9.21.2010

Tarikua

When we got home from Ethiopia I met a woman named Tigist who works at our local grocery store. Tigist is from Ethiopia and has lived here for four years. There isn't a large Ethiopian population in San Antonio (at all!) so I was thrilled to meet her and even more excited to see the enthusiasm she had for "Tarikua" (Evie).

Every time I went to the store I made a point to find Tigist and say hello ('Selam') to her. We talked about Ethiopia, Tarikua, and Amharic. She told us that she wanted to have us over for dinner for Ethiopian food. Last week we went.

We arrived at Tigist's apartment complex to find her waiting outside the door for us, dressed in traditional Ethiopian clothing. We came inside and she had made injera (of course!) with three different side dishes, all featuring a kind of meat. In typical Ethiopian fashion, her hospitality and generosity were amazing. We chatted about our time in Ethiopia and showed her our adoption video. She told us about the places that she recognized. Then, she asked us if we knew what Evie's Ethiopian name "Tarikua" meant. We said that we were told it meant "history". She said it does mean history, but the essence of the word cannot be conveyed properly in English. She said the name means much more than "history". It is used when something wonderful, something beautiful comes out of a situation that starts off in a negative way. Also, the beauty in the end was in the beginning unexpected. For instance, she said an example of "Tarikua" would be if a woman had a difficult birth and the baby was expected to die. But the baby goes on to become a toddler, then child, then adult, then lives into old age - that is Tarikua. It reminded me of the often quoted text in the Bible about God making beauty from ashes. Tigist said Evie was given this name because they believed her life would become something beautiful.

While the food that evening nourished our bodies, learning the story behind our daughter's name deeply nourished our souls. And some day we will eagerly share this soul food with our Evangeline Tarikua.


13 comments:

  1. I am in tears. What a beautiful name and perfectly bestowed upon such a wonderful little girl.

    On a lighter note, I recently went to an Ethiopian restaurant. When I mentioned our daughter's name, the owner told me it meant "slovenly or lazy." Uhh... thanks? He was like, "No! No! No! In Ethiopia that is a GOOD thing. It means she is a princess and deserves to be served." Oh... ok... I guess. Let's just say, you have a much better story. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, there you did it....now I'm making the "misty-eyes".

    What a lovely story & I thank you for sharing this piece of your sweet Evie's legacy.

    What a treasure your new found friend is, for you all and for so many reasons.

    XXOO

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, WOW.......that's just beautiful. How AWESOME! What an amazingly meaningful name, and what a blessing to have Tigist as part of your life and Evie's life!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. OH Rachel, that is so beautiful! What a wonderful opportunity to be with this woman and for her to share her knowledge of her country and Evie's name with you. Dis the other kids go with you? DO they like Ethiopian cuisine?

    ReplyDelete
  5. @ Shannon - Yes, she was brave enough to invite the entire family to her studio apartment! :0 Tigest made a non-spicy version of the food for the kids. Indi didn't eat much, but Jude tried it and said that the injera was "sour but delicious". It was a great experience for them!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow what a beautiful gift of her time, talents and culture! I love the meaning behind the name also.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's really amazing! Thanks for sharing! It's interesting how much can get lost in translation! Love this story! Hope you are well!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, that was so beautiful!! What a wonderful thing to share down the road! Also...I can't believe how big she is getting! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is terrific! We adopted a Tariku and were told the same thing. It's a most amazing name indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a amazing story--thanks for sharing! It's so nice that Evie's Ethiopian name fits her so well. (M's Ethiopian name basically meant "he is lucky". And according to an Ethiopian guy we spoke to once at a restaurant, it's meant in the negative sense. Needless to say, we changed it--didn't fit him anyway.)

    What a blessing to have Waizero Tigist in your life!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ethiopian food is my favourite. And I'm a little bit in love with her name.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! I generally respond to comments via email. If your profile does not link to your email account, I try to respond here. :)