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  • Meet the Dibabas: The Fastest Family on the Planet

    Ethiopia is a running-mad country—but it’s never seen anything like the Dibabas. Chloe Malle heads to Addis Ababa to meet the fastest family on the planet.

    The only sound at the top of the Entoto Mountains is the thwack of a cowherd’s staff against the tree trunks as he leads his small herd of oxen home. I am doing my best to keep pace with Tirunesh Dibaba, 30, and her younger sister, Genzebe, 25, two wisplike Ethiopians with wide smiles and a fiercely close bond who may be the most formidable female track stars in the world. In the late-afternoon light high above central Addis Ababa, we zigzag between the majestic eucalyptus trees, paying heed to the uneven ground below and staying alert for the not-uncommon hyena sighting—no problem, the sisters assure me, as long as you clap loudly and throw a rock in the animal’s direction.

    The Dibabas’ dominance in the field of distance running has captivated the track-and-field community. “There are a few running families, but not like the Dibabas,” says the Ethiopian track legend Haile Gebrselassie. These are the only siblings in recorded history to hold concurrent world records, and they are as charmingly unassuming in person as they are fearsome on the track. The sisters were raised three hours south of here, in a tukul, or round mud hut, without electricity—their parents subsistence farmers growing teff, barley, and wheat. Their mother, Gutu, credits her daughters’ success to a loving environment as well as a steady supply of milk from the family cows.

    In fact there are seven Dibaba siblings, and all of them run. “What the Dibabas have is what Serena and Venus have, except there are more of them,” says Ato Boldon, NBC’s track analyst. “It’s not a stretch to say they are the world’s fastest family.” Tirunesh is the most decorated, with three Olympic gold medals; Genzebe is tipped to win her first in Rio. Their older sister, Ejegayehu, 34, is an Olympian, too, with a silver from Athens, and their cousin Derartu Tulu was the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold, in the 1992 games. “World records, Olympic medals, world championships—the Dibabas’ accomplishments are unprecedented in this sport,” says Boldon.

    With Rio on the horizon, the focus is squarely on Tirunesh and Genzebe. This is Tirunesh’s comeback season after taking a year off to raise her now one-year-old son, Nathan; meanwhile, Genzebe had a record-breaking summer, decimating the competition in August’s world championships and winning IAAF’s Athlete of the Year award, a crowning glory in the sport. “Last year Genzebe was head and shoulders the best athlete in the world,” says race coordinator Matt Turnbull, who has worked with the Dibabas for almost a decade. “And with Tiru being out for so long now, people are excited to see what will happen. They’re a fiercely competitive family, and they really dictate the landscape.”


    As modest (and petite) as the Dibabas are face to face, they are outsize celebrities on the chaotic, construction-clogged streets of Addis Ababa, where they travel by car to avoid being mobbed. Their arrival at their favorite restaurant, Yod Abyssinia, is greeted with hushed whispers (“Dee-ba-ba, Dee-ba-ba”) and reverential stares. The sisters duck under the restaurant’s theatrical thatched straw canopies and take a table against the wall, smiling patiently as a young man approaches and asks for a photo. Afterward Tirunesh takes out her iPhone 6 Plus—one of the few in the country, bought in Europe—her cerise-lacquered nails clacking against the screen as she swipes past the photo of chubby Nathan. For a night out, she’s neatly coordinated in skinny red jeans, a black blazer with white piping, and similarly duo-toned wedge sandals. She admits that she loves to shop when she is competing abroad, particularly on Newbury Street in Boston and at any Michael Kors store. Genzebe, who prefers Zara, compensates for her timidity with a sweet attentiveness. Her feet look tiny in black ballerina slippers with grosgrain bows over the toe box. She has replaced her Garmin GPS training watch with a gold one whose pavé diamond–ringed face takes up the entire width of her narrow wrist. Both women have braids in their thick hair and giggle while confirming that they share a hairdresser. Their respect and affection are obvious: Genzebe lives with Tirunesh, sharing a bedroom with her baby nephew, and when she becomes flustered following a question about her love life, Tirunesh protectively steers the conversation elsewhere. (For the record, Genzebe has a boyfriend, but he is not a runner, and she doesn’t want to talk about him.)

    When Tirunesh’s husband, fellow track-and-field Olympic medalist Sileshi Sihine, appears, cool and handsome in tailored jeans and a shawl collar cardigan, another frisson of excitement ripples through the room. His and Tirunesh’s 2008 wedding ceremony was a nationally televised event, drawing half a million people to the city’s main square, where Olympic races are broadcast to huge crowds. The bride wore a lace-embroidered bustier top and a millefeuille tulle ball skirt; the groom, an iridescent gray pin-striped morning suit—all purchased on a trip to Milan. They don’t remember the name of the clothier, “but one of the best,” Sihine says authoritatively. “We know people.” Restaurant patrons lock their eyes on us as Sihine slips onto the low wooden stool next to his wife, squeezing her knee in greeting.

