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Subject: "Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!" This topic is locked.
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kemetian
Charter member
1336 posts
Thu Aug-22-02 09:44 PM

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"Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!"


  

          

Greetings everyone!
i FINALLY made it to the motherland. i hope to be writing you regularly, but internet access from where i am staying is hella slow, so i have to go to an internet cafe.

it took me around 18 hours to get here, flight was very long but good. i connected in Newark and flew from Newark to Addis Ababa. This is my first day proper here. when i arrived yesterday the house i am staying at was full of incense smoke. it smelled wonderful. they spread sweetgrass, rosemary, basil and sage on the floor which made the place smell good too. we had injerra and a bean dish and a green dish (look like callaloo) and something caled salata. they served honey wine, i had ethiopian coffee. (i got in trouble for saying blue mountain coffee was the best in the world.) i also witnessed a coffee ceremony too. i will describe it at another time though. it was cold at night! the electricity went out for a short time, then it came back, it was cool tho' because you really don't need it for too much. we just talked. i had some ginger tea (i used the bathroom about 7 times!) then went to bed. i woke up in the middle of the night because my internal clock is off, but woke up this morning to some more wonderful food. ok will write more later.

Peace and Blessings
Kemetian

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!
Aug 22nd 2002
1
cosign with monique
Aug 22nd 2002
2
salaam
Aug 23rd 2002
3
RE: salaam
Sep 16th 2002
110
      by marriage
Sep 16th 2002
111
Cool !!! And BLUE MOUNTAIN IS THE BEST!
Aug 23rd 2002
4
kaffa
Aug 23rd 2002
5
      RE: kaffa
Aug 23rd 2002
6
           RE: kaffa
Aug 23rd 2002
7
                dont believe tea comes from london either ;)
Aug 23rd 2002
8
                     hehe...isn' it from china?
Aug 23rd 2002
9
                          yep, same with spaghetti
Aug 23rd 2002
10
great, keep us posted!
Aug 23rd 2002
11
be careful..Addis aint no joke...
Aug 23rd 2002
12
you've been?
Aug 25th 2002
25
      what the fuck would i go to afrika for?
Aug 26th 2002
44
Wow
Aug 23rd 2002
13
RE: Wow
Aug 23rd 2002
14
My heart is racing
Aug 23rd 2002
15
Kemetian Holla Please
Aug 24th 2002
16
GET OUT OF HERE!!!
Aug 24th 2002
20
RE: Kemetian Holla Please
Aug 25th 2002
24
Peace & Blessings
Aug 26th 2002
36
Hey, I LIKE kitfo!
Aug 26th 2002
40
      Sounds like
Aug 26th 2002
41
have a wonderful time...
Aug 24th 2002
17
Enjoy the culture & the beautiful people!
Aug 24th 2002
18
RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!
Aug 24th 2002
19
What are you talking about
Aug 25th 2002
29
      dude's quotes of jigga is even
Aug 27th 2002
48
      RE: What are you talking about
Sep 06th 2002
73
           RE: What are you talking about
Sep 06th 2002
74
Isn't West Africa the motherland?
Aug 24th 2002
21
No idiot
Aug 25th 2002
27
No, that seems just as weird
Aug 25th 2002
28
      So my friend....
Aug 26th 2002
32
           Firebrand
Aug 26th 2002
37
           Advice taken...I thought he was serious.
Aug 26th 2002
39
           Uh well I am in the states and I don't feel at home
Aug 26th 2002
38
Motherland
Aug 27th 2002
46
RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!
Aug 25th 2002
22
yes
Aug 28th 2002
55
RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!
Aug 25th 2002
23
RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!
Aug 25th 2002
26
RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!
Aug 25th 2002
30
RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!
Aug 26th 2002
31
RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!
Aug 28th 2002
53
      berbere in the morning
Aug 28th 2002
54
      comments/questions
Sep 05th 2002
70
           Your fiancee is Gurage?
Sep 08th 2002
81
           RE: Your fiancee is Gurage?
Sep 09th 2002
83
           Tigre/Tigrinya?
Sep 09th 2002
91
                OK, this might get confusing, but bear with me here...
Sep 09th 2002
94
                     it gets worse
Sep 10th 2002
95
           Nope
Sep 09th 2002
87
           Yeah,
Sep 20th 2002
118
           kohjoh
Sep 09th 2002
82
           RE: kohjoh
Sep 09th 2002
86
                RE: kohjoh
Sep 09th 2002
88
                     Dupont Cir. (sorry 4 postjack)
Sep 09th 2002
93
                          RE: Dupont Cir. (sorry 4 postjack)
Sep 10th 2002
96
           Skip Sodere
Sep 09th 2002
89
Minibus
Aug 26th 2002
33
we spread like wild fiya
Aug 26th 2002
34
RE: Minibus
Aug 26th 2002
42
      rasta's cant afford no trip to afrika,
Aug 27th 2002
49
           RE: rasta's cant afford no trip to afrika,
Aug 27th 2002
52
                RE: rasta's cant afford no trip to afrika,
Sep 10th 2002
97
                     No explanation, I'm sure
Sep 11th 2002
98
being a foreigner (from a western country)
Aug 26th 2002
35
WHAT?
Aug 27th 2002
51
RE: being a foreigner (from a western country)
Sep 05th 2002
67
RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!
Aug 26th 2002
43
We Will
Aug 28th 2002
56
RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!
Aug 26th 2002
45
RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!
Aug 27th 2002
47
      U ain' neva lied.....
Aug 28th 2002
59
"God" bless you, Kemetian!
Aug 27th 2002
50
what a great quote!
Aug 28th 2002
57
      are you serious or just being ironic?
Sep 08th 2002
80
Salama
Aug 28th 2002
58
RE: Salama
Sep 16th 2002
106
      Yes, yes,
Sep 16th 2002
109
           you should do a post on it
Sep 17th 2002
112
                RE: you should do a post on it
Sep 18th 2002
114
                Wha's up, Brah?
Sep 20th 2002
117
                     don't bother inboxing Solarus
Sep 20th 2002
120
                          I was looking to see what
Oct 23rd 2002
156
                          RE: don't bother inboxing Solarus
Oct 24th 2002
160
                               I don't recall receiving
Oct 25th 2002
164
The Mercato
Aug 31st 2002
60
RE: The Mercato
Sep 01st 2002
61
Merkato Continued
Sep 03rd 2002
62
      RE: Merkato Continued
Sep 04th 2002
63
      RE: Merkato Continued
Sep 04th 2002
65
           RE: Merkato Continued
Sep 04th 2002
66
                Coffee or tea?
Sep 05th 2002
68
                     Oops
Sep 05th 2002
69
                     Beka
Sep 05th 2002
72
                     buna shai?
Sep 09th 2002
84
      Sounds really interesting...str8 up.
Sep 04th 2002
64
      RE: Merkato
Sep 05th 2002
71
The Wedding Part I
Sep 08th 2002
75
RE: The Wedding Part II
Sep 08th 2002
76
RE: The Wedding Part II
Sep 09th 2002
85
RE: The Wedding Part I
Sep 08th 2002
78
I just got back today!
Sep 08th 2002
77
Wow! That's wonderful
Sep 08th 2002
79
My 2 cents
Sep 09th 2002
90
Geshta?
Sep 09th 2002
92
      Hard to explain
Sep 12th 2002
101
      Sweetsop!!!
Oct 25th 2002
163
ond meskerem
Sep 11th 2002
99
Happy New Year!!!!!!
Sep 11th 2002
100
Addis Amet 1995 Part I
Sep 13th 2002
102
Addis Amet 1995 Part II
Sep 13th 2002
103
Worldspace
Sep 15th 2002
104
the bomb on addis amet
Sep 16th 2002
105
i actually heard about it
Sep 16th 2002
108
      RE: i actually heard about it
Sep 18th 2002
113
Current situation in Ethiopia?
Sep 16th 2002
107
Entoto: A Radical Ritual pt. I
Sep 20th 2002
115
Entoto: A Radical Ritual pt. II
Sep 20th 2002
116
      RE: Entoto: A Radical Ritual pt. II
Sep 20th 2002
119
           Lucky you!!!
Sep 20th 2002
121
                RE: Lucky you!!!
Sep 21st 2002
122
up
Sep 24th 2002
123
thanks a
Sep 27th 2002
132
Institute for Ethiopian Studies
Sep 25th 2002
124
RE: Institute for Ethiopian Studies
Sep 25th 2002
125
      hhmm
Sep 25th 2002
126
      maybe
Sep 26th 2002
127
      No?
Sep 26th 2002
128
      the coffee house
Sep 27th 2002
131
           RE: the coffee house
Sep 29th 2002
134
           thanks for the love
Oct 01st 2002
136
           Yes!
Oct 01st 2002
137
      RE: Institute for Ethiopian Studies
Sep 27th 2002
130
           hhmm
Oct 01st 2002
138
Meskel!!! What can i say?
Sep 27th 2002
129
is this that christian celebration?
Sep 27th 2002
133
      um, no
Oct 01st 2002
135
^
Oct 04th 2002
139
Meskel finally
Oct 04th 2002
140
RE: Meskel finally
Oct 04th 2002
141
So Christianity is O.K.
Oct 08th 2002
143
      yes Christianity is O.K.
Oct 09th 2002
146
^
Oct 08th 2002
142
Why Ethiopia Stayed Behind
Oct 08th 2002
144
well
Oct 10th 2002
147
some activities
Oct 09th 2002
145
^
Oct 14th 2002
148
Shashemene I
Oct 17th 2002
149
Wondo Ganet
Oct 19th 2002
150
Sounds soo wonderful...I can't wait to go next summer
Oct 19th 2002
151
^
Oct 23rd 2002
152
Desta: Master Traditional Dancer
Oct 23rd 2002
153
Ethiopian Martial Arts
Oct 23rd 2002
154
LoL
Oct 23rd 2002
157
?
Oct 24th 2002
159
sort of
Oct 25th 2002
161
      i find
Oct 25th 2002
162
Hol up
Oct 23rd 2002
155
Are you going to Axum?
Oct 23rd 2002
158
^
Oct 29th 2002
165
Awassa
Oct 29th 2002
166
^
Nov 03rd 2002
167
RE: ^
Nov 09th 2002
168

Monique
Charter member
2511 posts
Thu Aug-22-02 11:07 PM

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1. "RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

CONGRATULATIONS!

Sounds like a great trip with a warm welcome so far.

I have a facination with the beautiful people and large umbrellas,plus the large Baptismal Ceremony.

Is this also the alledged place of the Ark Of The Covenant and held so dear by the people,guarded well also.

I only saw this on my video tape "Wonders Of The African World" by Proffessor Henry Loius Gates Jr. and PBS.

With your seemingly royal treatment,seems as this part of The Motherland treat one quite well as a visitor.

Take us thru your adventure daily!


***********************************************************
NELLY: I'm Humble In Life Taking Nothing For Granted

AFRICA: www.bbcnews.com

THE BROKER: John Grisham

  

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Federisco
Charter member
5002 posts
Thu Aug-22-02 11:44 PM

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2. "cosign with monique"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

The little ive heard about ethiopia and ethiopians has been good.. it must be a nice country,
so i wish you a good stay there

░▒▓█▌¹♥▐█▓▒░

proud okayphotographer: http://www.okayplayer.com/okayphotographers/

"Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness." — Marshall McLuhan

  

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guerilla_love
Charter member
8273 posts
Fri Aug-23-02 01:24 AM

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3. "salaam"
In response to Reply # 0


          

dananesh

glad u made it

xavier mescal (not sure how to spell that...)

...ISHi...

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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ethioqueen2
Charter member
152 posts
Mon Sep-16-02 03:05 PM

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110. "RE: salaam"
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

hey r u Ethiopian aswell?

d0pEst~Ethi0piAn
"Ethiopians, we run Ust Bitch"

"Dont quote me....ur beneath" -P0rkface

"This coming from mS.....the Ro0ts are going to be pErforming on an icEberg in Antarctica"- mR twiSty

"Hey, we can just read and eat some tofu on my tourbus.

  

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kemetian
Charter member
1336 posts
Mon Sep-16-02 09:32 PM

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111. "by marriage"
In response to Reply # 110


  

          


Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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FireBrand
Charter member
145739 posts
Fri Aug-23-02 01:28 AM

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4. "Cool !!! And BLUE MOUNTAIN IS THE BEST!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

this is becoming a treat...between you and Solarus. Can't wait for the next entry.


-------------
avatar?
"...take you back in time like sankofa- sankofa"

"Well, when your every breath and will to live is an act of resistance, you cannot help but be 'too political'. To do otherwise is to hide, to live in denial and defeat." --ArabHottie

" If we can't learn to live together despite the turmoil of past generations we are doomed." -Stern


"And where today is the stable community that would sustain such a couple, where one can be both poor and diginified and raise one's children with decency and hope... If the answer is education, does our society adequateley provide that tool of self-improvement to the less well off?"-- Sidney Poitier

" I'm not mad 'cus I'm losing! I'm mad 'cus I don't know how to win!" --Kevin Curtis Daniels Jr.

"And herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor,-all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked,-who is good? Not that men are ignorant, -what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men."
W.E.B. Dubois


"Slaves got options...cowards aint got shit." --PS
"Once upon a time, little need existed for making the distinction between a nigga and a black—at least not in this country, the place where niggas were invented" -- Donnell A

  

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guerilla_love
Charter member
8273 posts
Fri Aug-23-02 02:04 AM

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5. "kaffa"
In response to Reply # 4


          

coffee is named for the region of ethiopia in which it originated

now ain't that funny? that man and coffee come from the same damned place?

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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Aquaman
Charter member
8116 posts
Fri Aug-23-02 02:08 AM

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6. "RE: kaffa"
In response to Reply # 5


  

          

Congrats! Enjoy, peace safe... soak it in... wow too dope!

"I'm like Aquaman and Brownhornet, Imhotep but don't flaunt it" - the mighty Black Thought

"We.. (puff, puff) gotta make some changes ya dig? (puff, puff) I mean... dayum... brothers gotta work it out (puff, puff)... What's this a Dutch? Damn you aint

  

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Quest4Knowledge
Member since Jun 20th 2002
2797 posts
Fri Aug-23-02 02:17 AM

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7. "RE: kaffa"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

Yeah, that's tight. Have a great time, Kemetian.

I didn't even know coffe came from Africa. The way its so associated with the western "civilized" world I would have thought it originated in Paris or London.



Peace and Love
-Ren



---
In memory of my sig..

  

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Federisco
Charter member
5002 posts
Fri Aug-23-02 02:21 AM

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8. "dont believe tea comes from london either ;)"
In response to Reply # 7


  

          

even if they make it sound like it.
along with many other things

░▒▓█▌¹♥▐█▓▒░

proud okayphotographer: http://www.okayplayer.com/okayphotographers/

"Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness." — Marshall McLuhan

  

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FireBrand
Charter member
145739 posts
Fri Aug-23-02 02:25 AM

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9. "hehe...isn' it from china?"
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

-------------
avatar?
"...take you back in time like sankofa- sankofa"

"Well, when your every breath and will to live is an act of resistance, you cannot help but be 'too political'. To do otherwise is to hide, to live in denial and defeat." --ArabHottie

" If we can't learn to live together despite the turmoil of past generations we are doomed." -Stern


"And where today is the stable community that would sustain such a couple, where one can be both poor and diginified and raise one's children with decency and hope... If the answer is education, does our society adequateley provide that tool of self-improvement to the less well off?"-- Sidney Poitier

" I'm not mad 'cus I'm losing! I'm mad 'cus I don't know how to win!" --Kevin Curtis Daniels Jr.

"And herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor,-all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked,-who is good? Not that men are ignorant, -what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men."
W.E.B. Dubois


"Slaves got options...cowards aint got shit." --PS
"Once upon a time, little need existed for making the distinction between a nigga and a black—at least not in this country, the place where niggas were invented" -- Donnell A

  

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Federisco
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5002 posts
Fri Aug-23-02 02:46 AM

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10. "yep, same with spaghetti"
In response to Reply # 9
Fri Aug-23-02 02:46 AM

  

          

the origin at least

░▒▓█▌¹♥▐█▓▒░

proud okayphotographer: http://www.okayplayer.com/okayphotographers/

"Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness." — Marshall McLuhan

  

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Allah
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47754 posts
Fri Aug-23-02 04:25 AM

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11. "great, keep us posted!"
In response to Reply # 0
Fri Aug-23-02 04:26 AM

  

          

looking forward to your updates. I have had ethiopian coffee
also over here at the Blue Nile in Raleigh, NC.
They have the place set up for the ceremony also, although
I didn't participate in that. Peace.

_______________________
"Arm Leg Leg Arm Hate." c/o desus
_______________________
Divine Ruler
http://www.facebook.com/divineruler
__gigs__
__stuff__

  

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IsaIsaIsa
Charter member
posts
Fri Aug-23-02 04:41 AM

12. "be careful..Addis aint no joke..."
In response to Reply # 0


          

have a good and safe trip...

  

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mikeONE
Charter member
1995 posts
Sun Aug-25-02 04:09 AM

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25. "you've been?"
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

and the warning is valied, when traveling anywhere....

I am America. I am the part you won't recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. - The Greatest

  

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IsaIsaIsa
Charter member
posts
Mon Aug-26-02 07:38 PM

44. "what the fuck would i go to afrika for?"
In response to Reply # 25


          

its hella hot and like 40% have aids...i prefer the caribbean, afrika scares the shit outta me...im cool, everything i hear is bad, i might go to egypt or south africa, but thats it, way too dangerous...im cool, i dont really like africans that much anyways, the ones here are dickwads.

  

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Solarus
Charter member
3604 posts
Fri Aug-23-02 05:11 AM

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13. "Wow"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Okayafrikans abroad!

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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Sopdet
Charter member
741 posts
Fri Aug-23-02 06:34 AM

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14. "RE: Wow"
In response to Reply # 13


  

          

Some THings you tyhink originate in europe but don't ballet,fencing,polo,tea,and coffe.
Tea was first doemsticated in india and later passed to china. Polo either originated in afganistan,or tibet. Fencing and ballet believe itornotcome form the nile valley in KMT.
Plus the tomb frombeni hassan contains the oldest wrestling mofves inthe world older than the pankerion in greece.
THe windmill did not originate in europe either butactually in india.
By the way doyourself a favor when in ethiopia goand see those great big obeliske and aksum while you have a chance. Also see lailabela also,sometimes called the 8th wonder ofthe world.

Did you know that ethiopia contains of the the oldest books on astronomy caleld the adwe negast.
older than ptolomey's alamgest

  

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kemetian
Charter member
1336 posts
Fri Aug-23-02 11:35 PM

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15. "My heart is racing"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

And it’s not because of excitement. My body is still coping with the altitude in Addis Ababa, my heart is beating so fast. I thought at first it was because of the coffee I had at the coffee ceremony, but my Sister informed me that it was due the altitude and my body should get used to it in about a week. I am still getting used to the time difference too. I fell asleep at 2:00 pm yesterday and woke up at 7:00 pm then fell asleep around 4:00 this morning.

For breakfast I had a fresh baked bread called Dabo (scrumptious) and injerra furr furr. It’s mashed up injerra with some spices (disclaimer: all this spelling is going to be jacked up y’all, I’ma let you know now). I also had fresh blended papaya juice (puree?). I will do an apprenticeship in the kitchen with the lady who cooks so I can learn. Yesterday I went to the market to learn some amharic. I just walked around and asked the folks I was with Wen this, Wen that? I learned the words for eggs, tomato, avocado, sweet potato, onion, sugar, flour, rice, guava and butter, only half of which I remember. As I learn though I will put the greetings, like the one g_love put in her response. This morning I also learnt to count to 5. I told them I’d learn 5 more tomorrow, they found that rather amusing.

