Episode 55: Motherhood Abroad with Tarin Tesfaye

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to parent in a developing nation? Do you ever like to peer through the window of other worlds and observe how parenting plays out? On Episode 55, co-host Leslie grabs the mic in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and sits down with Tarin Tesfaye, an American woman living and mothering in a culture very different from the one we experience here in the United States. Listen in as she shares what it’s like to live in a mud hut on her in-law's family compound, the challenges and joys she finds in her everyday life with her husband and son, and her pulse on the world refugee crisis as an employee of ZOA, an NGO that focuses on helping internally displaced people, host populations, returnees, and a large population of refugees who fled a lethal combination of violence and drought in Somalia, conflict in South Sudan, and human rights violations in Eritrea.

Other points discussed:

  • Practicalities of mothering in a developing country (ex. laundry!)
  • Slowed-down lifestyle: Frazzled nature of American culture vs. life in Ethiopia
  • Refugee care (South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea)
  • Encouraging the Other Self


Want to learn more about the refugee experience? Tarin recommends the following links:

Read Refugee Stories HERE | Stories from Eritrea and Somalia can be found HERE

Tarin works here: ZOA Ethiopia

Check out these books that focus on motherhood abroad or in worlds different than your own. Leslie has read and enjoyed them all:

Bringing up Bebe | The Battle Hymn of A Tiger Mom | Primates of Park Avenue | How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and everywhere in between)

Heading to Ethiopia? We highly recommend the Well Spring Guesthouse!

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