C.O.F.F.E.E.
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Camp Staff

Cindy Brennan, C.O.F.F.E.E. Camp Director, Mom, OR Nurse, Runner, Tele and Nordic Skier, Cyclist,Volunteer

Cindy was born and raised in New Jersey (though no one ever believes that, it actually is true!) She holds a BS in Biology from James Madision University and a BSN from Johns Hopkins. After college, she moved out west, living and exploring Utah, Colorado, and finally Bend, where she has lived for the last 14 years. She’s a surgical nurse, mom to two busy boys, 10 year old Kai and 8 year old Dagim, who came home from Ziway,Ethiopia at age 3. She is also a step mom to Bret’s two great teenagers, a runner, telemark and skate skier, cyclist, backpacker, kid shuttler and wannabe gardener. She loves warm, sunny days, family, good food, traveling and adventures, and laughing!

Christy Dimmig, C.O.F.F.E.E. Camp Coordinator, Mom, Artist, Writer and Volunteer

Christy is anything but a “ stay-at-home” mom, constantly on the go with her two kids, volunteering, getting outside, and juggling a fun, busy life in Bend. She is originally from Toronto, Canada and went to college in Vermont, where she met her husband Jason. She went on to receive a PhD in child development, and in her former life taught Psychology at UC Davis, Sacramento State University and the University of Oregon. She has an 8 year old daughter from Ethiopia and a 10 year old son, who keep her busy taxiing them to ballet, track, hockey, skating, skiing, biking, etc. Besides her family, her other loves include painting, biking, skiing and playing ice hockey (yup, she’s THAT cool!)

Yodit HaileMesekel, Counselor of Ethiopian Culture and Cuisine

Yodit was born in Bishoftui, Ethiopia (formerly known as Debre Zeyit) and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She came to the United States in 1996 looking for better opportunities. Since 2001, she has been working at Kaiser Permanente as an ophthalmic technician. She joined Dr. Jason Dimmig and his colleague, Dr. Huck Holz in Ethiopia in 2013 as a volunteer assistant for a cataract outreach camp in 2013. She is a loyal, caring, and energetic person who at work loves to create a positive experience for patients. She will be a great role model for the kids and is excited to participate in camp!'

Dr. Jason Dimmig, Opthamologist with Numerous Ethiopian missions under his belt, Dad, Athlete, and all-around great guy

Jason has been an Ophthalmologist in Bend for 12 years. He is originally from Pennsylvania, went to college in Vermont, and did his residency in Davis, California. He works regularly with the Himilayan Cataract Project doing eye surgeries and training in Ethiopia. On his most recent trip, he restored sight to over 200 Ethiopians in Harar. He loves his job and appreciates the opportunity to work with the people of Ethiopia. He is married to Christy, and they have two fantastic kiddos, their daughter being from Harar herself. In his free time, he loves to ski, mountain bike, rock climb, and generally be outdoors!

Dr. Marinus Koning, Never-Retired General Surgeon and founder of Reach Another Foundation

Dr. Koning was raised in the Netherlands, received his MD from the Free University of Amsterdam, and then came to the states for his residency at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in NYC. His early interests led him to study tropical medicine abroad, which led him to meeting his wife in Asia. They married and moved back to the states, settling in Central Oregon, where Dr. Koning specialized in general, laparoscopic, trauma and bariatric surgery. He co-founded Hospice of Redmond/Sisters, as well as Rising Star Preschool for Developmentally Challenged Children in Redmond. Upon retirement, he began mission work, which landed him in Addis Ababa. He noticed the dire lack of services in two distinct areas, neurosurgical services and lack of schooling for autistic children. His visions of creating support for these areas of need led him to found Reach Another Foundation, whose mission is to help provide healthcare and special a services to Ethiopia’s underserved communities. He has recruited more than 100 medical and educational professionals from the US, Britain,, New Zealand and the Netherlands, including his twin brother Dr. Jan Koning, to volunteer in Ethiopia. Dr. Koning will be sharing videos and stories of some of the work RAF has accomplished since its inception in 2009.

