A few of my colleagues and I dined in a restaurant that presented us with a piece of rich traditions and culture, sharing and enjoying the local foods and their presentation, along with some of the music and dance of the area. The bread, called injera, was of a sponge-like texture and a big flat piece was presented on a large plate. It is iron rich, made of teff flour, fulfilling and
of a different taste. The rest of the foods were set on it in circles and we all shared beans, cheese spinach and meats combined with local spices.
The next day we went to see Lucy, in The Ethiopian National Museum. She is the oldest hominid that has ever been found. The 3.18 million year-old skeleton was named after the Beatles song,
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” which played often in the celebrations that followed her discovery in 1974. Three plus million years on this land! Wow! Wonder how life was then?
After visiting with Lucy we went to the local market to buy souvenirs. Mainly a Christian country, with the majority of Christians being Orthodox Tewahedo Christians, we found lots of hand painted orthodox scenes. Too tired, I got confused about the money conversion and got frustrated with the
prices at first, only to later discover that all was so inexpensive I could hardly believe it.
I ended up carrying home lots of hand woven grass crafts, wood carved intricate crosses, wood painted orthodox scenes, and a wooden priest statue.
On the plane coming back, a lot of Americans were returning with beautiful and quiet adopted Ethiopian children, amazed by their new surroundings. Others had went there to help, volunteering with children. In 2008, when we visited, the UN announced that millions of children in Ethiopia were at risk of malnutrition, following a severe drought, and a lot of people adopted children there. One family I talked to went to adopt a boy bu,t while there, they found out he had a brother. So they came back with two kids. One of them was so affectionate, he hardly let go of the adopting father during the whole flight. Sweeeeeeet….. Nice kids…. nice people that help! I love this world and its people! Sometimes.