Note from the Editors…
Finally, we the plebs/CHiQun hizb s at SELEDA thought, we can celebrate in grand style the first anniversary of our little 'zine. Ever since new management padlocked the cappuccino machine ("Coffee is the opium of the people") and replaced all caffeine drinks with organic beet juice frosties, things have been, well, a little jittery around here.
But, ferdobgn, we are disinclined to live in harmony with reality, and thought that top brass would temporarily lighten up and allow us to drown ourselves in at least lite beer at the anniversary party. ("Beer is the freebase crack of the people") Well, if not beer, at least Qirari reminiscent of Emmama Sifiryelesh's zigubgn near Doro ManeQia.
Heck, no! The internal memo circulated on the eve of our first birthday stated that we would meet in the boardroom (now re-named the SELEDA Positive Vibe Room) and indulge in Tibetan Masculini Tea and steamed barley patties to the accompaniment of harp music.
Zeraff! Zeraff! Ye feeyel weTete, tikeshawa yabeTe!!
Fine, we had said to weekly "de-toxing negative ions" classes; "Ishi mechse inante kalachiu" we had said to the frozen ginseng and myrrh machine that replaced our Coke machine. But this! Gaddem Eisenhower, aloo Abba Amtataw!
Suddenly our previous bosses, who used to be brassy enough to take a swig of Stoli before and after each sentence, seemed like "yemiyawQut sayTan". The proletariat marched to upper management's office (now named "SELEDA Spiritual Guiders' Respite") and said, nothing doing! (We practiced being firTim malet in the bathroom mirror for a couple of hours.)
They smiled that creepy smile at us and uttered, "Uh-huh, SELEDA Spiritual Sprouts, there is no "I" in "Team". Remember what Swami Ajehalkiramiasserni said?"
"Oh yeah?" we retorted back, trying not to look directly at that creepy smile. "Well, there is "me" in "despotism"! Bring on the QurT siga and ye-Gojam mar tejj! Minnesh Abuwarè! Besides, the Swami eats flies, fer Chrissake!"
And so, we celebrated the first anniversary of SELEDA.
We hope you will forgive our in flagrante delicto double-dipping in the cliché pool when we say we can't believe it's been a year! Trust us, it amazes no one more than us that we made it this far. After all, we thought that this "experiment of sorts" would last… ohhh, about three issues. We look back with fondness at the effort it took to churn out the first clunky issue of SELEDA, and the rest, as they say, is misery. Did we say misery? We meant history. (Jeez… that was a rather ephemeral moment of reflection and sentimentality, wasn't it?)
What can we say? SELEDA is like an annoying ye-akist lij whom we, in a moment of weakness, decided to sponsor for an F-1 visa. The child is sometimes insolent and often high maintenance, and we gripe at having undertaken such a responsibility. But when we see signs of progress (like the first time the akist lij takes the bus to school by herself, or buys us a gift with the income he earned from his first paper route), we cannot help but smile ruefully, and say with measured sentimentality, "Hey, it's ay'itt!"
And it is. It has not stopped being fun. We've made friends and found family (the latter not always being good…"Inante… korkumay asadigay, indè ferenje diQala CHereQa asmesiye, ahoon sew min yilal indih be gehad sit'imoTamoTu?" Hmm.)
Needless to say, you, the readers, remain our siminto pillars of support and sanity. We continue to be humbled by the comfort, tiCihit and the occasional "mad props" you keep sending our way…The best mail we get are those which tell us "Lekass lebiChaye aydelehum". It is testimony that we have connected with some of you out there, and that cynicism has not yet gnawed through all our bones. After a year, we are still standing.
Hey, over-schmaltziness be damned, we would like to take a moment to kneel down at the feet of all our contributors of the past year who delved into their personal lives to write their stories, tell their tales, share their joys, failures, triumphs, secrets, vulnerabilities, jokes, and (thank God!) neuroses. We think we have effectively dispelled the myth that we Ethiopians are incapable of, ehem, "sharing" our personal stories, openly telling them, and tolerating differences of opinions without resorting to animus. For that, dear readers, we will be forever grateful.
With this wonderful medium of cyberspace at our disposal, we hope more of you will become part of SELEDA.
There are still more stories out there, and we hope we have only set the first few rows of bricks for the wall of powerful words that should flood the Ethiopian cyber community. We hope other brick layers, and mortar setters will follow with better ideas and grander goals. There are still a million stories out there, and we either tell them, or they shall suffocate us.
That said, we are proud to present you with our April issue focusing on Careers. We hope it continues the tradition of excellence you have set for us. Again, nods of gratitude to our writers, whom we think have collectively joined the SELEDA Witness Protection Program (SWPP), and are probably living somewhere in Vermont under improbable names like Bert and Jaclyn, seeking professional help for the recurring kifu Qijets about SELEDA editors weeding them out. Mekera iko new.
Moving on, the SELEDA Survey from last month was, we announce with glee, tremendously successful. Deep, deep, deep gratitude to all the participants who had us screaming "weyne teretan!" at the fleet of witticisms out there. Gudegnoch nachihu! We must say you have us beat by a mile in the sharp wit department, something we find deliriously thrilling. Although, in case you get too big for your tenefanefs, we have FedExed a few of you homemade Qisfets for showing us off so badly!
We are trying to be non- ye yismoola ariQo asabis, so, take out your notebooks: May will be the "History" issue, June the "Family" issue, and July the "Money, Business and Finance" issue. If you have ideas for stories or would like to meTeQom writers, please, memonCHer us a note. The people at the SWPP need company.
Cheers for making our first year a blast!
The Humble Editors.