Guiding Royalty Healthwise

During the five years I spent at the imperial palace in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, I had many opportunities to introduce a more healthful way of living, including to His Majesty.

By MRS. HERBERT HANSON, Missionary to Ethiopia

During the five years I spent at the imperial palace in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, I had many opportunities to introduce a more healthful way of living. I found that His Maj­esty took a great interest in healthful living and enjoyed the Life and Health magazine. As I introduced new dishes from time to time, I was asked many questions as to the contents and food value of the various items. It was a lively subject. We often discussed food at the table, and His Majesty never seemed to tire of talking about it. I tried to plan a little surprise for him to give him a change from the usual bill of fare, which he needed so much. He always appreciated the new dishes and never failed to thank me, even for small favors.

Their Majesties belong to the Coptic Church, which is Christian. Part of their religion con­sists in observing fast days, when they abstain from all meats and animal products such as eggs, milk, and butter. They fast Wednesdays and Fridays, and sometimes have longer peri­ods, the longest being two months. That pre­sented a real problem in getting a balanced diet. I found that their diet was often lacking in protein. I introduced gluten, and they liked it very much. When the war was over, I sent to America and got samples of meat substitutes and other products from a number of food factories. Each sample was brought to the table and an explanation of its contents was made.

The soybean was something new and aroused His Majesty's curiosity when he heard of its food value. He called his bellboy and asked him to bring his encyclopedia. He looked up the soybean and its by-products, and had the boy read the whole chapter on it while we ate our dinner. He asked that a sample of seed be sent for, which arrived just before we left on furlough. He plans to try it out in his 'own country. Orders for health foods were sent to each factory.

Ethiopia is the land of the coffee bean, and the Ethiopians like their coffee. His Majesty couldn't bear to drink it, however, so I made Sanka coffee for him, which he used instead. Fruit juices were served for lunch and dinner, and seemed to be preferred to strong drinks.

Living does not consist in eating and drink­ing only. There were many occasions when sickness and other circumstances gave me op­portunities to give suggestions or advice along principles of rightful living. When Her High­ness, Princess Tennanye Work, Their Maj­esties' oldest daughter, became ill and asked me to call Dr. Merlin Anderson from our hos­pital, it was found necessary that she be taken into the hospital. She remained there for ten days. I stayed with her those anxious days, and many a prayer was sent up for her recov­ery. Their Majesties called every day, and when her condition seemed critical, I was asked these questions by His Majesty : "What pleasure is there in life? How can a person have peace in this world?" I was glad I could tell him what the peace of God had done for my soul. Amid all the trials of this earth we may have the peace of God in our hearts to keep and sustain us day by day.

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By MRS. HERBERT HANSON, Missionary to Ethiopia

February 1947

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