This morning they slaughtered a lamb to commemorate the end of the 15 day fast. The day I got here I believe was the end of it. I missed it, but there was a large procession at the Orthodox church. The fast consists of ppl not eating or drinking until 3:00 and then eating no animal products. So actually ppl did their feasting that day, my Sister says they “gorge themselves” on a variety of meat dishes, including one called kitifurr that’s raw hamburger meat (yikes!). IMHO that’s one of the traditions that can be phased out. But anyway there was no feasting on the day that I came because We had some visitors from New York who are moving to Tanzania who are vegetarian. So out of respect for them they refrained from killing the lamb. The visitors were trying their darnedest to give the lamb a name and make it a family pet. No luck. A neighbor came and said the prayer over the lamb before it was killed. Also every Wednesday and Friday the Orthodox Christians fast. I hope to participate in a church service, I hear a lot of what is done in orthodox Christianity is similar to what was in KMT, in particular the Temkat (sp?) procession. This is analogous to the Opet procession that can be found on the walls of some of the pyramids in KMT. I also would like to visit other historic sites as may can be found in Ethiopia. I hear the mosques are quite beautiful too. Lucky for me I will be here for the Ethiopian New Year, so that should be fun.



thanks for all the warm wishes!

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Brooklynbeef
Member since May 30th 2002
4649 posts
Sat Aug-24-02 03:05 AM

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16. "Kemetian Holla Please"
In response to Reply # 15


  

          

The couple from New York are my peeps. Ranahnah and Demone and their son Naba. They are my peeps. Tell me Tye from Akoben hollered at them. I can't believe this. Holla please.

"Forget Black History Month, how about live an African History Life"-Ansley Burrows

  

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kemetian
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Sat Aug-24-02 04:57 PM

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20. "GET OUT OF HERE!!!"
In response to Reply # 16


  

          

>The couple from New York are my peeps. Ranahnah and Demone
>and their son Naba. They are my peeps. Tell me Tye from
>Akoben hollered at them. I can't believe this. Holla
>please.


oh my goodness. next time we talk i will DEFINITELY tell them that. they are so beautiful! i really enjoyed their company i am just sorry i only got to spend one day with them. Naba and i had lots of fun! really good spirits those two have.


Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Poetiquette
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Sun Aug-25-02 03:46 AM

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24. "RE: Kemetian Holla Please"
In response to Reply # 16


  

          

Oh my goodness! Are you speaking of Rananah White!? If so, I know her too, she is my friend and we have been out of touch for a minute! They had a son! That is beautiful! Please tell her that Nubia Earth says 'peace', and that I just had a baby girl; Indirah. Thank you sooo much! It is a small world!

Having a baby? Check this out:
www.birthfromtheearth.vpweb.com


www.nbowman.qhealthbeauty.com
www.nbowman.qbeautyzone.com
www.bmartin2.qhealthzone.com
www.quixtar.com

  

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peace3
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Mon Aug-26-02 05:01 AM

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36. "Peace & Blessings"
In response to Reply # 15


          

upon you Kemetian.
I'm glad to see you made it out to the mother land.
enjoy your time away from this backwards "Civlization" we live in.
lol
peaces

.

"Ways that are right take long days and nights"-Killa Priest


"The best index to a person's character is how he treats people who can't do him any good & how he treats people who can't fight back"-Abigail Van Buren

I'm Certified

  

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Gyrofrog
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Mon Aug-26-02 10:27 AM

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40. "Hey, I LIKE kitfo!"
In response to Reply # 15


          

>including one called kitifurr that’s raw hamburger meat
>(yikes!). IMHO that’s one of the traditions that can be
>phased out

I know it's unhealthy, but it's good stuff. Also gored-gored, which is similar except (as I recall) the meat is diced, rather than ground.

  

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ochosigrand
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Mon Aug-26-02 10:30 AM

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41. "Sounds like"
In response to Reply # 40


  

          



Kitty fur, ouch!

  

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morpheme
Charter member
94867 posts
Sat Aug-24-02 07:16 AM

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17. "have a wonderful time..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

be safe




†you crazy, for real doe†

www.uppitynegress.gov

_____________
Kamikaze Genes
____________♌♀
goddess; small g.

  

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bluetiger
Charter member
36723 posts
Sat Aug-24-02 09:04 AM

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18. "Enjoy the culture & the beautiful people!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          



♀¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤♀


don't be fkn evil.

  

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KOONTZILLA
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652 posts
Sat Aug-24-02 09:12 AM

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19. "RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


          

WELCOME MY BROTHER (EVEN THOUGH I'M AMERICAN, YOUR STILL MY BROTHER) GLAD YOU HAD A SAFE TRIP HERE.... PLEASE ENJOY YOUR SELF... BUT, DON'T BELIVE ALL OF THOSE RUMORS ABOUT BLACK AMERICANS (I KNOW YALL HAVE EM CAUSE MY GIRL IS FROM ETHIOPIA) JUST STAND UP FOR YOURSELF AND BE WISE ON WHO YOU CALL YOUR FREINDS (EVERYONE THAT IS FRIENDLY, IS NOT ALWAYS A FRIEND) DO WHAT YOU CAME HERE TO DO AND DON'T GET SUCKED UP IN NO B.S. AIGHT ... STAY STRONG AND ONE LOVE....


"Niggas mad cause Ibrags about the cash I got, but I'm used to not havin alot, I'm from the gutter and ohh..."-Jay-Z

"Expensive shoes worn, Loui Viton see-through gone, CoChes, my face is like a coupon..."Jay-Z

  

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Solarus
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3604 posts
Sun Aug-25-02 01:54 PM

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29. "What are you talking about"
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

are you responding to the right post?

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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IsaIsaIsa
Charter member
posts
Tue Aug-27-02 06:38 AM

48. "dude's quotes of jigga is even"
In response to Reply # 29


          

wrong, nigga said coches?hahha..its coke cheap, my face is like a coupon.

  

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KOONTZILLA
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652 posts
Fri Sep-06-02 05:13 AM

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73. "RE: What are you talking about"
In response to Reply # 29


          

>are you responding to the right post?

HOLD UP, DUDE JUST VISITED ETHIPOIA DIDN'T HE ?!?!?! MY BAD, I THOUGHT HE WAS FROM THERE AND JUST MADE IT HERE... I WAS TIRED.. MY BAD

"Niggas mad cause Ibrags about the cash I got, but I'm used to not havin alot, I'm from the gutter and ohh..."-Jay-Z

"Expensive shoes worn, Loui Viton see-through gone, CoChes, my face is like a coupon..."Jay-Z

  

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kemetian
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1336 posts
Fri Sep-06-02 09:05 AM

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74. "RE: What are you talking about"
In response to Reply # 73


  

          

it's all good

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Pete
Charter member
6568 posts
Sat Aug-24-02 06:02 PM

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21. "Isn't West Africa the motherland?"
In response to Reply # 0


          

That's like an Italian going to Scandanavia and syaing "It's good to be in the land of my fuckin ancestors!"

  

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Solarus
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3604 posts
Sun Aug-25-02 01:09 PM

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27. "No idiot"
In response to Reply # 21


  

          

Its like an American-born Cambodian descendant going anywhere on the continent of Asia and saying that they have finally made it back to the motherland.

TROLL BETTER!

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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Pete
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6568 posts
Sun Aug-25-02 01:46 PM

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28. "No, that seems just as weird"
In response to Reply # 27


          

Maybe you're an unhappy Cambodian?

  

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FireBrand
Charter member
145739 posts
Mon Aug-26-02 02:29 AM

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32. "So my friend...."
In response to Reply # 28


  

          

if you had been out of the country for many years, and came back to the states-albiet a different state than your home state you wouldn't feel like you were still in many ways back "home?"

-------------
avatar?
"...take you back in time like sankofa- sankofa"

"Well, when your every breath and will to live is an act of resistance, you cannot help but be 'too political'. To do otherwise is to hide, to live in denial and defeat." --ArabHottie

" If we can't learn to live together despite the turmoil of past generations we are doomed." -Stern


"And where today is the stable community that would sustain such a couple, where one can be both poor and diginified and raise one's children with decency and hope... If the answer is education, does our society adequateley provide that tool of self-improvement to the less well off?"-- Sidney Poitier

" I'm not mad 'cus I'm losing! I'm mad 'cus I don't know how to win!" --Kevin Curtis Daniels Jr.

"And herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor,-all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked,-who is good? Not that men are ignorant, -what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men."
W.E.B. Dubois


"Slaves got options...cowards aint got shit." --PS
"Once upon a time, little need existed for making the distinction between a nigga and a black—at least not in this country, the place where niggas were invented" -- Donnell A

  

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Brooklynbeef
Member since May 30th 2002
4649 posts
Mon Aug-26-02 05:52 AM

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37. "Firebrand"
In response to Reply # 32


  

          

As evident in the brain drain and Fonzworth post ignore the bull shiters, please. Pay dem no attention.

"Forget Black History Month, how about live an African History Life"-Ansley Burrows

  

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FireBrand
Charter member
145739 posts
Mon Aug-26-02 08:13 AM

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39. "Advice taken...I thought he was serious."
In response to Reply # 37


  

          

-------------
avatar?
"...take you back in time like sankofa- sankofa"

"Well, when your every breath and will to live is an act of resistance, you cannot help but be 'too political'. To do otherwise is to hide, to live in denial and defeat." --ArabHottie

" If we can't learn to live together despite the turmoil of past generations we are doomed." -Stern


"And where today is the stable community that would sustain such a couple, where one can be both poor and diginified and raise one's children with decency and hope... If the answer is education, does our society adequateley provide that tool of self-improvement to the less well off?"-- Sidney Poitier

" I'm not mad 'cus I'm losing! I'm mad 'cus I don't know how to win!" --Kevin Curtis Daniels Jr.

"And herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor,-all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked,-who is good? Not that men are ignorant, -what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men."
W.E.B. Dubois


"Slaves got options...cowards aint got shit." --PS
"Once upon a time, little need existed for making the distinction between a nigga and a black—at least not in this country, the place where niggas were invented" -- Donnell A

  

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Pete
Charter member
6568 posts
Mon Aug-26-02 06:44 AM

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38. "Uh well I am in the states and I don't feel at home"
In response to Reply # 32


          

But besides that, we must ask, what is the difference between a state and a country?

  

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kemetian
Charter member
1336 posts
Tue Aug-27-02 05:46 AM

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46. "Motherland"
In response to Reply # 21


  

          

usually refers to the continent. so for italian europe is the 'motherland.' for an African Africa is the motherland. besides how could West Africa be a motherland? that's like saying west europe is the motherland. how can you section off a part of a continent and call that a mother land? anyway, the motherland i was talking about referred to the continent of Africa, what part of the motherland am in? Ethiopia.

get it now? sorry for any confusion.


Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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GodFreedom
Charter member
289 posts
Sun Aug-25-02 01:56 AM

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22. "RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

peace

hey man I hear they make injara different over there. Is it really a three day process?

  

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kemetian
Charter member
1336 posts
Wed Aug-28-02 03:35 AM

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55. "yes"
In response to Reply # 22


  

          

it's a 3-day process due to the time it takes for fermentation.


Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Poetiquette
Charter member
2199 posts
Sun Aug-25-02 03:41 AM

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23. "RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

That is Peace. While you are there will you visit the Shashamane Settlement? I am mentally planning a trip there in the future. If you do go there, please let me know your thoughts. Enjoy your stay and travel safe.

Having a baby? Check this out:
www.birthfromtheearth.vpweb.com


www.nbowman.qhealthbeauty.com
www.nbowman.qbeautyzone.com
www.bmartin2.qhealthzone.com
www.quixtar.com

  

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akaibi_rainz
Charter member
18 posts
Sun Aug-25-02 05:18 AM

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26. "RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I can't belive you used the word hella... I'm shocked at you!!! Just kidding... I emailed you the pictures. Let me know when you get them. Now that I know you'll be posting your adventure I'll be sure to check in on ya...

Peace from the east... (Or west rather)

All praise to my creator for giving me this life and forgiving me this life...

...the Negro has been so busy doing what he is told to do that he has not stopped long enough to think about the meaning of these things.---Carter G. Woodson

  

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Rexdale
Member since May 20th 2002
626 posts
Sun Aug-25-02 08:18 PM

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30. "RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!"
In response to Reply # 26


  

          

Ethiopia is a beautiful land, makes want to reach back there and to Somalia sooner than the winter.

Peace,

  

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guerilla_love
Charter member
8273 posts
Mon Aug-26-02 02:02 AM

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31. "RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


          

ond
ulette
soste
......
(do ya remember now?)

salaam

endemanesh?

thanks for the update. is the injera grainy? did they make dabo fitfit (faranji fitfit) for u? that's another breakfast for vegetarians. and berbere egg.....

shashemone is all the way down south and axum is all the way up top- which direction are ya headed in?

take care...

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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kemetian
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1336 posts
Wed Aug-28-02 12:50 AM

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53. "RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!"
In response to Reply # 31


  

          



>ond
>ulette
>soste
>......
>(do ya remember now?)

thanks!
>salaam
>
>endemanesh?
dananesh

>thanks for the update. is the injera grainy?


NOOOOOOOO, it's wonderful!

did they make
>dabo fitfit (faranji fitfit) for u?

yes, that is the most wonderful smell to wake up to in the morning.

that's another breakfast
>for vegetarians. and berbere egg.....
>
>shashemone is all the way down south and axum is all the way
>up top- which direction are ya headed in?

Both baby!!!! Prolly Sheshemone first. Poetiquette, i saw pix of when Rahnanah and fam went, it was beautiful!


>
>take care...

will do and same to you.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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guerilla_love
Charter member
8273 posts
Wed Aug-28-02 01:37 AM

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54. "berbere in the morning"
In response to Reply # 53


          

that is THE best smell to wake up to

you're right

or ambasha baking

*ahhhhhhh, weekends*

i can't believe you're doing both! i'm so excited for you! how long are you there?

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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Gyrofrog
Charter member
1529 posts
Thu Sep-05-02 05:01 PM

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70. "comments/questions"
In response to Reply # 53


          

>did they make
>>dabo fitfit (faranji fitfit) for u?
>
>yes, that is the most wonderful smell to wake up to in the
>morning.

My fiancee recommends that you have enkulale fir-fir, if you haven't -- but maybe that's another word for berbere eggs.

Try eating ketfo with kohjoh (Gurage traditional meal). (You should see about visiting a Gurage family during Meskel as it is a particularly important occasion for them.)

Make sure and bring back berbere and kibbeh so you can cook here (as though you won't have enough weight in your luggage). But we've found out the hard way that these should not be packed with the clothes!

>>shashemone is all the way down south and axum is all the way
>>up top- which direction are ya headed in?
>
>Both baby!!!! Prolly Sheshemone first.

My fiancee recommends that you definitely visit Shashemene, and also Wondo Genet while you are down there.

Also, if you do go to Axum, be sure and visit Lalibela on the way (you probably knew that).

From Addis, make day trips to Nazareth (a.k.a. Adama) (where my fiancee is from) and Sodere (a resort/spa where it would be really nice to relax).

  

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kemetian
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1336 posts
Sun Sep-08-02 08:20 PM

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81. "Your fiancee is Gurage?"
In response to Reply # 70


  

          

i've been meaning to do a thread on the different ethnic groups. i think most ppl seem to be familiar with the Amhara b/c i think the models ppl have been seeing from Ethiopia are from that ethnic group. but there's Oromo (one of the ppl i am staying with is Oromo) and Gurage and Tigre (they do the most wonderful hairstyles and i love seeing their dancing).

>>did they make
>>>dabo fitfit (faranji fitfit) for u?
>>
>>yes, that is the most wonderful smell to wake up to in the
>>morning.
>
>My fiancee recommends that you have enkulale fir-fir, if you
>haven't -- but maybe that's another word for berbere eggs.

yes i've had that, it's wonderful. i also had she-shepsa. it's like little bits of dough that've been fried with berbere all up in it for courst (brkfst). my favorite tho' is this flat bread: Ket'a (it's sort of like chapati) with eggs in the middle.


>Try eating ketfo with kohjoh (Gurage traditional meal).

um, i'm sorry i can't get down with raw meat, and please believe me, i respect ppl's culture, but i'll definitely have to just be an observer of that.

>(You should see about visiting a Gurage family during Meskel as it is a particularly important occasion for them.)

i don't really know how to go about doing that, but i'll ask if my hosts have any Gurage friends.
>
>Make sure and bring back berbere and kibbeh so you can cook
>here (as though you won't have enough weight in your
>luggage). But we've found out the hard way that these
>should not be packed with the clothes!


LOL, i plan to. that and metu-met and i might have to ship some cases of Ambo (i could live off of that), and um Ariel washing powder, that stuff got wat stain out of the wrap for the Indian outfit i wore to the wedding, (amazing) in 2 sec.

>
>>>shashemone is all the way down south and axum is all the way
>>>up top- which direction are ya headed in?
>>
>>Both baby!!!! Prolly Sheshemone first.
>
>My fiancee recommends that you definitely visit Shashemene,
>and also Wondo Genet while you are down there.

yes that was the plan. i believe the first trip after Addis Amet (new year) is to the healing springs of Ntoto. that place has healed ppl of AIDS, converted Muslims to Orthodox Christianity among other things.

>Also, if you do go to Axum, be sure and visit Lalibela on
>the way (you probably knew that).
>
>From Addis, make day trips to Nazareth (a.k.a. Adama) (where my fiancee is from) and Sodere (a resort/spa where it would be really nice to relax).

tell your fiancee thanks much for the tips!

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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guerilla_love
Charter member
8273 posts
Mon Sep-09-02 01:43 AM

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83. "RE: Your fiancee is Gurage?"
In response to Reply # 81


          

>i've been meaning to do a thread on the different ethnic
>groups. i think most ppl seem to be familiar with the
>Amhara b/c i think the models ppl have been seeing from
>Ethiopia are from that ethnic group. but there's Oromo (one
>of the ppl i am staying with is Oromo) and Gurage and Tigre
>(they do the most wonderful hairstyles and i love seeing
>their dancing).
>
tigre and tegrinya- they're different.
i hear gurage make good merchants.......

>>Try eating ketfo with kohjoh (Gurage traditional meal).
>
>um, i'm sorry i can't get down with raw meat, and please
>believe me, i respect ppl's culture, but i'll definitely
>have to just be an observer of that.
>
you can eat kohjoh without kitfo.


.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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Gyrofrog
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1529 posts
Mon Sep-09-02 04:52 PM

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91. "Tigre/Tigrinya?"
In response to Reply # 83
Mon Sep-09-02 04:52 PM

          

>tigre and tegrinya- they're different.

I've seen references to this, but as far as we knew, the former is an ethnic group (and region) while the latter is their language. But like I said I've seen them referred to separately -- do you know which is which?

  

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40thStreetBlack
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Mon Sep-09-02 08:47 PM

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94. "OK, this might get confusing, but bear with me here..."
In response to Reply # 91


  

          

In Ethiopia, Tigray is both the name of the ethnic group and the region they're from, while Tigrinya is the language they speak. The Tigre are a different group in Eritrea who speak Tigre, a related but separate language. I don't know what the difference in pronounciation between Tigray and Tigre is, I guess it's where you place the accent or something. Anyway, the Tigre in Eritrea are not to be confused with the Tigrinya-speaking people of Eritrea, who are ethnically and culturally the same as the Tigray of Ethiopia, but call themselves Tigrinya instead of Tigray (probably to specify that they are from Eritrea and not Tigray province in Ethiopia). The Tigray in Ethiopia are also called Tigrayan (I think), but my father is Tigray (from Axum) and I never heard him or my uncle call themselves that, they just say Tigray, so that's what I go with.

But it sounds like kemetian is talking about the Tigray - I don't think there are many Tigre in Addis, and Tigray women are the ones who wear the distinctive hairstyle with the cornrows over the crown of the head and then the big fuzzy blowout at the back.

