Ethiopia is an fascinating country, steeped in history, with friendly people and unbelievable scenery. Unfortunately, the internet connections there leave a lot to be desired; hence, this blog is severely overdue.
Of course, we have returned home (?) and are back to what is now our “normal”‘ lives. In a way it’s better that I’m writing this post now – I’ve had time to develop a better understand Ethiopia in retrospect. Truth is, I’m not sure I’ll ever really be able to grasp all the emotions I felt while we were there. Ethiopia was all at once breathtaking, heartbreaking, and inspiring.
The people here were most impressive. Their ingenuity and will to succeed is truly inspiring. They do so much with so little – all the while being thankful for what they do have. This was most evident when Michael and I took an impromptu cooking class. It wasn’t truly a class, but rather a kid invited us over and volunteered his mother to teach us how to cook. It wouldn’t cost us anything, he said, except the cost of the food.
A (rainy) trip to the market and several highway robberies later (we paid a severe penalty for being faranji), we had bags full of native vegetables and enough spices to make enough dora wat for an army.
We started with a coffee ceremony, roasting beans and pouring sugar and thick coffee into tiny cups. We made many different dishes, but the injera was the most memorable. Balancing on logs over an open fire, they heat the gigantic flat pan. It’s circular, and you must pour the injera batter all the way around the edges first, then filling in the middle. They did all this like pros, but generously praised Michael and me for our clumsy efforts.
The food is easy to make, and we managed to pay much less for the spices we brought home. By the time we left, we had figured out that they should cost about 1/10th the price they originally tried to charge us!