    As the string notes of the krar fill the room and dancers take the stage to perform an Ethiopian eskista dance—a shoulder-snapping feat of timing and rhythm—I ask Tirunesh what music she likes to listen to. “Michael Jackson,” she answers with a sly smile. “He is my favorite,” the last word pronounced in three crisp syllables. At this Genzebe, breaking her shell of shyness, speaks up: “For me, Beyoncé.”

    Their status—and status symbols—marks a stark contrast between the Dibabas and most others in this still highly impoverished country. Yet Ethiopia has the fastest-growing economy in sub-Saharan Africa, and Addis, with its ubiquitous eucalyptus-pole scaffolding and ragged blue construction tarps, is a riot of development. Like many of the nation’s successful track stars, the Dibabas and their in-laws have invested their fortunes back into their city; they are burgeoning real estate tycoons, owning multiple buildings in the capital—including the five-star Tirunesh Hotel, slated to open this fall on Bole Road, the Fifth Avenue of Addis.


    Along with Kenya, Ethiopia is a powerhouse for turning out elite runners. According to David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance, much of the two countries lies in an altitude “sweet spot”—around 6,000 to 9,000 feet. “High enough to cause physiological changes but not so high that the air is too thin for hard training,” Epstein says. As NBC’s Boldon explains, “When the Dibabas come down to sea level—I’m not going to say it’s like Superman coming from Krypton, but it is a version of that.” There’s also the Ethiopian diet, with its reliance on the iron- and calcium-rich grain teff, and the typical Ethiopian body type, petite and narrow, which is ideal for the sport: Tirunesh is five feet three and 110 pounds; Genzebe is five feet five and 115 pounds. “They have a lot of fight in a very small lightweight frame,” says Boldon.

    “If you compared them to a car, they would be a Ford Focus with a Ferrari engine.”

    Genzebe’s Ferrari engine is in top gear at Addis’s only track stadium for an 8:00 a.m. workout. The sun is already high overhead, and she is warming up with her nineteen-year-old sister Anna. They move at a focused, steady clip, their legs in sync, so that from across the track they look like one person, Anna’s smaller frame blending into Genzebe’s. As they speed up, moving seamlessly into sprints on the straightaways, Genzebe’s strides are precise, a strict economy of energy and movement. The two finish the warm-up and plop down on the tartan track to shimmy out of their Nike leggings, casual in their cotton underwear as they pull on micro shorts, the pink swoosh on Genzebe’s matching her fuchsia Dri-Fit T-shirt.

    The ensuing workout is a series of 20 400-meter sprints, timed by a national team coach, who jots down intervals in red ballpoint on his palm. Genzebe shaves off seconds with each rep, her muscles taut as bowstrings as she catapults herself across the finish line. Afterward it’s back to Tirunesh and Sihine’s impressive home, a two-story stuccoed mansion in one of Addis’s gated communities. Inside, framed photos of family members on victory podiums take pride of place, and a flat-screen TV plays yesterday’s Africa Cup soccer match, but Tirunesh explains that she doesn’t particularly like watching sports. She and her sisters prefer Amharic films. What American films does she like? “Anything with Angelina Jolie.” A large breakfast—traditional Ethiopian firfir and eggs—is followed by a nap, lunch, and then it’s off to the gym. They are on two workouts a day until Rio.

    The air in Entoto, unlike the exhaust-choked streets of Addis, is crisp and clean—and also thin at 10,000 feet above sea level. When we gather for our late-afternoon run, the Dibabas’ cousin Tulu arrives on the mountaintop, now retired and looking more soccer mom than Olympian. The sisters cite her as their inspiration, and her lilting voice boomerangs through the trees as they jog together into a cattle clearing. Tulu, who won the New York City marathon in 2009 at the age of 37, is a gregarious and outgoing foil to the soft-spoken Dibabas. When asked whom she will cheer for if Tirunesh and Genzebe compete against each other in Rio in the 5,000 or 10,000, Tulu does not hesitate and squeezes Tirunesh’s shoulder. “She! She is my favorite!” then looks lovingly across at Genzebe: “I am sorry!” Genzebe remains diplomatic, saying only, “The strongest will win,” while Tirunesh explains that they likely won’t be in the same heat and then looks into the sun, which is dipping behind the crest of the mountain. “But we come to win, so. . . . ” She shrugs; the end of the sentence is unnecessary.