Anyway, that's the type of confusion you get with all the different ethnic groups and languages and all that. My mom's still trying to grasp the whole Oromo/Galla thing.


<----- Long Live The King

  

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guerilla_love
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95. "it gets worse"
In response to Reply # 94


          

when u take into account eritrea's ethnic groups

i think the pronounciation difference is like this: TIGG ray and tiugRAY

but i'm not sure

i know a little bit of tegrinya, and i'm amazed at the flexibility of the alphabet- it's so different from amharic!

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

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Gyrofrog
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Mon Sep-09-02 03:32 AM

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87. "Nope"
In response to Reply # 81


          

No, she's Amhara.

>um, i'm sorry i can't get down with raw meat

I guess since I had eaten sushi before, it wasn't that big a deal to me. I don't know what, if anything, is done to the meat to be able and safely eat it raw. I know that in Dallas, for example, you can order it in any number of restaurants.

  

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ya Setshego
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118. "Yeah,"
In response to Reply # 81


  

          

the natural hairstyles are tight in Kenya too. I was 'fly' all summer w/ my various hair-dos. I got ripped off at first, because I did not understand the value of the currency over there, and thought I was getting a good deal. By the end though, my girlfriend was doing my hair for free, so it all balanced out. I just started taking my hair out from my last style. I'm reluctant to completely take it out, because I cannot get this style over here(Masaai twists). I'm praying and hoping that my girlfriend will get a job over here once she graduates nursing school, so I can just get her to keep doing my hair. I'd be willing to fly to whereever she settled in the US from time-to-time JUST to get my hair done(she's actually THAT good). But then, wouldn't we EXPECT Africans to have a corner on the market when it comes to le meshe(as they refer to braiding in Cote d'Ivoire)? I mean they INVENTED it, for Pete's Sake! They would WANT to be the best at it, and, they ARE.


>>(they do the most wonderful hairstyles and i love seeing
>their dancing).

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oooo baby I like it raw. Oooo baby I like it RAAAW!(c)ODB- Shimmy Shimmy Ya

  

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guerilla_love
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82. "kohjoh"
In response to Reply # 70
Mon Sep-09-02 01:38 AM

          

i tried it once!

definitely agree about the berbere and kibbeh

yall are engaged? congrats! how do yall plan to navigate the wedding cultures?

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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Gyrofrog
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Mon Sep-09-02 03:26 AM

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86. "RE: kohjoh"
In response to Reply # 82


          

>i tried it once!

I'm not real big on the kohjoh, but my fiancee asked me to mention it here as a suggestion.

>definitely agree about the berbere and kibbeh

Man we've got big jerry cans full of kibbeh and I don't know how many pounds of berbere. It's a lot of stuff to move (which we are in the process of doing) but we have to have it!

>yall are engaged? congrats! how do yall plan to navigate the
>wedding cultures?

Well we've finally made the move to DC so our next step is to find a house we like (prob. in VA). After that we do plan to have the wedding in Ethiopia, we just don't know when -- one giant leap at a time, please!

  

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guerilla_love
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88. "RE: kohjoh"
In response to Reply # 86


          

where are you now that you're moving to dc? have you been before? you will be amazed by the sheer number of habesha businesses around here and the variety of injera (seregna is the best, though)

a close friend of ours has the jerry cans and doles it out to us by the cup. i've never seen anyone so protective of anything before in my life!

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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Gyrofrog
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93. "Dupont Cir. (sorry 4 postjack)"
In response to Reply # 88
Mon Sep-09-02 05:21 PM

          

>where are you now that you're moving to dc?

Staying with my sister near Dupont Cir. until we find an apt., where we'll stay until we find a house. I'm supposed to work in Reston, and we've been looking at houses WAY out in VA, but various technical problems at the Reston office mean I may be telecommuting for a while.

If I'm not mistaken, y'all are in Montgomery Co.? We liked it out there, but maybe beyond our budget (we're set on getting a detached house).

>have you been before?

Oh yes, 4 times in the past year and a half, and she's much more familiar with DC than I am.

>you will be amazed by the sheer number of habesha
>businesses around here and the variety of injera (seregna is
>the best, though)

Yeah, that's something, seeing different "brands" of injera. My fiancee was disappointed with the tej in the restaurants (not just in DC, but Dallas too). I've never tried the "Real McCoy" so I probably don't know any better. Seemed fine to me...

Lalibela in Alexandria was my favorite restaurant in/near DC (so far). Actually I think the best Ethiopian food that I had in a restaurant was in Seattle.

>a close friend of ours has the jerry cans and doles it out
>to us by the cup. i've never seen anyone so protective of
>anything before in my life!

My konjo says, of course, because that's what makes wat, wat! (I think there's a pun in there)

  

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guerilla_love
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96. "RE: Dupont Cir. (sorry 4 postjack)"
In response to Reply # 93


          

>Staying with my sister near Dupont Cir.

i used to live out there before the gentrification got out of control

>If I'm not mistaken, y'all are in Montgomery Co.?

yep. cheap for apts. expensive for houses. great school system.

>Yeah, that's something, seeing different "brands" of injera.

do u at least have teff and mixed? nowadays i'm crazy about the dark stuff

> My fiancee was disappointed with the tej in the restaurants

yeh. can't find anything like back home. we used to buy tej from this one store, but we curbed it once one grew bugs. it would be interesting, tho, to make our own.......

we bought the yeast, but ended up with ambasha

>Lalibela in Alexandria was my favorite restaurant in/near DC
>(so far). Actually I think the best Ethiopian food that I
>had in a restaurant was in Seattle.

i like addis ababa on 18th the best right now. they're the ones who have the gurage (what're they called again- those dense blocks......)

>My konjo says, of course, because that's what makes wat,
>wat! (I think there's a pun in there)

yep.

and no american versions can compare.

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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Kream
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89. "Skip Sodere"
In response to Reply # 70


          

It used to be good several years ago, but now the amenities and services leave a lot to desire.
If you are in the vicinity, what you could do is stay at Safari Lodge, which is a hotel in Nazareth (approx. 10 minutes drive from Sodere) and then spend the day at Sodere. The hot springs are actually worth the trip there.

  

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kemetian
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Mon Aug-26-02 04:30 AM

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33. "Minibus"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Today I took the minibus. It was like the ones in JA, luckily I was with someone who knew which ones to go on. We were actually just running some errands, paying a bill, picking up a parallel to USB cable. There are several computer stores and an internet café on almost every corner. I have not quite got used to seeing the poverty yet. There are many beggars, ppl on the street with no fingers, deformed limbs, no legs and I saw 2 ppl with nothing from the waste down, walking on their hands. The exhaust was killing me today too. It’s hard to bear, next time I will go out with a wrap. There are many large buses and trucks with black smoke coming from them. We went to a restaurant in a big yellow building Dembel: center. It’s really nice, like a mall sort of with lots of shops. My favorite drink here is a mineral water called Ambo from a town with the same name. The restaurant had a great view. Wouldn’t u know I met some Jamaicans in the center.i overheard them speaking and picked up the accent.. so I went back and asked. They were from ATL visiting, so that was cool. Yardies are everywhere, what can I say?

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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FireBrand
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34. "we spread like wild fiya"
In response to Reply # 33


  

          

lol...tight. Dem hav minibus too? This is really interesting. *Damn* I'ma have to take me a trip back to the Continent.

-------------
avatar?
"...take you back in time like sankofa- sankofa"

"Well, when your every breath and will to live is an act of resistance, you cannot help but be 'too political'. To do otherwise is to hide, to live in denial and defeat." --ArabHottie

" If we can't learn to live together despite the turmoil of past generations we are doomed." -Stern


"And where today is the stable community that would sustain such a couple, where one can be both poor and diginified and raise one's children with decency and hope... If the answer is education, does our society adequateley provide that tool of self-improvement to the less well off?"-- Sidney Poitier

" I'm not mad 'cus I'm losing! I'm mad 'cus I don't know how to win!" --Kevin Curtis Daniels Jr.

"And herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor,-all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked,-who is good? Not that men are ignorant, -what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men."
W.E.B. Dubois


"Slaves got options...cowards aint got shit." --PS
"Once upon a time, little need existed for making the distinction between a nigga and a black—at least not in this country, the place where niggas were invented" -- Donnell A

  

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Brooklynite
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Mon Aug-26-02 05:02 PM

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42. "RE: Minibus"
In response to Reply # 33


  

          

Wouldn’t u know I met some
>Jamaicans in the center.i overheard them speaking and picked
>up the accent.. so I went back and asked. They were from
>ATL visiting, so that was cool. Yardies are everywhere, what
>can I say?

Were they Rasta's ? Many Rastafarians either make the trip or would like to make the trip to Ehtiopia for religious and cultural purposes.

((((( The Sig )))))
One year as a resident, deep in sentiment, they shout out GO BROOKLYN!! They representin it - Dante Smith (Brook doesn't do stage names).

I do this for the borough - me (eff that, Cam bit my steeze).

I'M A GIRL GOT DAMN !!! (now

  

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IsaIsaIsa
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posts
Tue Aug-27-02 06:43 AM

49. "rasta's cant afford no trip to afrika,"
In response to Reply # 42


          

thats alotta incense and dime bags to sell.

  

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Chalwa
Member since Jul 25th 2002
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Tue Aug-27-02 08:32 AM

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52. "RE: rasta's cant afford no trip to afrika,"
In response to Reply # 49


  

          

What kinda hypocrisy is this? So how would you explain the Boboshanti Rastas from Jamaica who've been living in Ghana from 1991(even some before that time) Or how do you explain the ones who live in Shashamane presently? SPeak up, i want to hear you...

ANyhow, Kemetian, i plan on making a trod to Ethiopia next year with a sistren from NYC (JAH willing) It's real peace reading your accounts on your trip..Keep us posted.

Selam

  

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Poetiquette
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97. "RE: rasta's cant afford no trip to afrika,"
In response to Reply # 52


  

          

Exactly... how DO you explain that Isa???
Ok, that's what i thought...

Having a baby? Check this out:
www.birthfromtheearth.vpweb.com


www.nbowman.qhealthbeauty.com
www.nbowman.qbeautyzone.com
www.bmartin2.qhealthzone.com
www.quixtar.com

  

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Gyrofrog
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98. "No explanation, I'm sure"
In response to Reply # 97


          

>Exactly... how DO you explain that Isa???

No explanation, other than: "Light fuse and run away"

  

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Federisco
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35. "being a foreigner (from a western country)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

i dont expect kemetian to reply now, but i ask it as a question for her, and then it'll be a question to all.

how do you deal with being the foreigner, when you talk and listen to people and live in the culture and move around in the country?

(this'll perhaps be the last post from me in a while.. im at a new school *raises eyebrows*... a college, and i live here at dorm rooms, so.. just mentioning it so that some will know- it is not to be postjacking. i dont need to go to okayplayer anymore.. hasta siempre!)

░▒▓█▌¹♥▐█▓▒░

proud okayphotographer: http://www.okayplayer.com/okayphotographers/

"Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness." — Marshall McLuhan

  

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The Casm
Member since Jun 02nd 2002
857 posts
Tue Aug-27-02 07:33 AM

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51. "WHAT?"
In response to Reply # 35


  

          

you're leaving Federisco??? i mean, sorry, i didn't fully understand your post, but...are you leaving for good? DAMN! oh no, man, i'm still to reply your message! you can't leave before that!

peace

.:: It's a struggle to be kind in a world that seems so blind ::. - Alana Davis, "Save The Day".

.:: i'm glad you're on my side...still ::. - Tori Amos, "Taxi Ride"

- C

  

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kemetian
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Thu Sep-05-02 05:20 AM

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67. "RE: being a foreigner (from a western country)"
In response to Reply # 35


  

          

>i dont expect kemetian to reply now, but i ask it as a
>question for her, and then it'll be a question to all.
>
>how do you deal with being the foreigner, when you talk and
>listen to people and live in the culture and move around in
>the country?

well, i haven't been roaming around by myself so it hasn't been too bad. i don't stick out either, i look like i cd b ethiopian so as long as i don't open my mouth it's cool. i guess when i do more moving around in the country i'll be able to answer better. i'm just in a "soaking it all in" mode. every time we are travelling i'm looking all around trying to take in all the details, i know they wonder about me sometimes, it's all good tho'. sometimes i'm just saying a silent prayer of thanks.

>
>(this'll perhaps be the last post from me in a while.. im at
>a new school *raises eyebrows*... a college, and i live here
>at dorm rooms, so.. just mentioning it so that some will
>know- it is not to be postjacking. i dont need to go to
>okayplayer anymore.. hasta siempre!)

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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RaAmen
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Mon Aug-26-02 05:19 PM

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43. "RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I wish you a continued educational and cultural experience for the remainder of your visit.

may ALLAH bless you in your travels....

PEACE




My Rotate Solidify:

1. RBG: Revolutionary but Gangsta
-Dead Prez

2. Immortal Technique-Revolutionary Vol. 2.

3. The Tipping Point
-The Roots

4. Beautiful Struggle
-Talib Kweli


The history of contact between the white and black

  

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Allah
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56. "We Will"
In response to Reply # 43
Wed Aug-28-02 03:44 AM

  

          

Peace.

_______________________
"Arm Leg Leg Arm Hate." c/o desus
_______________________
Divine Ruler
http://www.facebook.com/divineruler
__gigs__
__stuff__

  

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BMWK
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Mon Aug-26-02 07:48 PM

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45. "RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I wanna meet an ethiopian woman...fine as hell...shit!!!




"The Best things you want out of life require struggle, if it don't, you getting hustled homeboy, you getting hustled"...Dead Prez~

"This afternoon I'm talking shit to my alarm clock, cause I gotta face this world of Capitalistic onslaught"..

  

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onelove
Member since Jul 23rd 2002
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Tue Aug-27-02 06:19 AM

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47. "RE: Greetings from Ethiopia!!!!"
In response to Reply # 45


  

          

africa is the shit man, despite everything that people say about its amazing when you go there. I have been to Zimbabwe and South Africa a few times. I lived in Botswana for a few years and my fam usually tries to visit botswana every other year or so. Thats where my moms is from. But any country in africa is just a whole nother other.

Beats to go:

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/0/heatrisingproductionsmusic.htm

This flesh
If not because of this flesh
we could fly in the air
swim through the river
walk under the sea
and soon we would be home
soon we would be home.

"Still

  

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ya Setshego
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Wed Aug-28-02 01:15 PM

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59. "U ain' neva lied....."
In response to Reply # 47


  

          

>>any country in
>africa is just a whole nother other.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oooo baby I like it raw. Oooo baby I like it RAAAW!(c)ODB- Shimmy Shimmy Ya

  

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The Casm
Member since Jun 02nd 2002
857 posts
Tue Aug-27-02 07:24 AM

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50. ""God" bless you, Kemetian!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

i'm glad you made it to "motherland"
many blessings and enjoy your time there.

peace

.:: It's a struggle to be kind in a world that seems so blind ::. - Alana Davis, "Save The Day".

.:: i'm glad you're on my side...still ::. - Tori Amos, "Taxi Ride"

- C

  

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Allah
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57. "what a great quote!"
In response to Reply # 50


  

          

Peace.

_______________________
"Arm Leg Leg Arm Hate." c/o desus
_______________________
Divine Ruler
http://www.facebook.com/divineruler
__gigs__
__stuff__

  

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The Casm
Member since Jun 02nd 2002
857 posts
Sun Sep-08-02 08:14 PM

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80. "are you serious or just being ironic?"
In response to Reply # 57
Sun Sep-08-02 08:14 PM

  

          

n/m

peace

.:: It's a struggle to be kind in a world that seems so blind ::. - Alana Davis, "Save The Day".

.:: i'm glad you're on my side...still ::. - Tori Amos, "Taxi Ride"

- C

  

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ya Setshego
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Wed Aug-28-02 12:57 PM

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58. "Salama"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I returned from Kenya 3 weeks ago. I started to post about it when I was over there, but I could not afford to take that much time on the Net since the modems are so slow over there, and the per min. fees are so high.

My experience was beautiful and horrid, peaceful and disturbing, all at once. That pretty much sums up Africa anyway...the REAL Africa...not the one self-proclaimed Afri-centrists fantasize about on these boards. Congratulations on making it to the Motherland though. That is certainly an important pilgrimage for Blacks and Whites alike to make, since all of us ultimately come from there anyway. I've been to Addis before...it was hot as hell, but beautiful, just the same. What is your purpose over there? Are you vacationing, or working?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oooo baby I like it raw. Oooo baby I like it RAAAW!(c)ODB- Shimmy Shimmy Ya

  

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Ximo
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Mon Sep-16-02 09:09 AM

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106. "RE: Salama"
In response to Reply # 58


          

>That is certainly an important pilgrimage for Blacks and Whites
>alike to make, since all of us ultimately come from there
>anyway.

thanks for not excluding whites! even thou i don't feel a strong connection to africa, i really like what i've seen and experienced from some different african nations and definitively want to visit the motherland of all human beings. but i have no idea what people think of us pale people there..

I REMEMBER HIM! -BKyle
A nice OKP memory...

  

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ya Setshego
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Mon Sep-16-02 02:47 PM

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109. "Yes, yes,"
In response to Reply # 106


  

          

I have recently come to understand, or at least acknowledge w/o bitterness, the importance whites place on feeling included in whatever is going on, be it with Africans, or African-Americans. What is so perplexing to me then, is why it is so hard to fathom that we would want the same thing from so-called mainstream white society, i.e. INCLUSION in your institutions of higher learning, exclusive neighborhoods, seats at the boardroom table of fortune 500 companies, etc. Anyhow. To address your pondering, it depends on what part of the continent you visit, how your whiteness would be received. I can tell you though, that the general assumption in the countries where I lived(Botswana, and most recently, Kenya) is that all Americans are white, and rich. That immediately makes you a candidate to be any local's new best friend, so that you can shower some of this wealth upon them, in the name of friendship. I actually led a group to Kenya this past summer, which was predominately white. When the president came to speak in our village, two of the group members went to the open field to hear him speak. Since they were the only wazungu(white people) in the audience, the president's guards escorted them on stage, to sit in the VIP section, 15 feet away from the president. White supremacy is just as alive and vibrant on the continent of Africa as it is in America though, and it tends to rear its ugly head in the form of a reverance for the "power of whiteness" on the part of some Africans, who don't know any better, and are completely colonialized in their thinking. If you would be flattered by that reverance(sp?), you'll love it in the countries I'VE been to. I cannot speak on any countries of the interior, nor the north, because I have never been there.

The whites in my group found their treatment by the people of our village to be amusing, and flattering. They said it made them feel like superstars, because the children would follow them around in droves when they walked throughout the village, daring each other to speak to the wazungu, and elicit a response from them. Needless to say, I separated myself from the group as much as possible. I enjoyed my anonymity, or partial anonymity, which was only compromised when I would wear pants, or start speaking, during which times people would LITERALLY STOP whatever they were doing, and stare at me, and listen to me incredulously, scarcely being able to believe that I had a real American accent, but a black face like theirs.

I could go on, but I don't want to. I am so emotional about this whole subject. I guess that is another reason why I did not start a post about my second volunteer experience in Africa while I was over there this past summer.




>>That is certainly an important pilgrimage for Blacks and Whites
>>alike to make, since all of us ultimately come from there
>>anyway.
>
>thanks for not excluding whites! even thou i don't feel a
>strong connection to africa, i really like what i've seen
>and experienced from some different african nations and
>definitively want to visit the motherland of all human
>beings. but i have no idea what people think of us pale
>people there..

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oooo baby I like it raw. Oooo baby I like it RAAAW!(c)ODB- Shimmy Shimmy Ya

  

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Solarus
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Tue Sep-17-02 12:38 AM

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112. "you should do a post on it"
In response to Reply # 109


  

          

fa real. (Or at least inbox me with the juicy details!)