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Mussé Barclay

Mussé Barclay is 17 years old and was adopted from Dessie, Ethiopia at the age of of 6. He is an active student at Hockinson high. Musse is part of his high school theater program, mock trial, and is a passionate photographer. He is passionate about using his skill and love of the arts to fundraise for Charity Water, an organization that has helped millions of people in the northern part of Ethiopia gain access to clean water. He finds strength in serving others and always finds time to show off his Ethiopian roots. When adopted from Ethiopia he struggled to transition to life in America, and has had to overcome many obstacle to feel happy and proud of his story. He will be going into his senior year of high school and is excited to go back and visit his home land of Ethiopia, the land of honey and milk

OTHER COUNSELORS:

KIDIST STUSSER

WUBET

NEFTHALEM.

Robin Baraybar, Camp Art Director, Mom, knitter extraordinaire, homeschooling guru   Robin is a life long tinkerer, wanderer, and creative spirit. She especially loves all things fiber, from sheep to yarn and everything in between. She is inspired by nature and culture and loves to work with natural materials.  For 11 years, Robin worked as a speech-language pathologist in both Early Intervention and as an autism and dyslexia specialist. Robin is now using her talents to break down all skills to “learnable chunks” as a homeschooling mama. It’s the best job she’s ever had! But don’t be surprised if you find Robin and her kids “doing school” in the garden, on a trail, or in the woods.

Robin Baraybar, Camp Art Director, Mom, knitter extraordinaire, homeschooling guru

Robin is a life long tinkerer, wanderer, and creative spirit. She especially loves all things fiber, from sheep to yarn and everything in between. She is inspired by nature and culture and loves to work with natural materials.

For 11 years, Robin worked as a speech-language pathologist in both Early Intervention and as an autism and dyslexia specialist. Robin is now using her talents to break down all skills to “learnable chunks” as a homeschooling mama. It’s the best job she’s ever had! But don’t be surprised if you find Robin and her kids “doing school” in the garden, on a trail, or in the woods.

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Astrid Castro, 2019 presenter

Astrid has a degree in sociology with an emphasis in adoption. For twenty plus years, she has traveled the country to lead youth groups, present workshops on transracial parenting, talking with children about adoption and various other workshops focusing on adoption. Prior to creating Adoption Mosaic, Astrid worked in both the private and public sectors of various adoption organizations such the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center (ORPARC), Holt International and Rocky Mountain Adoption Exchange, to name just a few.

Astrid co-authored Adoption in the Movies, which takes the reader on a guided tour of 27 movies and documentaries that are ‘dripping with adoption’ which are asking questions that encourage the viewer to engage in ongoing dialogue and discussion. She also developed an innovative, evidence-based, 27-minute training DVD titled, Adoptive Parent Training: Developing Communication Skills. The training demonstrates how adoptive parents can communicate openly and honestly with family, friends and especially children. Astrid is a former member of the board of directors of the North American Council on Adoptable Children, the author of many articles on the subject of adoption and contributed a chapter to the book Parents As Adoptees.

Astrid’s personal experiences as an adoptee, a woman of color, and growing up in a white family and community, fuel her professional path to helping others. Astrid is aware of the benefits of post-adoption services for individuals and their families and seeks to bring these services to the adoption community. Her life-long interest in adoption is rooted in her own adoption at the age of four from Colombia (along with her older sister). Astrid has been in reunion since December 2012 with her birth family in Colombia. Oregonian article on Astrid’s journey of searching and finding her Birth Mother.

When Astrid is not working she loves to spend time with family, friends and enjoying the adventures of life as the mama of an amazing teenage daughter.

Bret Madrigal, Co-Director, Camp Sherpa, Cindy’s other half, man of many talents

Bret was born and raised in Laguna Beach, California. He decided to try something different and went to college in Iowa, which, he claims, was a great party that lasted five years! He then decided to get serious and moved to Bend, Oregon, where his dad had relocated some years earlier. He’s been a resident of Bend ever since, with deep roots in the community from diverse jobs. He’s been in building/remodeling/general contracting for years, though his biggest love is for his two kids,Laina and Ty, and now his blended family. His hobbies include mountain biking, running, snowboarding, surfing and paddleboarding, doing household projects and making people laugh.

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Zora Kurzenhauser, junior counselor, proud Ethiopian adoptee

Zora was born and raised in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia until the age of six. She then relocated to Addis until she was adopted with her biological sister. Zora and her sister were adopted into a family that resides in Gladstone, Oregon and she’s lived there since.

In her free time, Zora loves to read books, keep up with politics, and hang out with friends. She also loves good food and trying different cuisines. Zora also loves to volunteer and spend her time giving back to the community as she’s been taught to give back and help others. When she grows up, she aspires to go to college and double major in public health and political science. She also aspires to travel the world and explore new places as she loves the outdoors and adventures. At the moment, Zora attends Gladstone High School and will be graduating in 2020.

