December 6

Dear Diary,
So far, it looks like none of our cows are sick. That means the ones we gave to Negasi should be okay, too. When Father told us that the DA’s tests came back clear, Mother and I started crying. Firke didn’t understand that we were happy, so he started crying, too! I picked him up and kissed his wet cheeks and sang him a little song about Kassa the camel and how glad she is not to be sick. Then he laughed at me. He doesn’t look like Assefa did, but he is a good baby.

It is only a month away until Christmas—January 7—and my parents are both fasting during the day. They also cannot have meat, fat, eggs, or milk during this time. I try to be a good girl and follow our faith, I say my prayers and ask for strength. But, Diary, I am a little afraid of going without food when I am older; all the grown-ups fast. My parents are strong enough—but many people are hungry because they have no choice; to tell them to give up what little they can get to eat, even if it’s eggs or milk, seems wrong. I can’t believe God would want them to suffer like that! It’s hard to understand.

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