1)      SIDAMA SUSTENANCE ~ Foodways of the Sidama Tribe

By Donna Sillan, MPH    Order through at:

2)    Common River:  An Alternative Approach to Creating Change in International Development

By Ashley Lackovich- Van Gorp, Antioch University, PhD in Leadership and Change candidate. Read Ashley’s Thesis

3)    A Resource guide for Sustainably Rehabilitating Malnourished Children, by Donna Sillan

4)    The Infinite Emotions of Coffee, by Alon Halevy.

We had a visitor from Google Headquarters, Alon Halevy, come stay at Common River in 2011. He was writing a book on coffee, The Infinite Emotions of Coffee, and had it published. There is a beautiful chapter on Ethiopia, which greatly highlights our program: macchiatone.

4)  Suggested Reading: Common River Reading List 2012

Ethiopian History

Ethiopian Fiction

  • Cutting for Stone,  Abraham Verghese  The BEST Book on Ethiopia!
  • Notes from the Hyena’s Belly, Nega Mezlekia **** excellent READ!
  • Sweetness in the Belly, Camille Gibb
  • The Beautiful things That Heaven Bears, Dinaw Mengestu

Ethiopian Non-Fiction

  • Journey Through Ethiopia, Mohamed Amin, Duncan Willets, and Alaistair Matheson
  • Held at a Distance: My Rediscovery of Ethiopia, Rebecca Haile *
  • Surrender or Starve, Robert Kaplan
  • Seeds for Demoncratization in Ethiopia:  Why Unity of Purpose Matters, Semegn Tamirate
  • The Hospital by the River, Dr. Hamlin


  • Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson and David Relin



  • Mountains beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidde



  •  There is No Me Without You: One Woman’s Odyssey to Rescue Africa’s Children, Melissa Fay Greene

Travel Guides

  • Lonely Planet Guide:  Ethiopia and Eritrea *** preferred
  • Brandt:  Ethiopia

Lonely Planet:  Amharic Phrasebook

Language book:

Ethiopian Amharic Phrasebook, Lonely Planet


  • Black Golddocumentary on Sidamo coffee growers
  • Black Coffee
  • A Walk to Beautiful (fistula patients)
  • Heart of Fire (Eritrean child soldiers)

Find out how your visit, medical volunteering, international internship, student volunteering, volunteer teaching and / or donations can help us reach our goal of sustainable development in Aleta Wondo, Ethiopia. For more information about Common River and how you can help, contact us today.