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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guerilla_love
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Wed Sep-18-02 12:50 AM

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114. "RE: you should do a post on it"
In response to Reply # 112


          

naw,

don't inbox

i wanna hear too

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

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ya Setshego
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Fri Sep-20-02 11:42 AM

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117. "Wha's up, Brah?"
In response to Reply # 112


  

          

I'm ready for my lemon merengue pie right about now. Let me know when and where I can pick it up, and I'll fill you in on ALL the details in person. I'll even bring my pictures. My fam & friends roun' my way are sick of me approaching them with more and more pictures. what's your e-mail address again? I'll send some to you that way as well.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oooo baby I like it raw. Oooo baby I like it RAAAW!(c)ODB- Shimmy Shimmy Ya

  

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kemetian
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Fri Sep-20-02 09:45 PM

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120. "don't bother inboxing Solarus"
In response to Reply # 117


  

          

he doesn't check it. P

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Solarus
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Wed Oct-23-02 06:58 AM

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156. "I was looking to see what"
In response to Reply # 120


  

          

you meant by that. :0!

I'm sorry. It got lost in the sauce. I kept thinking it was old because i had so many other messages on top!!!!!!

The only instances of polyandry that I've heard about was within a group in the Himalayas and amongst indigenous peoples of New Zealand but it is no longer practiced amongst them. In the Bhagava Gita (sp), I remember there being polyandrous relationship in there with one of the main female characters and here several husbands. Though this was fiction it may signify that polyandry was practiced amongst some of the earlier peoples of the land now called India.

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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ya Setshego
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Thu Oct-24-02 02:58 PM

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160. "RE: don't bother inboxing Solarus"
In response to Reply # 120


  

          

Nor his e-mail, from my experience. So anyway, whatever happened to the Yoruba/Akan post?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oooo baby I like it raw. Oooo baby I like it RAAAW!(c)ODB- Shimmy Shimmy Ya

  

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Solarus
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Fri Oct-25-02 12:10 PM

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164. "I don't recall receiving"
In response to Reply # 160


  

          

a email from you in a long time and i check it quite regularly. Maybe you have an old address?

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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kemetian
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Sat Aug-31-02 08:52 PM

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60. "The Mercato"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

The Market
it is said to be the largest one in the continent and is open everyday. my plans are to go tomorrow to buy a traditional outfit (and some souvenirs) for New Year's (sept. 11).

Bargaining is a must, it is best to go with someone who is knows how to haggle well so you don't get jipped.

i will add to this after i have gone though.


Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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13Rose
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61. "RE: The Mercato"
In response to Reply # 60


  

          

Peace and love I will be checking in for the updates.

This post was paid for by the following.

www.twitter.com/13Rose
www.debunkthemyth.org
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www.mothergreen.com

Remember MJ The Great!
PSN: ThirteenRose

  

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kemetian
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Tue Sep-03-02 10:22 PM

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62. "Merkato Continued"
In response to Reply # 60


  

          

Merkato
That is the correct spelling. Merkato isn’t a market really in the conventional sense, it is a city unto itself. It would take days I think to traverse the entire place. There are stalls upon stalls upon stalls. Then there are alleyways that have stalls as well. Merkato has different sections where you can buy traditional clothes, jewelry, incense, bereber (pepper used for cooking), spices, produce, plastic chairs, basins, containers, etc., tools (anyone you could ever want), steel bars, music, electronics, televisions, radios, etc., linens and bedding, truly almost anything you could ever want can be found at Merkato, for a reasonable price – if you can get to that reasonable price.

The money in Ethiopia is called Birr, I think it is at about 8 Birr to US$1 right now.

The Drama
Negotiating over prices is an art really, it’s a drama of sorts. Kemetian went to Merkato to buy some traditional outfits. There were 2 banks that we went to, to change my traveller’s cheques, the first one didn’t do it, the second one was minus the supervisor who needed to sign something (she had left for the day at about 2:30-3:00, ppl are kind of laid back), so it was decided at I should choose what I wanted on that day and then return the next day to purchase them. We went to a stall (they are numbered) with which my hosts were familiar. We went through a narrow alleyway, there were ppl coming and going on both sides, some rather impatient, sort of nudged us out of the way. Up 2 steps we went into the stall. All the while ppl are calling you to their stall, convincing you that that is the one that has what you are looking for. Mostly men run these stalls, some older some middle-aged, some younger. Some stalls have tailors in there to sew the clothes out of material you have selected. And boy is there material. Each stall is rather small, they vary in size tho’. The one we were in was no greater that 20 square feet. With all of the merchandise in there, this significantly cut down on the space. There were some small stools in there covered with goat skin. There was a fluorescent light above and when we entered they closed the curtains. On one side there were rows and rows and rows of material. Some were Natellas, these are wraps worn by folks here. There rather handy, they can be used to protect you from the sun on a hot day, dust and particles, exhaust from trucks, or on a cooler day (of which there have been many) it can protect you from the cold. These are white and made of a gauzy material, some are ribbed, some are not and at the edge, for about 6 inches, there is a design of some sort. There are an infinite amount of designs. I have been told that most have significance and there are some ppl that are so good, they can (hand) make the design from a drawing you bring. Some are on iridescent looking material, some are more understated. Ok that’s one side. On the other side hanging up are dresses. Some are two piece outfits, with design on the edges of the skirt and top. The tops usually are sleeveless or very short-sleeved. On another side are more dresses, these are one-piece, some have elastic at the waist and some do not, these are generally worn with a belt and a wrap. The have a beautiful continuous design around the neck and down the middle to the bottom. They sometimes have the same design on the bottom at the back and around the end of the sleeves. Some designs are associated with the Orthodox church. Some are of a white thick material and some are of a beige soft material, it feels like it just came of the sheep. It’s kind of stretchy. These need to be bought very long because they can shrink. For men there are short suits and long white cotton shirts, with matching pants. There are also these long robes with similar designs on them for men.

Ok after trying on some clothes, Kemetian decides on four outfits. The gentleman charges 310 Birr for Kemetian’s favorite one. This is waaaay too expensive Kemetian has been advised. The negotiations begin. Back and forth back and forth. The next time Kemetian checks as to what the current rate is, it is 180 Birr. He forces the negotiator to feel the material, “look at the beadwork” he is no doubt saying as he pulls on the beads at the end of the outfit. There is a woman sitting in the stall with us. She begins to put her 2 cents in. 2 cents on the vendor’s side. “he is very good boy, (the woman is older) I have been coming here for over 10 years, his prices are reasonable and it is a very nice outfit.” Sheesh lady if we wanted your opinion we would’ve asked you for it. This is not uncommon though, sometimes other customers help the vendor in hopes of getting a discount on what they have to buy, so I can’t really blame her. He sighs, he rubs his head. Ok, 180 Birr. We leave and say we will return the next day. On our way out we stop at another stall that has similar outfits to Kemetian’s favorite. How much?

100 Birr.

The next day we get the traveller’s cheques changed and return Merkato. This time we have an additional negotiator. We will check other vendors to see what they are charging for this outfit. We stop at the vendor who is holding the outfits. We inform him that we have seen the same for 100 Birr. He says no, it’s not the same quality. Again the beadwork. Theirs is done by needle, these are done by hand, it uses a part of the outfit (you’d have to see it to get it) to attach the beads. Theirs will pop off in no time. We will check. He says fine check. We leave we go to other stalls. No other vendor has the outfit that vendor 1 has. They are similar but not the same color. Many had the same color but did not have the star design on the pieces. We go back to vendor 1, he smiles knowingly. You see this too is part of the drama, walking out and coming back. Usually it is the vendor who calls you back though. so we are at a disadvantage.

Kemetian looks at the beadwork. Crap, he’s right, it _is_ better quality. So we’re back to 180 Birr. C’mon at least 150 Birr.

Oh i forgot to tell you, Kemetian decided on the way over to get only 1 outfit. It is very hard to bargain around New Year’s because ppl have come from the countryside and the vendors are assured a sale. Better to wait until after the new year to get the rest. Sounds good.

The additional negotiator is doing a great job. What’s he saying? "He says 160 Birr final offer." Great we’ll take it. it’s in the bag already. Oh BTW tell him we’re only taking one outfit today as Kemetian hands Negotiator 1 200 Birr, cheerfully. Negotiator 1 relays the message. Suddenly Kemetian’s outfit is flying out of the bag and onto a hanger. um, what’s going on? Why is he hanging up the outfit? The vendor is shaking his head forcefully. He slaps Negotiator 1’s hand with the money in it. Negotiator 1 says, “you know what he said, the only reason he gave you 160 Birr for the outfit is because he thought you were getting ALL of the outfits.” Oh great. Well Kemetian is certainly not leaving the outfit there, after all that hard work? Besides Kemetian feels kind of bad since he had been left with that impression. Ok, ok, what if we get 2 outfits. Good sign, the outfit is moving off of the hanger. So for this and that outfit 310 Birr. They talk more, more hand slapping. In one last ditch effort, Kemetian says tell him just make it 300 Birr even. Neg 1 “That’s what I just told him, he says he is not making any profit with us” Oh c’mon, 300? “OK give 100 Birr more.” Whew. My host says “tell him don’t worry we’re coming back. We are good customers” Neg 1 relays message. The man smiles, "Ishi (ok) Ishi." The greetings are exchanged, we bow and smile, he bows and smiles and shakes each of our hands. Ishi. All is well, we leave friends.

I think.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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guerilla_love
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Wed Sep-04-02 01:53 AM

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63. "RE: Merkato Continued"
In response to Reply # 62


          

i can picture it

a friend of ours taped the merkato when he went last year

i have one of the straight dresses with design down the middle and matching nuttela

there was this big ethiopian soccor match here a few months ago where i fell in love with a cross (i'm sure you can understand that by this point). no-body would negotiate beyond a couple dollars on either side! because their sale was guaranteed etc etc etc- and _believe_me_ i had a big team of negotiators in there yelling.

i am amazed more and more by the role of women in ethiopia. how are you adjusting? have you seen the zoo? my husband grew up right near the zoo.

are you staying in addis for the new year?

how is the amharic coming?

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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kemetian
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Wed Sep-04-02 05:38 AM

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65. "RE: Merkato Continued"
In response to Reply # 63


  

          


>there was this big ethiopian soccor match here a few months
>ago where i fell in love with a cross (i'm sure you can
>understand that by this point). no-body would negotiate
>beyond a couple dollars on either side! because their sale
>was guaranteed etc etc etc- and _believe_me_ i had a big
>team of negotiators in there yelling.
>
>i am amazed more and more by the role of women in ethiopia.
>how are you adjusting? have you seen the zoo?

no hopefully soon tho'.
my husband
>grew up right near the zoo.

tight!
>are you staying in addis for the new year?
yes ma'am. it shd be fun even if i can't afford to schmooze with the big wigs at Sheikh Al-Amoudi's obscenely opulent hotel: The Sheraton. over a thousand Birr for the night!! i think we will visit ppl and have ppl over.they told me to get ready 10 kilos of onions to peel, lambs and chickens to kill (yuck), washing, cleaning, preparing. it shd be fun, so there will definitely be a post on that.
other upcoming posts:
1. Christians and Muslims, Muslims and Christians
2. The People (definitely have to dispel that myth of the "Ethiopan look." ppl here run the gamut as far as looks go, no rules on complexion, features, hair texture, etc.)
3. The New Year
4. Trips to places


>how is the amharic coming?
actually it's coming quite well, the greetings are a little difficult for me, but i can say finished i have to say this alot, the host is determined to add at least 2 kilos to my frame, a little wat "tinesh wat" , alot of greens "bizou gomen" which i have to say alot too. um, when i feel more comfortable i will share more.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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guerilla_love
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Wed Sep-04-02 06:04 AM

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66. "RE: Merkato Continued"
In response to Reply # 65


          

one thing that i just learned and am ashamed i didn't know was this tradition:

host offers boona shai
guest says no thank you
host insists
guest partakes

and with older people, the host must not offer but rather just bring. otherwise the guest will starve rather than say yes

doesn't apply to faranji though..... i guess not too much does.

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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Gyrofrog
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Thu Sep-05-02 08:43 AM

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68. "Coffee or tea?"
In response to Reply # 66


          

>host offers boona shai

Are they asking if you want coffee (boona) or tea (shai -- derived from chai?) or are they offering you both? Those are two of the dozen or so Amharic words that I know, so I was wondering why someone would ask if you wanted both...

Have you learned "bekaw" (maybe it's "berkawn") which means "I've had enough food?" I had to say that a lot to my fiancee's mom when she was here. I guess she was saying the Amharic equivalent of "Eat, eat! You're skin and bones!" (c) Kramer

  

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Gyrofrog
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Thu Sep-05-02 04:47 PM

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69. "Oops"
In response to Reply # 68
Thu Sep-05-02 04:48 PM

          

For some reason I thought Kemetian wrote that, not G_Love. I'm sure G_Love is already familiar with "bekhane" or however you spell it. ;-D

  

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kemetian
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Thu Sep-05-02 10:32 PM

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72. "Beka"
In response to Reply # 69


  

          

Baka, Bakash, Bakan, i've heard it all, and i've used it, TRUST ME.

i have the same problem here dealing with ppl who keep food on my plate D, i will have gained some kilos (and a tan hopefully) i say baka, it's like it's sign to put 2 more heaping helpings! it's all good tho'


Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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guerilla_love
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Mon Sep-09-02 01:46 AM

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84. "buna shai?"
In response to Reply # 68


          

it's like saying "anyone want summa this coffee or tea?"

and then people say no

and then u ask again later

and then they say yes

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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FireBrand
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Wed Sep-04-02 02:34 AM

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64. "Sounds really interesting...str8 up."
In response to Reply # 62


  

          

-------------
avatar?
In celebration of Black beauty...damn!

My DJ pic


"I don't have class. What do I need class for? I'd rather have no class and have money than having class and no money. Which would you take if you had a chance?" --Poppa Williams.

"Well, when your every breath and will to live is an act of resistance, you cannot help but be 'too political'. To do otherwise is to hide, to live in denial and defeat." --ArabHottie

" If we can't learn to live together despite the turmoil of past generations we are doomed." -Stern


"And where today is the stable community that would sustain such a couple, where one can be both poor and diginified and raise one's children with decency and hope... If the answer is education, does our society adequateley provide that tool of self-improvement to the less well off?"-- Sidney Poitier

" I'm not mad 'cus I'm losing! I'm mad 'cus I don't know how to win!" --Kevin Curtis Daniels Jr.

"And herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor,-all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked,-who is good? Not that men are ignorant, -what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men."
W.E.B. Dubois


"Slaves got options...cowards aint got shit." --PS
"Once upon a time, little need existed for making the distinction between a nigga and a black—at least not in this country, the place where niggas were invented" -- Donnell A

  

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Gyrofrog
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Thu Sep-05-02 05:11 PM

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71. "RE: Merkato"
In response to Reply # 62


          

>The gentleman charges 310 Birr for Kemetian’s
>favorite one. . . . The next time Kemetian checks
>as to what the current rate is, it is 180 Birr.

My fiancee can't believe that you found a nice habesha dress for 180 Birr in Merkato, but if so then please buy some more for her! ;-D

Also she couldn't believe that the vendor did not act nasty when you left without buying something!

How is the jewelry (e.g. gold prices) in Piassa, still cheap? She says it was cheap when she was there two years ago. (Go eat some baklava in Mekonnen Bar at the Piassa)

"Dehna edereh"

--Joe C. & Ege the Konjo


  

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kemetian
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Sun Sep-08-02 05:53 AM

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75. "The Wedding Part I"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

The Wedding

I attended a protestant wedding yesterday. We were told there would be a small ceremony and that’s it. We were given invitations and a pink slip for admittance into Ambassador Park. Early that morning we chartered a taxi to the house of the groom (we are friends of the groom). It was actually a small compound with several houses clustered together. We entered a small house made of mud. They are called ‘natural homes’ by Ethiopians. Natural home are made of mud and straw, ppl I spoke to said they are like cement. They pack the mud and straw together, some are made with sticks standing vertically with mud in between. Some are painted, some are not. The house we were in was painted inside and out. Decorations were put up all over the house which consisted of 2 rooms. The room we were sitting in and a small adjacent kitchen. The room we sat in had several chair in it a bed against the wall on the right of the door and a couch against the wall across from the door. The lights were on and there were a few religious posters up. The groom’s family is orthodox Christian. We learned that we were in the home of the groom’s grandmother: the Matriarch. I hear tell she’s been saying she’s 85 for several years now, she has certainly been around much longer. We sat down on the couch chit-chatting with the groom’s uncle. The groom was getting dressed in his house, beside that of the grandmother. The uncle went to get the grandmother who was in another house. She came inside and we all stood and gave greetings, she gives wonderful kisses. She holds your face and kisses you on both cheeks twice, alternating as is tradition. She then motioned for us to sit and we did. We had had a bite to eat before leaving so our stomachs were not empty. More family members came and sat in the chairs, all of a sudden it became very busy. Ppl were going and coming and we were offered something to eat. ‘no thank you we are fine’ are you sure really? Tinesh (little, not to be confused with ‘dinitch’ - potato) have a little.’ Really that’s ok. ‘you sure? ok’ about 3 times they came back and offered so we finally relented and said ok, tinesh. ‘yes of course, tinesh’.

we should have known better.

One person came out with a bowl and a pitcher of water. With them we washed our right hands. And out came the injerra. We all took some and some wat came out. This was of a dark red color with lamb in it. Oh this is nice, tinesh, amasakenalo (thank you). ‘ishi’ We began eating, then some more food came out, it looked like curry to me, potatoes, carrots, lamb. We figured that that was it. After that, rice came out and soon we each had a large plate of food. More ppl came and ate and we struggled to finish the food. ‘anything to drink?’ some ppl had a light homemade beer (T’ala) others had juice or chai (tea). The pitcher, bowl and a bar of soap came out and we all cleaned our hands.
Shortly thereafter we heard men singing and clapping from the groom’s house. The groom and his friends came out, singing and clapping, ppl came out of the neighbouring houses and clapped along. The women made that lo-lo-lo-lo sound. The men made their way to grandmother’s house. They and the ppl already inside made a semi-circle around the groom, grandmother and the groom’s uncle and his cousin, who were seated. Everyone else was standing and clapping and singing. A particularly energetic man who was leading the song went around a spritzed perfume on everyone, starting with grandmother. After a while the groom kissed grandmother on both cheeks and went outside, each person in the room (which was packed) did this and mad either way outside to the compound, all the while singing. After a little bit the crowd quieted down while the man leading (I’ll just call him the best man from now on) prayed. Amin. Everyone proceeded outside the compound where there were more ppl waiting outside, neighbours were looking on curiously. The groom boarded a brightly decorated car, then ppl entered their cars and we proceeded to the bride’s house. Ppl put on their hazard lights, beeped their horns all the (long) way to the bride’s house. The cars parked at a small village, where neighours were looking on. Ppl came out of the cars and resumed singing and clapping. We stood outside of her house, men singing, women clapping. This time however, singing could be heard from inside the bride’s home. The voices were of women however. So men were singing outside and women singing inside. Then the men went inside and the 2 groups met. As many ppl as could fit into the small natural home went. The 2 met and sat on a couch. Ppl took pictures and sang. They took pictures of them. Then someone else led everyone in prayer.

