Author Caroline Kurtz

A citizen of two cultures

As a child in Ethiopia, she absorbed sights, sounds, smells and customs of Africa, the subject of her memoir Down on Both Sides: Growing up in America and Ethiopia. Later, with her husband and three children she taught, advocated for women and supported peacemaking in Ethiopia and Sudan—experiences described in her second memoir, Today is Tomorrow.

Fluent in Ethiopia’s Amharic language, Caroline’s subsequent career bridged between donors and community-led projects: sheep banks, bee-keeping, and a highland apple orchard. She has raised funds for Muslim villages building themselves schools. She supported developing an alphabet and mother-tongue literacy for the oral language of her home area in Maji, Ethiopia. Now she works with community leaders (in Amharic over Skype-to-phone during Covid) to bring solar energy, clean water and women’s empowerment in Maji.

She also writes and designs bilingual early-reader books for Ethiopian children. When she’s not on the road raising money in the US and midwifing projects in Ethiopia, Caroline lives in Portland, Oregon across the street from 3000 rose bushes.