We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
You can learn a lot about 19th C. Ethiopia (Abyssinia) in Flashman on the March (he survives a tumble down the falls - and then a tumble with an obese Queen). The subject comes up today because, after church yesterday, friends were discussing their upcoming mission trip to Ethiopia and I regret that I cannot join their group.
On the other hand, maybe Ethiopia ought to be sending some missions to the USA and Europe. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church (previously the Coptic Orthodox Church) has been around since about 300, and has taken its own path. Note the outfits of the Deacons.
I first began to notice that there was something special about the Ethiopian people. We have quite a large newly(last 10 years) arrived community here. When they come to the US their internal sense of peace and grace are palpable. It takes about 4 or 5 years for them to loose their sense of God and his place in this world. It is such a joy to meet the new arrivals, and so sad to watch as they loose that internal something that clearly marks them and their faith as unique. Even those who have come over because they were suffering from very personal attacks (see Egypt) they still have that internal assurance from a beautiful faith lived truly. I hope you get to go BD--I would love to see that place also.
A good item to bring along - and a mitzvah to buy/give away anywhere the grid don't glow.
The Flashman book was good, wasn't it? Not his best, but still better than most current fiction. GMF's newest (final?) book The Reavers will be released soon. Not a Flashman book, it's another about the border marches, like Candlemass Road and The Steel Bonnets.
We may never learn how Flashie fought on both sides during the American Civil War. Damned shame. But look at all we learned. We knew about The Glanton Party of scalphunters 10 years before Cormac McCarthy wrote Blood Meridian.