Village opening party featured a condom couture fashion show that launched the Campaign’s presence in the Village’s Condomize Zone.  The main conference venue introduced delegates to a wide variety of male condoms, female condoms, lubricants and additional safer sex supplies available around the globe.  Delegates could create condom art pins, view demonstrations, taste flavored lubricants, and fill bags with safer sex supplies that were available for distribution.

The Campaign’s visibility brought thousands of people to the Global Village for The Condomize Party, which took place at conference end and joyously celebrated the distribution of 1 Million condoms during that week in Vienna.

Party attendees danced to the music of international entertainers, enjoyed refreshments from local in-kind donors and received condoms in gift bags and giveaways

From condom cases in all of the delegate bags, to passing out tshirts with a built-in condom pocket, to a mass distribution and awareness campaign in the Viennese U-Bahn,
The Codnomize Campaign gave condoms true visibility at AIDS2010.

We have since received numerous requests from countries, universities and NGOs to Condomize!

Part 6 of a week-long photographic recap of our summer at AIDS 2010

During the week of the conference in Vienna, Condomize distributed a total of 1 million condoms in 100 hours!
10,000 condoms alone were distributed during one morning that we spent on the Viennese U-Bahn.

Preparing for our trip with bags full of condoms

Preparing for our trip with bags full of condoms

Condomize on the U-Bahn and in the news

Condomize on the U-Bahn and in the news

But as you know, all work and no play makes us dull sexual health educators 😉
So during our summer in Vienna we found some time to relax and explore the city…

Thanks so much to all of you who have visited the blog this week, and especially today on World AIDS Day.
Check back tomorrow for the final installation of my week-long photographic recap of our summer at AIDS 2010…

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