Singing and clapping again as the bride and groom made their way into the wedding carriage. Everyone now, bride’s family and friends and groom’s family and friends made their way in their cars, horns beeping, hazard lights blinking all the way to Ambassador Park.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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kemetian
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Sun Sep-08-02 05:54 AM

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76. "RE: The Wedding Part II"
In response to Reply # 75


  

          

At Ambassador Park we presented our pink slips to the person at the gate and went to an area of the park where there was a small round building. All around the park there are little places one can sit and little huts. I’m sure it looks really nice when it’s dry but it was raining. So it was a little hard to maneuver around. (I have a lovely brown spatter pattern all over my shoes and the bottom of my clothes as evidence of the muddy conditions). All of the ppl gathered under a tree not far from the small round building, trying to stay dry, still clapping and singing and lo-lo-lo-ing (we’re troopers). There was another wedding to our right. This was an orthodox wedding I was told, you can tell by all of the dancing and use of traditional instruments. There weren’t very many ppl in this party however. The bride of that wedding was very a very young beautiful Ethiopian woman in traditional dress. As I followed her arm to her hand to see who the lucky groom was I was horrified to see it attached to an OLD crusty newly dyed hair Caucasian man. Surely this is not the groom? ‘yes she is marrying farengi’ this will be the segue to a forthcoming thread entitled “Love is Love or How to Get Out of Ethiopia.’ Anyway, back to MY wedding.

After some time our couple proceeded into the small round building. Some ppl came out to make space b/c some ppl were already in there. Many of us stayed outside in the rain under the tree waiting for our couple to come back out. Meanwhile another wedding group came. I learned later that the actual wedding happened in the small building. There was a couple getting married in there that was protestant also, so they congratulated each other, grooms and brides kissed each other and they took pictures. Couple 1 and friends then left the building. Our couple exchanged rings, took pictures then sat down at a table groom’s witnesses beside him and bride’s witnesses beside her. They each signed a huge book and got a license from an official who was in there. They took more pictures (this might not be the actual order as I was not in there, I saw this later on a videotape). That was it – they were hitched. They came outside and we were singing and clapping again and made our way to another section of the park that was decorated. There was a place that was covered over that had balloons and streamers and congratulatory flyers. The newlyweds sat on a bench underneath the covering with the bridesmaids and groomsmen (?) and the best man. The rain had let up by now. A preacher came out in front and said a prayer and a short sermon. It was in Amharic so I’m afraid I can’t give the details but I picked up Xavier (trinity) and Yesus Kristos (Jesus Christ) several times. Then tarp and plastic came off a long line of tables full of food and drinks. The newlyweds ate first and a very long line was made ppl helped themselves to injerra, (meat) wat, and what looked like injerra mixed with meat and potatoes. Some were in a goatskin container. Men went first and some brought back food for their female companions. Everyone was fed (it was amazing, b/c for a ‘small’ ceremony there were ALOT of ppl). We sat beside the bride and groom as ppl came up and congratulated them. They looked very happy, but seemed calm. They look very compatible, I had met the groom earlier and he is very mild-mannered and quiet. His bride, who looked gorgeous (she wore a European wedding gown, complete with tiara and veil and he wore a navy suit with light blue bow tie that had an additional small white bow in front of it) seemed the same way.
***********interlude***************
Their dress was in contrast to the orthodox wedding party I saw where the groom wore a long white shirt with matching pant and white sandals. He had a white gauzy wrap draped over both shoulders so that the ends were hanging in the back and the front made a vee effectively covering the white shirt. The ends of the wrap had a really beautiful design on it. He held in his hand a stick that had white animal hair (I think) hanging at one end. The rest of it was wrapped in ribbons the colors of Ethiopia (red green and gold). The woman wore a traditional Ethiopian dress.
*******end of interlude**********

After ppl gave their congratulations that was pretty much it. All in all it was a great experience. It was a lot of fun, all of that singing and the procession. It felt very communal.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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guerilla_love
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Mon Sep-09-02 01:55 AM

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85. "RE: The Wedding Part II"
In response to Reply # 76


          

we have this tape of my brother in law's wedding in eritrea that we swear is 3 unedited days long..................

he had a veeeeery traditional wedding in eritrea, including street dancing & dowry & everything

i hear the lolololololo's still from reading your descriptions!

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

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Gyrofrog
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Sun Sep-08-02 03:58 PM

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78. "RE: The Wedding Part I"
In response to Reply # 75
Sun Sep-08-02 04:06 PM

          

>We had had a bite to eat before leaving so
>our stomachs were not empty.

I'll BET you just had a bite! "No, bekaw, bekaw, okay, okay, tinesh."


Can you post any pictures from the wedding? My sister is very curious (she's been married almost 5 years and STILL reads wedding magazines).

Also, can you give any other details about the farenji wedding? Because that could be me! (Except for the middle-aged crisis/dyed-hair part, and I've already known my fiancee 7 years, and she's been in the US for 10.)

I'm not sure you ever answered (or maybe you chose not to), but what brought you to Ethiopia? Did you already know the people with whom you're staying?

  

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Kream
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Sun Sep-08-02 02:21 PM

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77. "I just got back today!"
In response to Reply # 0


          


Wow.. I might have even met you!
Have a great time...

Peace,
Kream

  

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kemetian
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Sun Sep-08-02 07:53 PM

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79. "Wow! That's wonderful"
In response to Reply # 77


  

          

Please share your experiences with us.
any tips? any places you think i shd visit?
whereabouts did you stay, how long where you here?

ok i think that's enough for now.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Kream
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Mon Sep-09-02 07:19 AM

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90. "My 2 cents"
In response to Reply # 0


          


Okay a few places you have to visit:

In Addis: Sheraton - Pretentious patrons, beautifully designed, completely out of place.. however you have to visit it just because it's one of a kind in Africa.
-Azmari beyt - Specifically toul-toul'es azmari beyt. She is one of the best in town and speaks passing English as well.
-Abesha restaurant has one of the best 'ethnic shows' in Addis. They present a range of dances and costumes from various tribes.

The beggars on the street are a shock for the first few weeks. You should try not to give them more than 20c each (a loaf of bread), or you will definitely find you'll deplete your funds in a very short period of time. Unfortunately, there has also been a case of organized begging. Their 'pimp' would literally cut the legs of the children & have them beg at certain parts of the city.
Judging from your various updates, you seem to be getting around and handling Addis well.

If you plan to travel outside Addis, Baher dar, Axum, Lalibella, Harare are all a must. If you have the time, the south and south western areas contain the least 'advertised' tribes, and are definitely worth the trip (e.g Gambella region)
If you're going to shashemene, stop by Langano & wondo genet. Lake Langano is pretty much the only body of water that is safe to swim in. It's a dirty brown colour, which are only minerals that is extremely beneficial to your hair/skin. In Langano there are 3 resorts. Wabe'sheblla, bakelamola & a new one Bishangari (bishangari.com). I highly recommend bishangari. It's on par with the Sheraton: something that hasn't been experienced in Ethiopia.

Lastly, enjoy the food!!! Most of seemed to have been mentioned in previous posts except for the wide array of fruits. Personally I loved waking up to drink avocado, pineapple, papaya, guava, orange & carrot. All of them fresh & organic!!
Also make sure you try 'geshta.'

Have fun & be safe!
Kream

  

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Gyrofrog
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Mon Sep-09-02 05:01 PM

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92. "Geshta?"
In response to Reply # 90


          

>Also make sure you try 'geshta.'

What's that, exactly?

  

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Kream
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Thu Sep-12-02 04:00 AM

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101. "Hard to explain"
In response to Reply # 92


          


Unfortunately I don't know what it's called in English. The outer surface is green & black, coarse and bumpy. Inside the fruit, the edible part is extremely sweet, sticky & white, with lots and lots of seeds.
I can't seem to find a picture to show you on the net. Sorry..

Pease,
Kream

  

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kemetian
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Fri Oct-25-02 07:58 AM

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163. "Sweetsop!!!"
In response to Reply # 92


  

          

try geshta? i grew up on that stuff in Jamaica. i was soooooo happy to see it, i hadn't had it since i was in JA, which unfortunately is a long time ago. it was great!

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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guerilla_love
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Wed Sep-11-02 07:19 AM

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99. "ond meskerem"
In response to Reply # 0


          

happy new year!!!

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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kemetian
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Wed Sep-11-02 08:52 AM

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100. "Happy New Year!!!!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

inquanaderasachew (or something like that)

Hey folks! Today marks the first day of the Ethiopian New Year. it's been a wonderful holiday but it's not over yet b/c today the actual New Year Day is on the day of fast (tsawm), that's every Wednesday and Friday, so lots of festivities (read: meat-eating/feasting) are being put off until tomorrow.

The dorowat making has started tonight tho', there's wat but no doro (chicken), those suckers'll be slaughtered in the morning along with the bg (sheep). . so at the end of the day tomorrow or thereabouts i will have a full report on the festivities, maybe in the 3 parts but at least in 2.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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kemetian
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Fri Sep-13-02 08:52 AM

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102. "Addis Amet 1995 Part I"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Addis Amet: New Year - 1995

Well, Addis Amet festivities began before the 11th, with groups of little girls coming to the house singing New Years songs. There was generally a leader, an older one who led the song to whom the little ones responded. One usually had a drum slung over one shoulder that she played. They were really cute, I took pictures of many of them. They were then paid for their talents, depending on the size of the group.

New Year’s eve was full of work, going to the market to buy the food needed for the New Year. We went a little outside of Addis to find both a bg and doro. We passed many ppl on the way with large herds of bg. In the cases where 2 or more farmers were traveling together sheep were marked in the forehead with different colors to differentiate them. After much bargaining and asking different farmers, some of whom wanted to charge over 300 Birr for their sheep, we finally found one for 160 Birr, even tho at the last minute the man tried to change the price to 170 Birr. Into the back of the pickup went the bg, all legs tied together. No luck with doro. The next day a neighbor brought 2 for us. There was a bit of trouble tying them together, it involved chasing them around the yard: an art not to be underestimated. One has to spend quite some time inching toward the chicken, sometimes it would catch on & move away. Then all of sudden pounce on its tail feathers. Sometime you end up with just feathers and no doro tho. Anyway finally they were attached by a long string at the legs, giving them limited freedom of movement. The sheep was allowed to roam the backyard after a barrier was put up between it and the front yard. Imagine my surprise then when quietly reading a book at the front of the house the sheep, standing no more than 5 feet in front of me interrupted my reading with a loud “Baaa!!!” I nearly fell off my chair, after which I returned the greeting then hastily let the others know the sheep had found its way through the barrier. The sheep and I exchanged many such greetings during the course of the next 2 days. The sheep lived to see the New Year because it fell on Wednesday, a day of fasting, so no animals were killed or eaten on the actual day of the New Year.

Later on in the day, the house was cleaned from top to bottom, windows shined, floors mopped, etc. The singing girls provided a welcome respite from our work when they came. Grass was bought to spread on the floor along with Meskel flowers (yellow flowers that bloom at this time of year) to decorate the house. Long bundles of sticks were bought as well. As it got dark we prepared to have ppl over. All of the chairs, stools and anything that could be passed off as something to sit on was put outside in the front of the house. Grass was spread on the verandah. The big humongous dabo (bread) that had been baked the day before was put out on display. Popcorn was popped before the coffee was made during the coffee ceremony. This is not usually done b/c as was done that night, all the popcorn might be eaten before the coffee is served.

Ok! I confess! I’m guilty! I ate about 2/3s of the popcorn. My hand took on a mind of its own really.

Anyway, soft drinks were brought out and the coffee ceremony began. The coffee beans were roasted over the natural charcoal. Incense was burned and a white candle was lit. When the coffee beans were ready, they were put into a small container and passed around for ppl to smell them. It smelled wonderful. Then the beans were put into a grinder and ground (usually it is ground with a large mortar and pestle, but we have a grinder so…). During this time water was boiling and a bit of this was added to the traditional coffee pitcher. The pitcher was put onto the natural charcoal and heaping teaspoons of coffee were added to it. The charcoal was fanned to keep it hot. Forgive me any experts out there if I have described anything inaccurately or left out some parts. I will be required to do one before I leave so by then I will have it down. When it was ready it was served in tiny teacups.

During this time many neighbours had come over and there was an audience of roughly 12 ppl watching. The dabo was then cut by the heads of households and shared out to the neighbours, along with the apparently ever-important soft drinks. Ethiopian holiday music was playing the entire time. A group of ppl got up to dance. After not much insistence I got up and joined them. This dance consisted of a bouncing of the shoulders, up and down, back and forth. I basically just copied what the sister I was dancing with was doing and held my own to the surprise of the neighbours and my hosts. I got a few lo-lo-los which was cool. Truth be told this dance is not unlike whatever the name of the bounce was that was out a few years back. If you can do that, you can do this. my dance partner then thought she was flipping it on me by changing the movement and concentrating on the neck only, she pulled it back then released. This too, is not unlike dances black folks do in the U.S. so it was a piece o’ cake. We had a great time, dancing and clapping. Finally it got dark and it was time for the highlight of the night: The Chibbo ceremony.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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kemetian
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Fri Sep-13-02 08:53 AM

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103. "Addis Amet 1995 Part II"
In response to Reply # 102


  

          

Traditionally one bundle of sticks is collected for each member of the household. When it gets sufficiently dark, each member of the household lights one of these and runs to the front of house. The burning ends are placed together, forming a bonfire. In this case, neighbours and household members lit the bundles and rushed outside the gate with them. When all bundles had been lit, a circle was formed by the ppl (the number of which had grown considerably, even a man who was passing the house on his way to somewhere else, stopped and joined in) around the bundles which looked like the spokes of a wheel, fire in the center. We then began singing and clapping and running counterclockwise around the fire. Some of the little ones were frightened at the fire and one began to cry. Another instead of running around the fires in the circle with the rest of us, headed straight for the gate to the safety of the house. We stopped after a while and just sang, well actually i didn’t sing as I didn’t know the songs. one of them sounded like the response was “lam, lam” I like that one. Clapping, lo-lo-loing, singing until finally the fire went out. We then thanked everyone for coming, exchanging kisses, handshakes and dena darews, dena dares, amasakenalos, amins, exirstilins and ciaos. This was at about 10:00. we then replaced all of the chairs and what was passing off as chairs to their rightful places, brought in the things from the coffee ceremony and the remaining dabo. We then sat on the couch and looked at the festivities on ETV.

They were broadcasting live from Wabe Shebela hotel. How I wish we were able to get the VCR working. They showed traditional dances from the Amhara, Oromo, Gurage, Tigre (Tigray) and Wolaita ethnic groups. This was serious dancing. Some of it is like breaking dancing and popping and locking only ten times faster and with 20 times more intensity. No wonder di man dem so mawga ova ya. Words really don’t do it justice. It was tight. The Wolaita dances looked most like West African dance, with more hip movements from the women. I think it was the Oromo dancing where the women were turning their heads round and round, they looked as if they might roll right off their necks at any moment. I’ve GOT to learn some of this. We watched until 12:00 am, wished each other Happy New Year then I, being the old fogey that I am went promptly to bed, I was beat, I had barely made it to 12:00.

The next morning there was no baaing to be heard. The sheep had met its fate. When I got to kitchen, its meat was sitting there. Before dealing with that however, we had to get dressed and visit family members. We visited the couple who had got married a week prior, right before that we visited the groom’s uncle. We got into a very interesting conversation I will have to share later on the state of African leadership. He said he thought the blacks of America very courageous, b/c at least they fight the whites face to face. He expressed the powerless feeling ppl have and his frustration at what he termed Africans’ “backwardness.” He looks at technology in the West and thinks that it is due to Blacks’ complacency and stagnation as to why they do not advance as well. He said while most ppl are proud of the Nubian and Egyptian civilizations they do not see that they are benefiting Blacks now. What do you think is the solution to this problem?
We will continue the conversation on Sunday when he comes over to visit.

We then returned home to cook lamb, use the 10 kilos (no lie!) of onions to finish the dorowat and chop and cut and slice and cut and chop and cook. Later the evening we went to a neighbour’s house for dinner. I realize now how to get ppl not to put any more food on your plate. Fling yourself across the plate and repeat beka several times, rapidly. Because I’ve noticed ppl will say Beka? You say beka. Then they (what you think is) ask beka while plopping another heaping helping of food on your plate. And then they’ll be like Bi, bi (eat, eat). I mean didn’t I just say beka? No more drink? You must first of all be ever vigilant ‘cause most times they won’t even ask, they’ll just refill the glass. When you see them coming place your hand over the glass and say beka. If you can’t stay long and don’t want them to get any food, hold them back while they are going to get it, because even tho they ask, they are going to get it anyway, regardless of your answer. If you do this you are guaranteed to get only a light snack and a full glass (no matter how many times you empty it) as opposed to a full meal.

This New Year was the most fun I’ve had…let’s see…ever. Yep, far as I can remember. Anyway. I would be nice if we did similar things in the US, in particular the Chibbo ceremony.


Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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kemetian
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Sun Sep-15-02 08:43 AM

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104. "Worldspace"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

has anyone ever heard of this type of satellite radio? it was invented by an ethiopian based in DC.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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guerilla_love
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Mon Sep-16-02 01:56 AM

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105. "the bomb on addis amet"
In response to Reply # 0


          

anyone know anything?

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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kemetian
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Mon Sep-16-02 10:27 AM

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108. "i actually heard about it"
In response to Reply # 105


  

          

from my mother, who wrote to inquire. apparently 3 bombs were set off at a Tigre (Tigray?) hotel on Addis Amet. no one knows why or who. some ppl were injured, i'm not sure if ppl dides. it USED to be owned by an Eritrean so the thinking is that maybe the perp didn't know it was no longer owned by one and was expressing his feeling over the whole eritrea thing.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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guerilla_love
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8273 posts
Wed Sep-18-02 12:47 AM

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113. "RE: i actually heard about it"
In response to Reply # 108


          

1-2 dead, 37 injured

yeh, i think it was about the eritrea thing......

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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Ximo
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351 posts
Mon Sep-16-02 09:25 AM

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107. "Current situation in Ethiopia?"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon Sep-16-02 09:26 AM

          

It's great to hear your experiences from Ethiopia! It's good to see an okayplayer going to Africa

Anyway - in my school there's an Ethiopian man (also one from Somalia) that has told me that he wouldn't go back to his home country because of the (still) bad situation.. He has been a refugee most of his life, first running away from his home in Eithiopia when he was a young boy, then escaping wars for several years until his family got to Somalia which wasn't very good either. He got to Norway, where he's been for 4 years learning Norwegian (in a cold ass place up north), and is currently studying music here in my school. However, he told me that he want to go back to Somalia and Ethiopia when things are better in those countries. I'm just wondering.. Is the situation really that bad in those countries?

I REMEMBER HIM! -BKyle
A nice OKP memory...

  

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kemetian
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Fri Sep-20-02 04:41 AM

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115. "Entoto: A Radical Ritual pt. I"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

T’ena yist’illin! Indamin nash? Dahna nash?
(Hello!, How are you? Are you well?)

“…Radical Ritual…involves major repair of the broken or damaged human psyche or spirit. In such a ritual, the physical body is pushed to extreme in order to create a situation of tension favorable for the removal of unwanted energetic debris and the restoration of a much more acceptable self.” (Somé, Healing Wisdom of Africa, p150)

Entoto is a mountain that has several attractions, including the St. Mary Church that Menelik was a member of, his palace and a museum dedicated to him and his wife. Further up the mountain is a rock-hewn church that has a cave underneath it. We haven’t made it there yet. On the other side of the mountain going down past his palace is Entoto’s greatest attraction: the healing springs. As I mentioned before people come from all around the world to receive healing from these springs, and people have emerged from Entoto cured of AIDS and other deadly diseases. After being healed many Muslims have converted to Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. This place is run by priests. It is free of charge to go to the healing springs. Compared to the healing springs, Menelik’s palace and museum are not nearly as exciting, so I’ll skip our first trip.

