Every year I “gain a year” in November because I found my mom around the Thanksgiving period in November 1996. My mom forgot the date she got me. So, unfortunately, I do not have a birthDAY. Instead, I only have a birthMONTH.
I have been on this planet since November 1996. I have found that human life is “beary” interesting, full of unexpected things for bears. Also, I have found that human emotions are “beary” sensitive. So, I would like to share my observations with you in the form of a diary. I am “beary” sorry for my English with a “bear” accent, so please bear with me. Ha, ha, ha! I hope you will enjoy my diary.
Look at this bag! Isn’t it “beary” lovely? My mom says that when she goes out with this bag, almost all the people who see the bag ask her where she bought it. Guess where it is from.
One Japanese designer, Ms. Hiroko Samejima, who had stayed in Ethiopia through an international volunteer program, started a leather product business several years ago. She has a small office in Addis Ababa, and employs some Ethiopian staff. Quality sheep skin is available in Ethiopia. She designs leather products, such as bags, pouches, and cushions, and provides technical instructions for her Ethiopian staff.
Look! My mom made a “New Year’s Tree” from Enset paper to celebrate the Ethiopian New Year! On the tree, you can see some coffee beans. These are also from Ethiopia. Mom and I think that coffee is the national symbol of Ethiopia. In the world, there are a lot of coffee-producing countries, but coffee originated in Ethiopia. Did you know that?
The other day, when my mom visited a paper-product showroom in Tokyo, she found some unique paper products. She was “beary” impressed by those products, and asked a shop clerk what they were made of. The shop clerk told my mom that they were all made of elephant dung. Ha? Elephant dung? Paper made from elephant dung? Can you believe that?
On July 20 and 21, my mom participated in a study tour on regional development, and visited Iga and Nabari, Mie Prefecture, Japan. Both are known for Ninjas. My mom and the tour participants walked around in Iga and Nabari in Ninja clothes.
My mom is good at making lovely things with paper. She folds paper into flowers, animals, dolls, boxes, and so on. In Japan, it is quite common that children learn how to fold paper into figures. This paper-folding technique in various colors is called Origami. My mom is “beary” good at Origami.
Look at this hat! Isn’t it “beary” nice? My mom, Yasuko, knitted it for herself to prepare for hot and sunny days coming soon.
Yasuko Ose made a presentation on “’OVOP’ as a Rural Poverty Reduction Approach in Africa,” based on her experience in having worked for the One Village One Product Promotion Project in Ethiopia.
Some of you might be wondering why I was named Bobby. Today let me tell you why my mom named me Bobby.
When my mom, Yasuko, was a little girl, her parents bought two stuffed pandas for her. One was a male panda, and the other one was a female panda. His name was Bob, and her name was Poppy. My mom loved Bob and Poppy “beary” much. She played and slept with them every day. Bob and Poppy were her best friends in her childhood.
About twenty years had passed.