    There’s an intimacy up here as we jog among the dappled eucalyptus, the Ethiopians slowing their pace to a relative shuffle while I wheeze from the effort and altitude. “We are always together,” says Tirunesh. “Maybe one day a week we aren’t together.” For all of their bashfulness, the sisters share a mischievous humor that they sometimes let loose on interlopers like myself. At the end of our run in Entoto, Tirunesh, jogging behind me, yells, “Hyena!” with authoritative urgency. I shriek, whipping my head around. When I look back at the girls, they are doubled over laughing, the only animal in sight a weary pack mule trudging slowly across the horizon.

     

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  • In Zimbabwe: 40-Years-Old Mother Set To Marry Own Son In Zimbabwe

    A woman is set to marry her own son.  The woman and her son claim to be in love with each other and now they want to take their relationship to the next level and get married considering that the mother, Betty Mbereko (from Mwenezi in Masvingo) is now six months pregnant and expecting her son’s child, and her grandchild.

    Mbereko, 40,  has been a widow for the past 12 years and has been living with her 23-years-old son Farai Mbereko.
    She confirms that she is six month pregnant and that she has decided it is better to “marry” her son because she does not want to marry her late husband’s young brothers, whom she says are coveting her.
    Betty stunned a village court last week when she said the affair with her son had begun three years earlier.
    She said after spending a lot of money sending Farai to school following the death of her husband, she felt she had a right to his money and no other woman was entitled to it.
    “Look, I strove alone to send my son to school and no one helped me. Now you see that my son is working and you accuse me of doing something wrong.
    “Let me enjoy the products of my sweat,” she told the village court council.
     
    Farai said he was more than prepared to marry his mother and would pay off the ilobola balance his father had left unpaid to his grandparents.
     
    “I know my father died before he finished paying the bride price and I am prepared to pay it off,” he said. “It is better to publicise what is happening because people should know that I am the one who made my mother pregnant.
     
    Otherwise they will accuse her of promiscuity.” But local headman Nathan Muputirwa says: “We cannot allow this to happen in our village, mashura chaiwo aya, (This is a bad omen indeed). In the past they would have to be killed but today we cannot do it because we are afraid of the police.”

    Source: howafrica.com

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  • Teacher changes her name to Abcdefg Hijklmn Opqrst Uvwxyz

    The 36-year-old has been fighting red tape for over TWO years to get approval of her new name.

    But now she finally has the seal of approval to call herself – Abcdefg Hijklmn Opqrst Uvwxyz.

    Ms Uvwxyz – or Abcdefg to her friends – has a habit of regularly changing her name, with her previous name change resulting in her being called Ladyzunga Cyborg.

    "I wanted to always bring an element of surprise

    Abcdefg Hijklmn Opqrst Uvwxyz"

    The teacher, who lives in the Colombian capital Bogota, said she has always had the need to constantly "redefine" herself.

    She felt it was the right time to change her name to something incredibly hard to say, she said.

    Ms Uvwxyz, who also works as a fashion designer specialising in fetish clothes and bondage events, said she wanted her new name "element of surprise".

    "I've changed my name so people wouldn't know it's me," she explained.

    "But it's not because I was disturbed by it but because I wanted to always bring an element of surprise."

    Ms Uvwxyz who teaches art and photography at three universities as well as designing fashion on the side, regularly changes her name depending on her mood.

    Daniel Molano, from the Colombian National Registry, said: "If a civil notary had refused to modify her name in the civil registry, he would have broken his work obligations. 

    "Basically no matter how unusual, this is something that should always be allowed."

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  • What Your Birth Month Says About Your Personality

    What Your Birth Month Says About Your Personality

    Here’s an interesting read about what your birth month says about your personality. Find your birth month and read the description. How many things are you? Are there some that just don’t fit?

    Make it a great day and enjoy!

     

    JANUARY

    Can be stubborn and hard-hearted at times. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses to let them know what they are. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very Stubborn and money cautious.

     FEBRUARY

    Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislike unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizing dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

    MARCH

    Attractive personality. sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Can be very moody at times.

    APRIL

    Can be very active and dynamic. Decisive and haste but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

    MAY

    Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

    JUNE

    Thinks far with great vision. Can be quite wishy-washy. Easily influenced by the kindness of others. Polite and soft-spoken. Having lots of ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Abiding. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

    JULY

    Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

    AUGUST

    Loves to joke around. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride of oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and writing. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax when not having many tasks to finish. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

    SEPTEMBER

    Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people’s mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Thinking generous. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves sports, leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

    OCTOBER

    Extreme visionary. Has very strong clairvoyance. Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to takes things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Always a daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Sees and thinks in colors. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. People easily look up to them.  Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Feels sadness deeply. Easily influenced.

    NOVEMBER

    Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciates praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions.