We were supposed to get there at 12:30 am Ethiopian time, that’s 6:30 am EST. As were climbing the mountain (in a vehicle, you would not seriously walk up the mountain, I mean you could but it would be very difficult.) at 8:00 am that morning (you know Black folks) we admired the view of Addis Ababa - breathtaking is not the word. We saw women going down the mountain with very large bundles of eucalyptus branches on their backs. So heavy were the bundles that most women’s backs were bent at a 60 degree angle from upright. Your typical bundle is 2.5-3 ft in diameter and 12 ft long. They were perpendicular to the women, most of it hanging on either side of their tiny backs. The eucalyptus trees on Entoto mountain are very tall and beautiful. We finally reached its summit and parked where we did the previous day, in front of St. Mary’s church. Our plan was to go the rock-hewn church after getting our little sprinkling in the springs, so I decided after some deliberation, to bring my camera to avoid having to go back to the vehicle to get my camera. We gathered our plastic bottles in which we would store the special water, actually I’ve been asked not to call it water, because it is not. It is tsabl. Ok, so we gathered our plastic bottles in which we would store the tsabl to take back home. I wrapped my nutella around myself concealing my purse and the camera dangling around my neck. Down the rocks we went, turning the first corner, there were several people were going down the mountain as well. We ended up walking with a group of 3 ethiopian men who were familiar with the do’s and don’ts of Entoto healing as the first thing they said to my hosts was that women are supposed to wear a ca’mise to go to the springs. After some exchange they relented and said it probably wouldn’t be a problem. One, after glancing at my hair, took the opportunity to talk about Jamaicans and how many Jamaicans and others come to Entoto’s healing springs.

After about a mile down the mountain I began to wonder where exactly these springs were. the day before someone had told us that it was just behind the palace but this was getting ridiculous. As we went further down though the place began to really look magical. I don’t know if was the time of day or what. But we were now in Entoto forest and the greenery looked really really green. The sunlight danced off of the leaves in such a way that made the place look so beautiful it looked unreal. Seriously. You know Myst or Riven or Myst III? It looked like one of those computer animation virtual places. The colors and light were so perfect, at any moment I expected a little elf or something to come out and talk to us. The birds were chatting animatedly amongst themselves, and the dirt was red, like what we have in Jamaica and moist. When I was small i had a tape of African fairytales that I think I borrowed and didn’t return to Dudley library in Boston. One of the stories was the Moss Green princess. The narrator this bright green moss monster whose skin a princess had to live in. anyway, the author must have been inspired by the bright green moss growing on the rocks on Entoto mountain. we crossed over a little wooden bridge underneath which ran a small stream and began to hear voices.
Loud voices.
Loud screaming voices.
The people who accompanied us told us not to be frightened, it would be fine. Ok. Someone on the side of the mountain was selling little religion books and had a large bundle of necklaces each consisting of a thin black string and a wooden cross. Some crosses were light brown, some were dark brown, some looked like a T and some were fatter and more ornate. “You must have on one of these or else they won’t let you in.”
Are you serious?
“Yes.”
We each bought one for 1 Birr each, I took the darkest one that looked most like an ankh, attached it around my neck and kept moving. Hey, do what you gotta do.
Moving closer to the voices we began to see people sitting down on the rocks close to tour destination. One more stop though. People were kissing and kneeling at a large stone cross as the last turn before our destination. I skipped that part, but at this point we were required to take off our shoes and make the rest of the sojourn barefooted. After getting used to the rocks, there was no grass at this point only a large variety of rocks on which to walk on, it wasn’t so bad. We finally reached the loudest point of the screams and our destination. There were signs in Amharic. The gatekeeper, the man at the front of another longer bridge commented on the ca’miseless hosts. He then rearranged one of my hosts nutellas to fashion a skirt around her waist. Then he checked to make sure that we were non-smokers. Smokers are not permitted to Entoto’s springs. Everybody checked out and we were permitted to cross the bridge. We left our shoes on the other side and left our containers as well. After crossing the bridge there is a little hut where people are required to sign their names in a book. There were lots of people all around now. In front of a little hut was a man burning what smelled like frankincense. The screams as you can imagine were very loud now and coming from an enclosure. I fell a little behind my hosts as I tried to take in everything around me. There were people who were cold and shivering and were putting on their clothes. By the time I had reached the door there was hold up with my hosts. Huh? What’s the problem?

“We have to take off ALL of our clothes?!!!,” one of my hosts said.
It was very dimly lit inside the place, there was singing on one side, occasional shouts on another side and there were LOTS of people, all over. Men and women.

“Is it really necessary to take off ALL of our clothes?”
“Yes, ALL clothes out”

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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kemetian
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Fri Sep-20-02 04:43 AM

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116. "Entoto: A Radical Ritual pt. II"
In response to Reply # 115


  

          



In “Submerge” on Maxwell’s Embrya CD there is a line where he says “Words are demeaning…” I think this applies to the Entoto healing springs experience, so I will not describe the details of the experience. When you emerge though you are changed, the extent to which depends on the seriousness of your intention or purpose for going and faith you have in the process. I have no doubt that people who seriously seek healing receive it there. The experience fits with Some’s description of a radical ritual, your body is definitely pushed to its extreme.

For healing, they recommend going there at least 3 days, or 7 days or 21 days straight, every morning. I only went one day as there was no ailment that I needed healing from. it is a very intense atmosphere and sometimes when people are being healed that are not aware of what it is they are doing. Sometimes they can physically harm the people around them. Also there are many people who go to be healed of psychological problems, I had an encounter which one such person who must have been in the middle of her 21 days.

As e sat on the rocks drying ourselves in the sun, cleaning our feet, waiting for our containers to be filled with the tsabl and reflecting on what had just happened, the gatekeeper went around with an open upside down umbrella collecting donations. I heard a woman talking and I picked up the word “camera” several times. I quickly looked and to my dismay my camera was dangling on my side from underneath my nutella. I quickly adjusted the camera so that the nutella was covering it again, but the damage was already done. One of my hosts was talking to the person, reassuring her that I had not taken any pictures. But you know how get sometimes, loud talking. Thankfully, someone else drew the attention of the people on the rocks.

But first let me say this. It was never my intention to take any pictures of the goings –on at Entoto. That to me would be very disrespectful of people’s private experience. The only reason I brought the camera was because i was too lazy to go back to the vehicle for it when we went to the rock-hewn church. Well, the Nsamanfo would let me know that we can pay dire consequences for laziness. On top of this, after the Entoto experience you don’t want to see any rock-hewn church or anything else for that matter.

Recall if you will the gatekeeper who was collecting money. There was one woman who was talking back to him and ever so often would start beating the ground and saying “Woi!” (like we do in Jamaica when something terrible has happened). She began to hit the man and he backed up on the rocks to avoid her blows. This was not a young man either, he was probably upwards of 70 years old. The shook his finger at her scoldingly and said something to her. She picked up some rocks and threw them, some of which hit him. They didn’t faze him at all and everyone was watching. Now to me the woman didn’t look all together crazy because she would have what seemed to be sensible conversation with him, in the middle of her Woi-ing. Oh these weren’t pebbles either. She could not enclose in her hand completely any of the rocks she threw. I told my hosts that I thought this was our cue to exit stage left. They agreed. We had our containers, we had washed our feet, we had got about as dry as we were going to get and we could do the rest of our reflecting on the way home. She stopped and sat down as if nothing had happened. I looked back at her, wondering if she was really crazy or just rude and she looked back. I then decided it didn’t matter and turned around and we began our climb back up the mountain. One of the men who accompanied us down the mountain had filled our containers and was carrying them for us. We got to the stone cross when I heard a commotion behind us. Some people were walking very quickly and I heard the word that I really didn’t want to hear for a very long time yet again.

camera.

I spun around to see the same rock-throwing lady not 5 feet away from me, rock in hand, talking about camera. She had a smirk on her face as she looked directly at me. The containers fell as the man ran over to stop her. Whomever had accompanied her also held her back and one my hosts rushed over and started saying “no problem” in Amharic and saying something about farenji. The woman dropped the rock and they took her back. Half of me wanted her to throw the rock at me so I could throw it back at her.

When climbed the mountain at not so leisurely a pace as what we had gone down the mountain with. I had planned to take pictures of the forest on the way back but, as I am sure you’ve guessed, decided against it. The man who carried our containers for us refused to take any money for his kindness, which is a rare thing. We hoped in the vehicle and left in Entoto.

I really enjoyed the experience overall and it really made me think about channels like National Geographic that show sacred rituals on the television and defile them really. A camera does not really tell you what’s happening, because you can’t feel the presence of Spirit through your television. It’s like taking what’s a multi-layered Photoshop document and flattening the image. You get only the surface, you don’t see the different layers. They take the experience out of context and there’s a coldness to standing on the outside taking pictures. I think radical rituals cannot be fully explained because it is very personal and the way it is for one person is not the way it is for someone else. I encourage everyone to take part at least one radical ritual in their life. Also even though this is a supposedly Christian setting, this is a clear example of the survival of African culture. Okay that’s my spiel.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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tseone
Member since Sep 14th 2002
3 posts
Fri Sep-20-02 04:24 PM

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119. "RE: Entoto: A Radical Ritual pt. II"
In response to Reply # 116


          

“Kemetian”, I have been reading your post about your experience in Addis for the last couple of weeks. Keep it up; it has been refreshing for me to read about the country and culture I grew up in, being described in detail by someone who’s experiencing it for the first time. I specially enjoyed a lot the way you described the whole adise amet ”new year” atmosphere around you. Your post reminded me my childhood. Thanks keep it up.

  

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kemetian
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Fri Sep-20-02 09:48 PM

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121. "Lucky you!!!"
In response to Reply # 119


  

          

you are very fortunate to have grown up in this beautiful place. it's really very rich. do you come back often?



>“Kemetian”, I have been reading your post about your
>experience in Addis for the last couple of weeks. Keep it
>up; it has been refreshing for me to read about the country
>and culture I grew up in, being described in detail by
>someone who’s experiencing it for the first time. I
>specially enjoyed a lot the way you described the whole
>adise amet ”new year” atmosphere around you. Your post
>reminded me my childhood. Thanks keep it up.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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tseone
Member since Sep 14th 2002
3 posts
Sat Sep-21-02 05:11 PM

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122. "RE: Lucky you!!!"
In response to Reply # 121


          

<< do you come back often?
Are you asking me if I come often to Addis? No I do not. In fact I have not been there almost seven years now. That is one of the reasons why that, your post has been so enjoyable to me.

  

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guerilla_love
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8273 posts
Tue Sep-24-02 07:10 AM

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123. "up"
In response to Reply # 0


          

.

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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kemetian
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1336 posts
Fri Sep-27-02 08:03 AM

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132. "thanks a"
In response to Reply # 123


  

          

bunch! it's tuff

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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kemetian
Charter member
1336 posts
Wed Sep-25-02 04:42 AM

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124. "Institute for Ethiopian Studies"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


T’ena yist’illin! Indamin nash? Dahna nash?
(Hello!, How are you? Are you well?)

A couple of days ago I went to the Institute of Ethiopian Studies located in Emperor Haile Selassie’s former palace that he donated to Addis Ababa University. IES is located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the palace. It costs 20 Birr to get in and your ticket is good for 3-5 days after purchase. That’s a very good deal. I really wish you guys could have been here. The 1st floor of IES is beautifully set up. The floors are hardwood and there are natural cotton dividers splitting up the sections. The exhibits on the 1st floor primarily audio-visual. On this floor you take a journey through the life of an Ethiopian. It starts off with different creation stories from different ethiopian ethnic groups. Then it goes on to describe the childbearing process from different ethnic groups. From some speakers you can hear the ‘ululation’ as I read (as opposed to lo-lo-ing) of women upon the birth of a child. This is similar to what is described in Sobunfu Some’s book “Welcoming Spirit Home.” Like the Dagara and the Yoruba and the Akan and I am sure many other African ethnic groups the placenta is buried right after birth (no pun intended). They then go on to describe childhood games and stories. Hanging from the ceiling are toys for children. The stories are painted on inverted vee-shaped signs in Amharic and English. On the walls are beautiful photographs of people and places relevant to what is being discussed in each section. From there you move to initiation. I noticed that most of the early part of the exhibit focuses on Southern People. These are generally people who practise traditional African spirituality. Some look like Southern Sudanese people. Interestingly enough, the general attitude towards them is somewhat similar to that of the N. Sudanese to S. Sudanese, minus the slavery that is. Ethiopians on a whole look like any 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation African in America though. it varies greatly. The only thing they have in common in terms of looks is that they are all gorgeous. They showed some who i believe twist their hair and add a red clay to it. Many wear beautiful beaded jewelry (and in some cases not much else) that reminds me of some ppl of Kenya or the Zulu women. One interesting type of initiation involves young men having to run across the backs of 15-30 cows without falling. I believe if they fall they are put in front of the women to be laughed at and I think they are beaten by the men. In addition to still photos they have a video that shows this process. They talk also describe marriage among the ethnic groups. There is a section dedicated to Orthodox Christianity, Judaism and Islam on this floor as well. They describe conflict resolution among the ethnic groups, with concentration on those in the South. The Oromo have a council that is very much similar to the African Council of Elders to be found in 99% of pre-Islamic/pre-colonial Africa described by Chancellor Williams. The Oromo symbol is a great fig tree that has been the site of the passing on of wisdom for a very long time. There are about 20 million Oromo in Ethiopia. They outnumber the Amhara by millions. It is no wonder they take exception to having Amharic imposed upon them. They also had a name for Addis Ababa, Fin Fine I think. I guess I shouldn’t say ‘had’ since, from what I understand, they refuse to call the capital by any other name. I also hear that the Amhara make fun of the Oromo because of the way they speak Amharic, but that’s for a different correspondence. They talk a bit about sport among adults. There is a form of dueling that takes place among a particular ethnic group, that is inappropriately called ‘stick fighting.’ Rather than dueling to the death however they duel until someone falls down.

They describe the coffee ceremony and have a little one setup. They show pictures of different medicinal plants in Ethiopia too. I think after this they describe death. The show the tombstones of different ethnic groups including one which consists of carvings of the person who made the transition and his wife (or wives) and, if he was a warrior, the people he killed, and if he was a hunter, the animals he killed. They showed jewelry from different ethnic groups. they also have the instruments to bee-keeping used by the Somali, Oromo and Gurage. the most interesting thing I saw in this section was the ‘false banana’ plant. Apparently the leaves are used to wrap things (including dabo) the way we do in Jamaica and Puerto Rico with hojas de plantano, but it grows no bananas! The roots however are believed to have the cure for every disease humans could ever get by locals.

The next major section downstairs in Haile Selassie’s bedroom. It is as he left it. there are paintings of himself and his wife. There are also portraits of Menelik and his wife Tiytu. His bed has a luxurious looking spread with his emblem emblazoned in the middle. There are 2 military suits of his and I think an outfit of his wife. There is telephone to the right of the bed and to its left is a small desk. Then you go into the walk-in closet, which incidentally, is about as big as my bedroom. There is a life-size tapestry portrait of the Emperor leaning up against one of the cabinets. Beyond that is the bathroom, from which there is a lovely view of the grounds. Light blue bathtub and his and hers sinks. A very glassy cabinet to keep toiletries I suppose and everything else is Italian marble. You retrace your steps outside of the emperor’s bedroom and go to another room. It has money from the different periods, from salt and bullet money to Maria Teresa coins to dollars, all with pix of the emperor to finally the Ethiopian Birr. There are HUGE vessels for Tej (honey wine), about 4’ tall and 1.5’ in diameter. There are carved chairs and a round table with a built in sauce bowl. That pretty much does it for the 1st floor.

The 2nd floor is 85% dedicated to Orthodox Christianity with lots of religious painting depicting stories such as the martyrdom of St. George and the story of the Queen of Sheba. There are all different kinds of crosses. There is a section that has pictures of mosques in Harar and picture of Menelik and his family and a close European associate name Ilg. All the way on the other side is a cool section with musical instruments. There is the finger piano to be found in Senegal as well as other African countries. There is a LARGE assortment of drums. They play some music through speakers in this section. There is the one-stringed instrument that is player with a bow similar to that of the violin. There is also a four stringed instrument. We were told that the strings were made from the bowels of the sheep, to which they attribute the beautiful sound. There were sistrums too, these are mostly used by priests in the orthodox Christian church the way they were in Ancient KMT by KMTic priests.

Outside of the music room is the most beautiful painting: that of the battle of Adwa. This is a great source of pride for Ethiopians as it was a great victory for Ethiopians and Africans everywhere. During the Battle of Adwa Menelik and his army defeated Mussolini and his Italian army. The painting is beautiful.

I encourage anyone who visits Ethiopia to make a trip to the IES on the BEAUTIFUL grounds of Addis Ababa University.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Gyrofrog
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1529 posts
Wed Sep-25-02 08:58 AM

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125. "RE: Institute for Ethiopian Studies"
In response to Reply # 124
Wed Sep-25-02 09:00 AM

          

>A couple of days ago I went to the Institute of Ethiopian
>Studies located in Emperor Haile Selassie’s former palace
>that he donated to Addis Ababa University.
. . .
>The next major section downstairs in Haile Selassie’s
>bedroom. It is as he left it.

I figured the military took the palace from him when they overthrew the throne...?

>From some speakers you can hear the ‘ululation’ as I read (as
>opposed to lo-lo-ing)

Until I went to an Ethiopian church, I had thought this was an Islamic and/or Middle-Eastern vocalization. In Amharic, it's called "ililta" (sp?)

>I encourage anyone who visits Ethiopia to make a trip to the
>IES on the BEAUTIFUL grounds of Addis Ababa University.

I'll plan on making a trip to see it when I go!

BTW, what do you do about the money-spending requirement? I've read that the tourist visa requires visitors to spend a certain amount of money each day they are in Ethiopia. My fiancee had not heard of this, and was never questioned about it on either of the 2 trips she's made back there to visit. But she said it sounds ridiculous, because you are unlikely to get a receipt at most places in Ethiopia (thinking you'd need receipts to prove that you met the requirement). Just wondering what you make of this, although it seems you probably won't have to worry about it...

Take care!

  

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Kream
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4012 posts
Wed Sep-25-02 12:39 PM

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126. "hhmm"
In response to Reply # 125


          


>BTW, what do you do about the money-spending requirement

Someone is pulling you leg. There are no such requirements.

Peace,
Kream

  

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guerilla_love
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8273 posts
Thu Sep-26-02 01:39 AM

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127. "maybe"
In response to Reply # 126


          

there should be




.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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Gyrofrog
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1529 posts
Thu Sep-26-02 05:29 AM

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128. "No?"
In response to Reply # 126


          

I could have sworn I read something about this. Maybe it was old information since I can't seem to find it now...

  

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kemetian
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1336 posts
Fri Sep-27-02 07:58 AM

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131. "the coffee house"
In response to Reply # 126


  

          


i hear it has good jazz. did you go when u were here?

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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abyssinian
Charter member
65 posts
Sun Sep-29-02 11:16 AM

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134. "RE: the coffee house"
In response to Reply # 131


          

selam, kemetian

your posts on ethiopia made the internet worth it. i was born and raised there, up until i came to the US for college about 4 years ago; and i haven't been back since. your opinions/observations/tales are very refreshing and have helped nursed the nostalgia and homesickness. thanks much!

about the coffee house ... i hear it was only recently opened. i don't remember it being around when i was there. but it's supposed to be really really good. some friends of mine performed there on the regular through the latter half of the summer.

the "tsabel" story was amazing. i'm glad you were open-minded about it. its effectiveness is questioned by many, but believed in by most. hope it was an enlightening experience, at the very least.

keep posting your observations. chk your inbox, as well. got a proposition for ya ...

stay safe.

peace. "chaw chaw"

  

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kemetian
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1336 posts
Tue Oct-01-02 03:31 AM

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136. "thanks for the love"
In response to Reply # 134


  

          

and chk yr inbox.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Kream
Charter member
4012 posts
Tue Oct-01-02 04:26 AM

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137. "Yes!"
In response to Reply # 131


          



I did go on Thursday nights, however I would only recommend you go when the female vocalist is there (she even scats!). Besides her I was thoroughly unimpressed by the band. They're also the same band that plays in old airport (can't recall the name of the venue).