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Libanos Yohannes, counselor of traditional Ethiopian culture, language, games, and dance

Libanos was born in Ayehu, Ethiopia and graduated from the University of Addis Ababa in 2013. He was an active student in the University, and participated as being the chairperson of the African AIDS Initiative International, and took part in different kinds of clubs, such as Peace Club, Red Cross, and AIDS Prevention Club. After graduation, Libanos became a journalist for the Ethiopian News Agency. He found himself in the United States when he was reporting The World Indoor International Athletics Championship and he decided to stay here because it was no longer safe for him to return home. Now, he is on the journey of furthering his career in the media world in America. Libanos is always smiling and is a strong believer in the power of a smile.

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Eskedar Cochran, Counselor of Ethiopian Culture, Traditional Games and Storytelling, Language and Dance

Eskedar was born and raised in Nazret, Ethiopia until the age of 13. Then she was adopted by an amazing family whom she loves very much. Eskedar has a big family with six siblings, one of them being Addi. She moved to Portland in the fall and loves it very much. She’s currently working and planning on going to PCC in the spring. She enjoys the warm sun, the outdoors, the beach, and tries to be in nature as much as possible. Eskedar also loves singing and enjoying the company of her friends and her kids that bring her lots of joy when she’s around them.

Brook, Counselor of traditional games and music, language and dance

Born and raised in Ethiopia until age 11, Brook has been living and playing in the Portland area since he arrived in the US. His passions include playing sports and dance, and through those avenues he loves to teach, inspire and motivate others. In his spare time, he loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking and snowboarding.

Nuhamin Eiden, counselor of Ethiopian Culture, Traditional Games and Storytelling, and cuisine

Born and raised in Ethiopia, Nuhamin has been in Oregon for the past 11 years. She works in the public sector, and in her free time, interprets for the courts and volunteers with Unite Oregon. She is married and the proud mother of an almost 5 year old cutie, Nikolas.

Fikeraddis Cochren, Counselor of Ethiopian Culture, Traditional Games and Storytelling, Language and Dance

Born and raised in Nazret, Ethiopia, Addi was adopted at 16 into a beautiful, large family with strong Christian values, which she lives proudly. Addi is presently a student at PCC, working toward her Medical Assistant degree. She has five younger siblings, and absolutely adores spending time with children, along with her passions for music, hiking, and camping, and celebrating the beauty of the outdoors.

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Henok Eyasu Habte, counselor of traditional Ethiopian culture, language, games, and dance

Henok was born in Ethiopia. In 1997 at the age of 10, he and his family moved from Ethiopia to the united states. He grew up in Portland, Oregon and Dallas, Texas. Henok is multilingual in Amharic, English, and Tigrinya. He enjoys serving as an Ethiopian cultural ambassador and bridging the cultural gaps between America and Ethiopia. For many years, he has participated in many Ethiopian cultural and religious showcases: in parades, and Ethiopia Day events. Henok loves mentoring and working with children, and is very excited to be joining COFFEE.

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Rediet Kifle, Counselor of Ethiopian culture, language and dance, storytelling and music

Rediet was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia until she was 7 when she and her family moved to the United States. Rediet grew up in Northern Virginia and completed her undergraduate education at the University of Virginia. She earned her B.S. Ed. in Communication Disorders and a second major of B.A. in African American and African Studies, with a minor in Sociology. Throughout her years in college, Rediet took on various leadership positions including, as social chair of Ethiopian Students’ Union, where she organized and led cultural dance performances for annually held international celebrations.

Rediet earned her Master of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Throughout her years in school, Rediet dedicated herself to broadening and deepening of her cultural experiences, including a range of international experiences in Guatemala and across Europe. Following graduation day in 2016, Rediet returned to Ethiopia for the first time in 15 years as a volunteer with the Reach Another Foundation. After a heartwarming month of reconnecting with extended family and friends and volunteering in the community, Rediet returned to the states and accepted her first position in California. Rediet currently works as a pediatric speech-language pathologist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sociocultural awareness and mindfulness are at the core of her professional and personal values. Outside of work, Rediet finds joy in exploring new places, dancing, reading, cooking, painting, and spending quality time with loved ones. She loves working and mentoring children even outside of work! She is excited to be joining COFFEE.