Chris Kurtz

For the first five years of his life, Chris lived with his parents and siblings in a very remote village in Southwestern Ethiopia called Maji. Water was pumped up to the house from a stream using the flow of water to overcome gravity, and nights were illuminated by battery or kerosene. When Chris was five years old, the family moved to live in the capital city of Addis Ababa. Chris started school at Good Shepherd, a missionary school with an American curriculum and American teachers. Until the tenth grade Chris enjoyed music, sports, literature and endured religious studies and chapel.

In 1974, Chris’s family left the country as a family for good. Chris attended and graduated from Portland State University as a teacher and began teaching. In 1987, he returned to Ethiopia to teach English in a girl’s school. It was during this time that Chris studied and began to be able to communicate in Amharic.

Chris currently teaches third grade in Portland Oregon. He has three grown kids, a wife, and a dog. For fun and for frustration, he writes children’s books and has three published titles to his name and one book under contract.