  

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kemetian
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Fri Sep-27-02 07:54 AM

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130. "RE: Institute for Ethiopian Studies"
In response to Reply # 125


  

          

i haven't heard of any such req. i read online that the tourist is expected to need $50USD a day. but i came here w/ $350
and have most of it. but that's because i'm staying with friends. that $$ is for souvenirs, to contribute to the (internet) bill and whatever else. i will have to use more $$ to make the historical tour to Axum. one place quoted me a price that more than it cost me to get here from the US(!). anyway he he later gave me the Habesha price, so i'll c about going.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Kream
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Tue Oct-01-02 05:46 AM

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138. "hhmm"
In response to Reply # 130


          


If you're shopping around for prices to fly to Axum. Inbox me & i'll get you the name & # of the cheapest flights, in birr (I think).

Souvenirs tip: Merkato is really not THAT cheaper than anywhere else. Bole is def. overpriced. There are a series of shops by the postoffice on churchill road which I personally thought was the best price for my buck. Hwvr, if you can go to merkato with someone that knows how to barter, then 'adarash' (sp?) just might be for you.




  

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kemetian
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Fri Sep-27-02 07:43 AM

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129. "Meskel!!! What can i say?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Lots. but i'll say it tomorrow. yesterday was the celebration, today was the holiday. amazing.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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FireBrand
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145739 posts
Fri Sep-27-02 08:05 AM

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133. "is this that christian celebration?"
In response to Reply # 129


  

          

with the kids diving in the water?

-------------
avatar?
I love this game.

"Well, when your every breath and will to live is an act of resistance, you cannot help but be 'too political'. To do otherwise is to hide, to live in denial and defeat." --ArabHottie

" If we can't learn to live together despite the turmoil of past generations we are doomed." -Stern


"And where today is the stable community that would sustain such a couple, where one can be both poor and diginified and raise one's children with decency and hope... If the answer is education, does our society adequateley provide that tool of self-improvement to the less well off?"-- Sidney Poitier

" I'm not mad 'cus I'm losing! I'm mad 'cus I don't know how to win!" --Kevin Curtis Daniels Jr.

"And herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor,-all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked,-who is good? Not that men are ignorant, -what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men."
W.E.B. Dubois


"Slaves got options...cowards aint got shit." --PS
"Once upon a time, little need existed for making the distinction between a nigga and a black—at least not in this country, the place where niggas were invented" -- Donnell A

  

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kemetian
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1336 posts
Tue Oct-01-02 03:28 AM

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135. "um, no"
In response to Reply # 133


  

          

no water. and i haven't been slacking i just haven't been able to access the internet insome days now. if i ever get a chance to post the Meskel celebration descrip. (it's on my laptiop) then you'll read all about it.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Kream
Charter member
4012 posts
Fri Oct-04-02 07:27 AM

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139. "^"
In response to Reply # 0


          


For the blue/white cabs.

  

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kemetian
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1336 posts
Fri Oct-04-02 08:29 AM

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140. "Meskel finally"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


Meskel is a national holiday in Ethiopia celebrating the finding of the ‘true cross’. Every year lots of Ethiopians fill Meskel (now called Revolution) Square to listen to the message from the patriarch. Here’s a little background info, the patriarchs prior to this one were considered ‘holy men.’ Apparently the folks in the orthodox church in the US broke off from the one here, because he was ‘politically appointed.’ The patriarch before this one was murdered I hear by the Durg regime. Ok, end end of bg info.

Several thousand people gathered at this square and were seated quite a ways from ground level where all the priests and other people were. On the ground level there was a set of tents for ambassadors on one side and priests, bishops archbishops and whoever the other people are in the church. They mainly wore black. I believe members of other orthodox churches were there like the greek orthodox etc. for a good while there were just priests singing and playing their sistrums. They were lined up on either side of a red carpet and were swaying. At the end of the red carpet was a gathering of priests holding very large ornate carved crosses. Some were under large umbrellas with cloth made out of a silk-looking material with gold brocade all through it. For some reason these umbrellas had pictures of very pale-looking people on them. Generally a woman, sometimes a man – go figure. I hear tell these are jesus and mary. The church here is trading the traditional Ethiopian images for these ghastly looking figures all over the place. It is not uncommon for you to see little children kissing pictures of a white long haired man with a crown of thorns around his head. Truly sad. I have yet to hear an explanation for the exchange. Now the Ethiopian images are relegated to the museums like the IES. Apparently the Greek orthodox church is being so very kind to send their images to the church in Ethiopia, something they have been doing since Menelik’s time. Anyhoo… back to Meskel.

This went on (the singing by the priests) until some time after 3 when a vehicle arrived. From the back stepped the patriarch. He is a tall stout man and he wore a crown – with more pale people on them. He too wore the brocaded silk clothes, pants, top and a long cape – red and gold. They all looked rather royal. I think he had a cross in his hand too. At this point all of the photographers (of which there were very many, of all nationalities, the touristy type you now Europeans in all-khaki looking like they are on a safari, Asians, and professional photographers.) There were very few Africans from America. We met some who are coming to Ethiopia to teach for a year. Local media was there of course as well as media from italy and new york, that I could tell. One of the photographers was Chester Higgins, Jr. he did the book of photos called “Feeling the Spirit: Searching the World for the People of Africa.” His photos from his exhibit “Elder Grace” are up in a subway station in New York. I think that exhibit is on tour still in the states, look out for it. I was fortunate enough to see all of them and more (we met with him the next day at his hotel), they look really good. He’s got Dr. Ben, Dr. John Henrik Clark and Ossie Davis in the collection. Anyhoo, turns out he’s working on a new book tracing the development of African Spirituality. Ok, again back to meskel.

This celebration took place on the day before the actual holiday. The holiday fell on a fasting day. It also calls for (as it seems quite a few holidays here call for, between the Christian and Muslim holidays) the slaughtering of a bull. So this was done on Saturday by most people. People ate a lot of kitifo on this day. One person told me they did not make even the slightest use of a fire on Saturday because every single piece of meat was raw. But I digress …

Photographers were swarming everywhere during the ceremony, I think it was a bit disruptive. Some of the participants seemed to enjoy having their pictures taken. It was a very clear day that day. The patriarch then stood in front of what looked like a throne and commenced to give his speech in Amharic…and then in English. He said something about letting people take the pictures so they can go back where they come from and prove wrong those people who think that Africa has nothing to offer. He also talked about poverty and AIDS, etc. okay, so I really wasn’t listening. I was under the tent on the side of the ambassadors (it pays to know people). After he finished groups from different churches came up to perform before the patriarch and his guests. At this point I just stood up in front of the ambassadors because most of them had seen this already and well, I wanted to see clearly. They had brightly colored robes on, these were youth groups and they sang and drummed and made all different kinds of formations. They came one after the other after the other. It reminded me of sports day in Jamaica when you have to represent your house. Some had props. Some came on floats. Some did skits. Almost every skit was on AIDS. People are definitely trying to increase awareness about the disease here. A young person in the very neighborhood in which I am staying died of AIDS and many of the street kids are AIDS orphans. I just heard about a man who used to guard the Austrian embassy whose wife died of AIDS. He had 3 kids and decided to hang himself because he couldn’t deal with it, he said he couldn’t support them. The kids have no parents now and are in an orphanage. Anyway Meskel was a happy day.

The last groups were the most impressive. One group had a girl on horseback who was playing Jesus. Another was a float that was preceded by a horse-drawn carriage. The people in the carriage hopped out and did a skit. Then the people on the float sang and lit up some crosses that had sparklers and fireworks attached to them. Quite a dazzling display. Then the highlight of the day came. They also call this the bonfire holiday. All of the people on the ground went to the center of the square in which stood a 30-40 foot tall tee-pee shaped collection of sticks. The patriarch lit on piece of stick and threw it onto the sticks. It caught fire very quickly, and people had to back up. Then others lit sticks and throw them on the bonfire until the whole thing was ablaze. Since the first stick was lit they were running around the blaze. Everyone in the stands cheered and clapped. After the fire went out people stood and waited for the burnt sticks to fall. It was then I noticed a large white circle that was drawn on the ground around the bonfire. Depending on which way the sticks fall determines if the harvest and hence the year will be a good one. Finally the sticks fell and people rushed out of its way. I noticed some police who had been trying to keep people in the stands (by feigning beating them with their batons) stoop down to small clusters of ashes and put their fingers in them. They then drew crosses on one another’s foreheads. One little boy knelt down in front of me and rubbed both hands in the soot and rubbed over it his entire face. At this point they couldn’t keep the crowds in the stands anymore, nor the equal number of people in the very wide (about 6 lanes) street. Both crowds went rushing for each other. We protected ourselves behind an SUV. They were actually rushing to pick up pieces of the burnt wood. By this time it was dark and we went home. Traffic was terrible. We were driving behind groups of singing people. Pedestrians controlled the street that night. The general atmosphere was very happy though.

I must say also that Meskel isn’t a holiday that just Christians participate in. Most Ethiopians do, Christian and Muslim. People have parties there is dancing by members of both religions. It is my understanding that the major holidays are like that here. At Eid, Christians visit Muslim houses and vice versa, all kids get gifts, etc. Muslims take part in the ceremonies of Christians like baby showers/.baptisms and Christians in Muslim ones. it’s a rather refreshing change from what I am accustomed to in the US, where African people divide themselves on religious lines. This is due in large part to the fact that they consider themselves Ethiopian first and foremost. Also there has been much mixing between the 2, many families are split down the middle. Ethiopians (especially Christian ones) take great pride in the fact that Islam probably wouldn’t be what it is if it weren’t for the refuge given the first Muslims by the Ethiopians. What I haven’t been able to find out too much about are the Southern people, besides the fact that they are generally looked down upon by members of both religions here. But I am not sure that that is all there is to it. I know there’s an Oromo/Highlander thing. But Oromo aren’t the only southern ethnic group so I have to find out more. Most people seem reticent to talk about it. anyhow I was very grateful to have a front row seat at Meskel. it was truly an amazing experience. The next big holiday in Ethiopia in Temkat. Christmas isn’t all that big here I hear. That is in January. So it’s not like people are just celebrating all year round, I just cam at the right time.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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tseone
Member since Sep 14th 2002
3 posts
Fri Oct-04-02 09:58 AM

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141. "RE: Meskel finally"
In response to Reply # 140


          

It was nice to hear from you finally. For a moment, I thought you got lost in the bushes out there or something. I really enjoyed the Meskle story, the way you described the details are so real. Are you a writer or something? It was very good.

<<It is not uncommon for you to see little children kissing pictures of a white long haired
<<man with a crown of thorns around his head. Truly sad.

Yeah I know, but what you should understand though, people over there don’t see the pictures like the way you see it. They are just happy that it is a picture of God, and they are trying to get his blessings when they kiss it. You even saw how people rushed to get those ashes right. Myself until I came here, never even though about it that way and saw the pictures in terms of race. Churches in there are looking beyond the pictures, they are looking at what they represent. And the traditional pictures you mentioned are not wildly available anymore because of the economical conditions. The old artists simply do not exist and the new painters (if there are any) just follow what they see around them. Most the pictures come from outside though. That was not the case before.

<<What I haven’t been able to find out too much about are the Southern people, besides
<<the fact that they are generally looked down upon by members of both religions here.

Well most people in Addis do not know much about them; you probably would have to go there to find out the whole story. The southern people did not immigrated like people in the north and the Amhara regions. They are very secluded and still live there lives they way did long time ago. Of course that is not the whole story, the is the discrimination issues’ and the central government did do much to those regions and the people except clamming the land they live in to be its own. Well I hope you will keep on sharing your experience and good luck

  

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IsaIsaIsa
Charter member
posts
Tue Oct-08-02 04:37 AM

143. "So Christianity is O.K."
In response to Reply # 140


          

in your opinion ? or were you just feeling it cause you were in Ethiopia ?

  

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kemetian
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1336 posts
Wed Oct-09-02 06:02 PM

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146. "yes Christianity is O.K."
In response to Reply # 143


  

          

and Islam is not. it's that simple.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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kemetian
Charter member
1336 posts
Tue Oct-08-02 03:40 AM

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142. "^"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Kream
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4012 posts
Tue Oct-08-02 06:44 AM

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144. "Why Ethiopia Stayed Behind"
In response to Reply # 0


          

Extremely long article which is somewhat appropriate in this thread.

Peace,
Kream

WHY ETHIOPIA STAYED BEHIND
By: Timothy Kalyegira

----

Introduction - CAUTION!
Before I sent this article out for reading and
publication, I showed it to an Ethiopian friend in
Addis Ababa to have a read through. She cautioned me
that, because of its somewhat frank and detailed tone,
the article would not go down well with many
Ethiopians. It first stunned her when she first read
it. But after discussing it with her for several days,
we decided that it might as well come out, since it
echoes issues that many Ethiopians are concerned about
these days. But I have had to add this cautionary
note.

The first is to mention that I have written it with
the best of intentions. I have developed an emotional
connection with Ethiopia that makes it impossible for
me to remain neutral of the country and its people. On
my second visit to Addis Ababa, I was accorded more
respect I think I deserved. I have made many friends
in the country and many other Ethiopians abroad. This
same respect I have got from the Ethiopian embassy in
Kampala, and generally from the Ethiopian citizens
resident in Uganda. I am grateful for all this
Ethiopian friendship and I can't do any less than
return it. Or to use the joking word we like to use in
Uganda, I will "revenge" for all this friendship from
Ethiopians! However, there are certain things I also
have been discussing in several newspapers in Addis
Ababa and which I am developing further in this
article, as part of my ongoing discussion of Ethiopia
with many people in Addis Ababa and elsewhere.

Ethiopians love their country. But they more than even
I feel that they there are difficulties in the country
that they can no longer ignore. Because I am an
outsider, yet in a certain way now also an insider, I
have the benefit of neutrality.I bring with me a point
of view that is based on my being a Ugandan, an
African, and also one who is interested in the
historic African country of Ethiopia.

Yet, as an African who has taken the time to try and
understand Ethiopia, I can also talk about things from
a more informed standpoint than that of just a tourist
spending a few weeks in the country.

I have made a number of observations in the time
between February 1 when I first went to Addis Ababa
and now, September 2, when I write this note. Of
course, I still cannot claim to have the total picture
of Ethiopia yet. But, maybe through the eyes of this
Ugandan foreigner, Ethiopians might see things that
their history, upbringing, life experiences,
ethnicity, and the simple fact of being part of the
country might have caused them to overlook.

This is why I hope my comments in this article are
taken in good faith. For those who wish to strongly
disagree with me, or even to express their disgust and
anger at me, please do so. You can think of me as a
punching bag at your disposal! Please feel free to
punch me as freely and hard as you wish!

Uganda is not very different from Ethiopia. At some
stage in our history, we were in the same cycle of
endless gridlock. One of the main ways in which Uganda
managed to resolve its greatest national problems was
that we talked about everything, got angry where we
did, argued, agreed, reflected, discussed, and did
research. But what mattered was that we laid it all
out on the table as it was.

What therefore I hope the readers of this essay keep
in mind is that I am writing as a Ugandan. Coming from
a society where, because of our openness, we have
reduced AIDS to a disease as risky as cancer. We have
a news media that is even freer than that of the
United States, and freedom is now our most distinct
national trait.

I might, in this article, say things freely that are
still taboo subjects in Ethiopia, without realizing
that I am hurting, annoying, or scandalizing many
people. If that should happen, I apologize sincerely.

It will always be my pride to see Ethiopia become once
again the country of legend that it was hundreds of
years ago.

I thank my secret proofreader and reviewer in Addis
Ababa for her helpful comments, words of caution, and
spell checking. She loves her country and I am
grateful she took the time to wrestle with the pain of
some of the things, the "hard facts" as she called
them, which I mentioned in the first draft of this
article, before it could come out. Have no doubt at
all I will always love Ethiopia and its people.

I actually feel more affection for Ethiopians now that
when I first visited in February, in spite of some of
the uncomfortable issues I will discuss in this
article.


Timothy Kalyegira

Kampala, Uganda





----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----


WHY ETHIOPIA STAYED BEHIND what must be done for the
future
By: Timothy Kalyegira



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----

Part 1: Impressions of my second visit to Ethiopia
As I had promised, I made my second visit to Ethiopia
for three weeks between July 18 and August 7. I
suffered as I have never suffered in all my life
because of the cold. Cold bed sheets, cold blanket,
cold floor, rain, rain, rain, rain. Whoever came up
with this slogan about 13 months of sunshine, should
be arrested and put in jail! I am surprised there was
no snow on the streets of Addis Ababa! On a good day,
I would experience 13 minutes of sunshine, followed by
13 hours of rain. But otherwise, I really, truly
enjoyed myself in Ethiopia. I am so glad I came to
visit once again. Those three weeks in Ethiopia were
the longest time I had ever been outside Uganda since
I was born. I also got a taste of that Ethiopian
hospitality which can at t even suffocate! Strangers,
my friends, government officials, the staff of the
National Hotel, all made me feel like a VIP, they
treated me like royalty, it was flattering, really
nice. I give Ethiopia a 21-gun salute for that
unforgettable hospitality. But also, a red card for
the rainy season cold in Addis Ababa! (Oooh, that
cold!)This time on my visit, I had the time to see the
inside and out of this historic African country, as
close-up as through zoom lenses, unlike the nine days
I spent there in February. Of course, even three weeks
is still too short a time to understand everything
about a country and its complex history, but I can say
I have come close this time to a much more accurate
understanding of the dynamics that make Ethiopia.
Comparing Ethiopia with Uganda Freedom When the
Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 flight touched down at
Entebbe International Airport on the afternoon of
Tuesday, August 7, I got off the plane and right away
began taking photographs of the airport building.
About five minutes after we landed, the new
presidential Gulf stream jet landed and parked about
60 metres to the left of the Ethiopian Airlines
aircraft. I also took photos of the presidential jet,
although President Yoweri Museveni was not in his
plane at the time. Watching me were the intelligence
agents who maintain security at the airport. None of
them stopped me from taking photos of the presidential
jet, or wondered who I was. What kept going through my
mind on the tarmac at the airport was, "This is
freedom! No wonder people always comment on how free
Uganda is!". In Uganda, taking photographs at the
airport is as normal as taking photos with your family
at home.

When I was in Ethiopia, I kept telling my many
Ethiopian friends that Uganda is a much freer country
than even America, but not all found it easy to
believe me. This is what one misses most when one ----
or at least when I am in Addis Ababa. Total freedom.
Of course I cannot assume that conditions in Uganda
should be exactly the same in all other countries,
with their different histories. Each country knows the
specific conditions that influence its policies. But
this is the most important difference between Uganda
and Ethiopia. Freedom of the most abundant type
imaginable can be felt all over Uganda. It is a
freedom that goes beyond politics and government. It
is freedom of the society. Perhaps it might even be
reckless freedom. When you mention this idea of
freedom to Ethiopians, they are quick to point a
finger at the government, as the main reason why
Ethiopia is not such a free place to live in. But by
the time I visited the country again in July, I had
already understood that there is more to Ethiopia than
the government. I tried to make my friends see that
Ethiopian society in general is not very free and
therefore it is not fully accurate to blame the
EPLF/ERDF government exclusively. Not that the
government is perfect. But it largely reflects the
culture and society. I would argue that even if
Ethiopia had the most democratic government in the
world, the society would still not be free, because of
traits woven into the culture.

It is, in my opinion, vital to understand and come to
terms with this, especially when it comes to how to
deal with political differences. Ethiopians could
spend decades resorting to armed conflict, only to
replace one government with another, with the exact
same way of running the country, because of their
cultural background. We cannot simply write articles,
hold debates in parliament, and speak about democracy,
without asking what conditions in the first place
nurture democracy. In Russia, the population has been
demanding for more "democracy." But this same
population, on other issues, shows that it is not
prepared to tolerate "democracy" in the full sense in
which it is understood in the western countries. I
mentioned this point in a long article in June and I
confirmed it by my second visit. If you are attentive,
you can feel the tension in Addis Ababa. People are
generally not relaxed. Or even if they seem relaxed on
the outside, it is not difficult to sense a degree of
unease in the air, in their eyes.