    DECEMBER

    Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egoistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical thinker.

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  • Letters from a lover

    When I was in college, one of my best friends discovered a horrible truth: Her father was not actually her mother’s husband, as she had thought. In fact, her mother was his mistress, because her father was married to another woman. Her father had started a relationship with her mom years before she was born and continued seeing her after the birth of two children. The knowledge of this truth crushed her, and she suffered years of sorrow, depression, lack of confidence and disappointment as a result.

    The wife of this unfaithful man found out about this relationship many years later, when their children were already adolescents. They ended up staying married while her husband kept the two families, dividing his time between the two women and children from both relationships.

    After the truth came to light, however, the children of the lover, and the sons of the wife, met due to legal procedures that were necessary to establish financial support. They demanded their father to do the right thing and separate from his lover.

    Instead, this man told his lover that he was willing to divorce his wife and stay with her. She told him that she could not live with that choice and ended their relationship.

    Eventually, his wife forgave him and he has stayed faithful to her since.

    Not long ago, the former mistress and mother of my friend, contacted me and asked me to publish these letters she wrote, with the condition that they remain anonymous. Here are her letters:

    "To the wife of my 'ex-husband':

    After several attempts to reach out to you throughout the years, you still do not want to hear what I have to say, judging me only as "the other woman," but I have some things I'd like you to know.

    First, please forgive me. This was never what I planned for my life. I grew up in a good family, full of dreams, especially that of having a happy family of my own someday. I never imagined that family would come through someone else's husband.

    It doesn't seem to matter anymore how or when your husband and I began to get involved, so many years have passed and we are no longer together. I want you to know that I am aware of how many sleepless nights you spent worried about where your husband was, and with whom. And after finding out, I know you shed many tears.

    I am guilty. I could have ended the relationship when I found out he was married. But I had no self-esteem whatsoever after having just escaped an abusive relationship and accepted any love he gave me. After discovering that I was pregnant, I was even more attached to the situation. It was not an easy life, especially seeing my children marginalized for being the children of a married man. It was not easy for me, and it was much less for them. I know it was even worse for you. No woman should have to go through what you went through. I sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart.

    I accept responsibility for my poor judgment and wrong choices, maintaining the relationship so my children could have a father around. Maybe there were other options, but with all my insecurities, I did not know what else to do. Please forgive me for that too.

    I know that it is hard to forgive and forget completely, but if there is a spark of empathy in you, I beg that you give it to me and my children. My children are not guilty of the choices that your husband and I made.

    I respect and admire your ability to forgive your husband and hope to receive the same gift."

    She also wrote another letter to her "ex-husband":

    "To the love of my life,

    I could list here all the reasons why I love you, even after all these years apart, and thank you for fulfilling your role as a father, being present while our children were growing up and helping in their support.

    I could also blame you for lying about not being married when we first met until I fell in love with you, but I know that I am partially to blame as well. So forgive me for wanting you, and for wanting to know that you wanted me too. While I know I could have disappeared from your life early on, at the same time I know that you would have just replaced me with someone else. I could have started over, but did not know how to do it and instead, let the years pass by. And now I get to endure the bitterness of solitude while you live with your lovely family, which you never should have betrayed.

    Now that we are separated, I appreciate that you have continued to be the great father you are. This has really helped our children to overcome the traumatic and painful truth.

    Please never forget something: Even though you claimed your wife pushed you to the point where cheating was the only option, you should not have done it. You concluded too quickly that there was no way to fix your marriage problems, and if we overcame our problems without being married, you could have achieved this with your wife.

    Through the eyes of God, you and I were adulterers. I regret it bitterly, although we had two beautiful children, and I hope the Lord will one day forgive me for all the pain my bad choices caused you, your family and especially our children. Be happy."

    In preparing this article, I asked this lady what advice she would give to couples in the same situation. She didn't feel like she was the best person to give advice, but I insisted, and she replied:

    "If you are a woman, never subject to being the mistress of a married man. It is a life of suffering, and the children who come of this relationship and the children of your lover's wife do not deserve the suffering this will cause them. Even if there are no children, believe me, it is not worth throwing your life away for a lie.

    If you are a man, never look for a lover or accept the advances of anyone other than your wife. Never destroy the life of a vulnerable woman emotionally for any reason. Your family is the most sacred thing you have. Be faithful to God and do not make those who are under his care suffer because of your sins. That moment of pleasure or emotional connection with another person will result in years of tears and regrets. Remember, if you married a woman it means that you once loved her more than anyone else. Save your marriage and invest your time in it, for the good of humanity and future generations. Be a man."

    This article is a translation and adaption of the original article "Cartas de uma ex-amante" published on familia.com.br

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