The stories around us

I’ve hesitated posting this because it will seem somewhat self serving to MPR. Trust me: It’s not meant to be.

Everyone has a story; I’ve said it a thousand times while trying to convince News Cut readers to volunteer to let me find theirs and tell it.

I didn’t know Gadeise Gebywe’s story until just a few days ago, when two of my colleagues, editor Bill Catlin and reporter Annie Baxter, sent a note around that they were raising money for her. Gadeise cleans up our messes around the MPR newsroom:

Gadeise has occasionally treated us to her terrific Ethiopian cooking. One day I [Bill] asked her for a recipe to make one of her delicious dishes for some friends who recently adopted a little girl from Ethiopia. Instead Gadeise cooked two wonderful, traditional Ethiopian stews for the family – without ever having met them.

I [Annie] once told Gadeise that my brother and his family were coming to town, and she went home and made a bunch of injera for us and brought it in the next day. She never met my brother, but she called me at home on my cell phone to let me know the food was ready for pick up.

The story we didn’t know until now was that when Gadeise left Ethiopia about 12 years ago, she left a son behind because he wanted to stay with his grandmother.

Although Gadeise and her son, Faisal, talk by phone frequently, she has not seen him since she left Ethiopia. Faisal is now graduating from college with a degree in psychology, and Gadeise intended to return to Addis Ababa for his commencement.

Catlin and Baxter investigated and found a round trip ticket costs about $2,400. The two figured it might have been a tough ticket to swing — she’s a single mom with five children — so they passed the hat and raised enough to help.