Even when you discuss matters that have nothing to do
with politics or the government, people often don't
want to be quoted and they are generally hesitant
about expressing strong opinions. It is almost as if
people are scared of being controversial, of being
known to hold strong views about anything. One of the
proofs of my argument about cultural freedom is drawn
from my observation of the Ethiopian community living
in Uganda. These people are exposed to one of the
freest countries on earth, Uganda, where anything can
be said by anyone, about anyone, on any topic, at any
time of day or night, anywhere, be it in a bar, or
school, government department, or on the street. If
you want to be racist, foolish, sensible, intelligent,
silly, or nice, you are free in Uganda. You are free
to write or utter sense or nonsense on radio,
television, or the newspapers. You can get away with
any opinion on any subject. But I notice that, even in
this free atmosphere in Uganda, most Ethiopians living
in Uganda even after several years are more or less
exactly like the Ethiopians in Addis Ababa. They are
still as reserved, cautious, and private.

An Ethiopian in Kampala, who is a diehard Ethiopian
patriot, one evening after I returned from Addis
Ababa, freely admitted this to me. He casually
observed to me that, even if Ethiopia got another
government, the people would continue to be
suspicious, particularly of foreigners, and of those
foreigners, the White people above all. I was
surprised by his confession, since he is one of those
Ethiopians who think Ethiopia is the center of the
universe and that everything about Ethiopia is
perfect. The same sober, reserved, and quiet air that
I felt so strongly when I would sit in mini buses with
Ethiopian passengers in Addis Ababa or Debre Zeit, you
feel around most Ethiopians in Uganda. When I would
visit churches in Addis, be it St Mariam's up in
Entotoor St. Stefanos just opposite National Hotel
where I was staying, I would look at people's faces
and feel like saying, "Hey, can't you smile? This is a
church!"

People sit silently in taxis in Addis Ababa, Debre
Zeit, and Nazareth, with sad, strained expressions on
their faces. That is why I will never forget the
evening I went to Debre Zeit by mini bus. Along the
way, the boy who collects the taxi fare asked me in
Amharic for my money. I signaled to him that I didn't
understand Amharic but in English I asked how much it
was. He seemed to get stuck over expressing himself in
English. A tall, attractive girl, maybe about 24 was
seated next to me told me the fare. As I paid the taxi
boy, this girl burst out into a long bout of laughter.
For about 10 kilometres, she laughed and laughed as
the boy looked at her and me sheepishly. She was
laughing at him and saying "You people always think
everybody in the world speaks Amharic. You thought
everyone who looks like an Ethiopian is an Ethiopian!"
She then went on to point out the landscape to me
through the mini van's windows like a typical
Ethiopian: "See! So green. Its very nice!" She kept
looking at the taxi boy and laughing, while the other
passengers were all seated in silence. I had never
seen an Ethiopian laugh so hard and for so long. She
laughed until tears filled her eyes. That amused me. I
never forgot it because it was so rare to see this
sort of easy, heartfelt laughter in an Ethiopian.

Ethiopians in Addis Ababa complain about the lack of
press freedom. But it is almost impossible to hear an
Ethiopian in Uganda pick up a phone and take part in
any of the many talk shows on Kampala's 20 private
radio stations. You rarely, if ever see, an Ethiopian
write an article expressing any opinion in Ugandan
newspapers. A number of Ethiopian journalists have
come and taken diploma courses in Uganda, or visited
for brief courses. But despite studying and living in
this free environment, I never heard any of them write
articles in the Ugandan newspapers, or take part in
radio discussion shows as studio guests. There are
many educated Ethiopians in Kampala, but you almost
never feel their presence. They live in their private
world, socializing mainly with their fellow
Ethiopians. You rarely meet an Ethiopian at a private
party hosted by Ugandans or meet Ugandans at Ethiopian
parties. Every time the national newspapers publish
picture pages of parties, , and other social events in
Kampala, the people you see having a good time with
Ugandans are Americans, British, Canadians, Kenyans,
White South Africans, Congolese, Italians, Nigerians,
or French. You rarely see Ethiopians at these parties.


I think the greatest surprise that hit me on this
longer visit to Ethiopia was the country's news media.
I visited the editorial offices of four private
newspapers and the government Walta Information
Centre. Some of these newspapers have been publishing
my articles sent from Kampala. Yet when I visited the
offices, there was such a reserved, mild atmosphere,
it was so surprising. I was introduced to reporters,
editors, sales executives, and production people. I am
used to newspapers and radio stations in Uganda where
the newsrooms are filled with laughter and humour,
heated, loud debates about politics, social life, last
weekend's party, and people, and so much energy. I had
to come to terms with that aspect of Ethiopia, (and
something else I will write about later in this
article.)

I was puzzled most by the reaction in the newspapers
that had published my articles. In my first article, I
made a few errors in my assessment of Ethiopian women,
thinking they were proud when in fact they are the
complete opposite. I had mistaken their reserve and
shyness for pride. I thought at least someone in the
newsrooms would say, "Aha, since you are here, let me
ask you what you meant by this or that statement in
your article!" But I came and went, without hearing my
Ethiopian sisters come out and discuss or challenge
some of my earlier misconceptions with me. Later, I
began realizing that this was not just limited to the
government and private media. All over Addis Ababa's
professional community, in private offices and
businesses and government departments, you encounter
this mild, reserved, often shy, quiet attitude. You
meet people who hold powerful offices or who ran
successful businesses. But they are so humble, it is
hard to link the office with its holder. People sit
quietly behind their computers doing their work,
speaking in low modest tones and rarely do you hear
the laughter, jokes, and debates that tend to fill
Ugandan offices.

When I would enter offices and be introduced to women
or girls, many would politely rise up from their seats
or extend their hands in greeting, then seem to be
glad to go back behind their computer screens, which
provided a convenient curtain to shield them from eye
contact with this Ugandan stranger. This humility and
modesty is something that I, personally, admire a
great deal in Ethiopians. I actually admire it even
more than the fact that Ethiopia was never colonized.
But it is a trait that has its other side. It makes
Ethiopians seem somewhat passive. There are some
professions like the airline, hotel, foreign policy,
and tourism industries which require a much more
outgoing attitude than others. This is why I feel that
Ethiopian society is partly where it is, because of
what it is. The various governments past and present
might have had their part in holding back the country.
But I don't think you can ignore the impact of the
wider society and culture. A number of Ethiopians
admitted to me that the general mildness of the
Ethiopians and thus the low-key tone of the news
media, is largely cultural. If what they say is true,
then at least it takes us to the first step. We stop
regarding our national crisis as primarily political.

We come to recognize that the politics of Ethiopia is
a reflection of the wider societal current. It is
important for Ethiopians to face up to this reality,
if they are to avoid tearing their country apart with
all sorts of liberation and guerrilla groups, each one
claiming to liberate Ethiopia from a bondage that is,
in truth, within the society, no matter which
government is in power and however democratic it is.
For example, for three weeks in Addis Ababa, I had to
get used to the fact that there are so many places
where you cannot take photographs. Even at churches
and church museums, of all places!

In Uganda, you enter the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
with no one checking you. Almost all government
ministries are as free to enter as restaurants. Not
only do you enter Uganda Television and state-owned
radio as freely as entering a market, you are even
free to take photographs in the TV studios. Another
dominant feature of Ethiopian society is the almost
paranoid fear of cameras and being photographed. Just
the sight of a camera would cause tension in many
people I met. Freedom, a relaxed atmosphere, and
relaxed, playful, easygoing people, is one of the
major differences between Uganda and Ethiopia. I would
have to add that Ugandans were like that even under
the most difficult years of Idi Amin's regime. When
Ugandans were refugees in Nairobi, Kenya, having fled
from Amin's brutality, they became a favourite in
bars. They would buy up crates of beer, invite any
Kenyan around who was interested, and have long,
cheerful hours of partying.

There are many things Uganda has done right and thus
we deserve the freedom and growing economy, and
international favouritism that we enjoy. Our freedom
is astonishing, our friendship with foreigners real.
It is not by accident that people as diverse as former
U.S President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary were
so taken up by Uganda. Or Libya's controversial leader
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who has made two state visits
to Uganda this year and is to make a third one next
month. Or the South African singers Yvonne Chaka Chaka
and Lucky Dube, who have each visited Uganda for
concerts at least three t. Or African hero Nelson
Mandela, who visited Uganda twice or thrice. And so
many western leaders and diplomats.

For a foreigner to invest in Ethiopia, that investor
would need to bring in a minimum of 250,000 dollars.
Uganda is a foreigner's paradise. As I keep telling my
Ethiopian friends, an Ethiopian can come from Addis
Ababa with only 3,000 dollars, set up a hair salon in
Kampala, and make money. No one will disturb that
Ethiopian. Uganda is the true heartbeat of Africa.
When we say Africa is every African's home, this is
not just political talk. You are free to come in from
anywhere in Africa and start up a business, however
small. Uganda is like a discotheque --- anybody from
any country is welcome to dance, as long as you don't
step on other people's feet. Most Ethiopians in Uganda
think we are crazy because of this open door policy.
My opinion is that Uganda is the real character of
Africa --- open, welcoming of all Africans, and not
just to visit, but to take refuge and even set up
small, 2,000-dollar businesses. Maybe God has blessed
us with this abundant freedom because we have made His
children ---- Ethiopians, Russians, Indians,
Eritreans, Britons, Chinese, Iranians, French,
Americans, Italians, Lebanese, Congolese, Somalis,
South Africans, Swedes, Arabs, Swiss, Rwandese, Irish,
Canadians, Sudanese, Japanese ---- feel truly at home!
Maybe more at home in Uganda than even in their own
countries. Common sense, flexibility

However, while freedom is a major difference between
Uganda and Ethiopia, the single biggest difference is
in the mentality, the atmosphere of common sense and a
flexible attitude toward crucial national matters that
is so clearly seen in Ugandans.

Ethiopians take too many things too seriously. What is
most unfortunate is that Ethiopians tend to get worked
up and serious for the wrong reasons, yet where energy
and determination are required for the right things,
Ethiopians seem so mild. This is the contradiction
that puzzles me. If a country were to invade Ethiopia,
thousands of young people would scream in anger and
rush to go to the battlefront to "fight for my
country." Few would stop to ask the reasons for the
war in the first place, who is involved, and what the
consequences will be. But you ask a young person to
roll up his sleeves and give a hand to cleaning up the
streets of Addis Ababa, or do some manual work, rather
than embarrass the country by begging visitors and
tourists, and he will feel insulted about being told
to do manual work. You wonder: if he is willing to
take enormous risks like facing artillery fire and
land mines on the battlefield for his country, why is
he unwilling to work to keep Addis Ababa's streets
clean?

In May 2000, Ethiopia went to war with Eritrea. Many
months later, most Ethiopians and Eritreans in Kampala
would tell me: "That war was between Meles and Issias.
The Ethiopian and Eritrean people have no problem with
each other." I asked that if this was so, why were so
many young people, boys and girls, struggling to go to
the war front? "Because they love their country!",
would come the reply. See a contrasting situation. In
June 2000, just a few weeks into the
Ethiopian-Eritrean war, Uganda and Rwanda ---- which
like Ethiopia and Eritrea are neighbors and former
close allies in the guerilla struggles ---- fought in
the Congolese city of Kisangani. Most Ugandans calmly
went about their everyday business, saying, "That is a
quarrel between President Museveni and Major General
Paul Kagame . When they are tired of
fighting, they will come back and talk." No single
Ugandan civilian went to the battlefront or
volunteered to fight in a conflict that they felt was
between two leaders. That's where we are different.
When the Israeli air force attacked Entebbe airport in
that famous commando raid in July 1976, very few
Ugandans came forward to volunteer to fight for
President Idi Amin. We reasoned that it was he who had
provoked the Israelis. And anyway, he was a dictator
and deserved that beating. When Tanzania invaded
Uganda after Amin first attacked Tanzania in October
1978, again no Ugandans except for the army and air
force bothered to come out to "fight for my country"
We supported the Tanzanians all the way, until they
removed Amin from power. Even though another country
(Israel, Tanzania) invaded Uganda, Ugandans were able
to separate their love for their country, from the
fact that it was Uganda's leader who had provoked that
country and therefore deserved what he got. Since most
Ethiopians find it hard to separate their emotions
from their country, it is easy to lead Ethiopians into
expensive and pointless wars and conflicts , when the
fight might really be a personal quarrel between
Ethiopia's Colonel Mengistu and Somalia's President,
General Mohammed Siad Barre. Things that Uganda would
laugh off and let pass without any problem, will get
Ethiopians so worked up and angry. You can meet a
Ugandan and tell them you think Uganda is the greatest
country in the world, and they will reply, "Well,
thanks."

Then later you can tell the same Ugandan that you now
think that Uganda is the most foolish and backward
country in the world. To this, the Ugandan will calmly
reply, "What makes you say that?" None of the two
statements will cause the Ugandan to get over excited
or angry. While I was in Addis Ababa, a Rwandese
living in Europe who had visited Uganda, wrote an
article dismissing Uganda as one of the worst
countries he has ever seen. He criticized the
restaurants, nightclubs, taxis, roads, and the whole
country. The article was one of the most popular that
week, I am told. People laughed about it and it was
the topic in bars and offices. No matter how much you
insult Uganda, you can't get any one annoyed over
that. To begin with, Ugandans spend much of their time
laughing at their country's silly mistakes and
confused leaders. This balanced thinking, this control
of one's emotions cuts across almost every area of
Ugandan society, from the leaders to the poorest of
the poor.

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To me, the admirable love for Ethiopia that almost all
Ethiopians feel is also the most frightening thing
about Ethiopia, and something I feel is the country's
greatest danger. It is this trait which, if not
checked, will make Ethiopia take 10 steps forward in
economic and political progress, only to suddenly
plunge back 40 steps into war, ethnic tensions, and
factional fighting within whichever government is in
power. Here is the paradox: how can people like
Ethiopians, who love their country so much, be the
same people who do the country its greatest harm, yet
people like Kenyans and Tanzanians, who seem
indifferent to their country, have actually helped
their countries remain so stable for so long? Could it
be that too much patriotism can be more harmful to a
country than not caring about one's country?

Usually when an Ethiopian is not pleased by what you
have said about Ethiopia, he gets so angry, and can
even stop talking to you over that. It happened to me
in Addis Ababa. I also got a taste of it when some
Ethiopians and Eritreans in America and Europe visited
my Africa Almanac web site. They disagreed with some
of the content there regarding Ethiopia and Eritrea.
This is a website which I launched in December 2000,
long before I knew either of these two countries well.
Of course I was bound to make a few errors, because as
a human being, I did not know enough to get their
complex histories correct. But you should see the
e-mail from these Ethiopians and Eritreans! "You are
the most man in the world!", read one. I wrote back to
them calmly asking that, even if they disagreed with
what I had written, they did not have to lose their
self-control and insult me. Should they not rather
have informed me of the facts, instead of blowing up
in anger? Unable to reason this out, they wrote back
to me with even more abusive words. I told them that
this is the central crisis in their countries,
Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Before Ethiopians and Eritreans visited my web site,
the letters from other Africans were gentlemanly,
respectful, rational, and even when they disagreed
with what the web site had said; they did so in a
reasonable manner. But as soon as the Ethiopians came
in and began giving their comments, suddenly the tone
became aggressive and unreasonable. I reminded them
that, even after spending so many years in America,
these Ethiopians writing from the United States had
still not developed the tolerance of other people's
views that is required for democracy to flourish. Many
of the Ethiopians are in America as political exiles.
They blame Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for all the
problems in Ethiopia, saying he is crushing and
suppressing all views opposed to his. But I told them
that, just from their abusive and angry e-mail to my
web site, if they had even 10 percent of the power
that Prime Minister Meles has, they would probably
have ordered for my arrest or thrown a grenade at my
house.

You are late for an appointment or for some reason you
can't make it, and your Ethiopian friend gets so, so
angry for a whole day. That is a dangerous national
streak and character! A girl who was staying at the
National Hotel asked me to lend her a camera for a
trip with some Ethiopian and American friends to Bahr
Dar. I told her that I was using mine, but I would ask
around for one from my friends. Two days later, after
I failed to find one, she said impatiently, "I am
going to stop talking to you because you didn't get me
a camera!" One girl in Kampala invited me to visit her
at a time I was so busy I kept trying to make it to
her place but couldn't somehow find the time. One day
when I think her patience was exhausted, she rang me
at home and blasted me with the words, "What's wrong
with you!" I tried to explain why I had failed to turn
up, but by then, her temper was already in flames. Yet
when I met her that evening, she was calm, and her
usual nice self. There are too many examples of this,
but I begin to feel frightened by people who's
emotions can so suddenly switch on and off, from cool,
sweet, warm, to angry and uncompromising! (Some of the
people I am writing about will read this article and
probably laugh, knowing what I am talking about!)

Ethiopians are nice people, really sincere and in my
opinion, wonderful people. But there is a demon that
flies from nowhere once in a while and plunges them
into a state of mind that can only lead to conflict
and self-destruction. I have been telling my Ethiopian
friends both in Kampala and Addis that they should not
think that what happened to Somalia was different and
it can't happen to them. Most think Ethiopia can't go
to that extreme. But, you never know. That fiery,
volatile temperament I see in Ethiopians gets me
worried somet. A teenage Ethiopian girl in Kampala put
it well to me one day in late May: "Ethiopians are
like that. Once they like you, they will like you to
death. But once they turn against you, it is
finished." Frightening words! It is as if stubbornness
and intransigence is written into most peoples' minds
people who find it difficult to think with
flexibility, people who struggle to detach themselves
from their emotions and think clearly and objectively
about Ethiopia. But then, where did this trait come
from? A trait that has kept Ethiopia more or less in a
state of war or near war for more than 200 consecutive
years or even more? Ethiopians have fought the people
who tried to enslave or colonize them. But so too have
they, with equal ferocity, fought amongst themselves,
and still do to this day. There is this liberation
front, that liberation front, this fighting group,
that fighting group. Where does this tendency come
from, which it seems will keep the Horn of Africa,
from Somalia, to Eritrea, to Ethiopia, to Sudan, a
virtual war zone for the next 30 or more years? How
can people whom I find so sweet, beautiful, loving,
modest, sincere, and loyal, at the same time have this
other side to them that is like a volcano --- dormant
most of the time, but once it erupts, it throws
destructive fire for several kilometers in its path?

Did the Ethiopian Orthodox Church shape national
character?

When I returned to Uganda the first time in February,
I was having lunch with an Ethiopian in Kampala. I
asked him a question, which popped up in my mind from
out of the blue. I asked him: Why is it that, wherever
in the world you find countries where the Orthodox
Church is the dominant Christian denomination, there
is either full-scale war (Yugoslavia, Serbia), or
recent war and tensions (Ethiopia, Eritrea), or
serious civil war and trouble with provinces that want
to break away (Russia), or have had to have United
Nations intervention to prevent war between them
(Greece, Cyprus), or some stubbornness that could make
war possible at any time (Ukraine)? Then why is it
that, wherever in the world Islam is the dominant
religion, there are either suicide bombers (Lebanon),
militant militiamen (Algeria, Egypt, Somalia, Iran,
Bosnia, Albania, Sudan) or they are generally a
trouble spot? Then worst of all, in the places in the
world where Islam and Orthodox Christianity sit side
by side in equal percentages among the population,
conflict, war, factional fighting, or extreme
political tensions are alive and dominant (Ethiopia,
Eritrea, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Russia, Chechnya). Why,
in other words, does the Orthodox branch of
Christianity influence its followers to become so
ultra-nationalistic, and hence so militant that almost
every disagreement has to be settled on the
battlefront? Where does this militancy in the Horn of
Africa come from?

Since I am a Protestant Christian, I will not comment
on Islam, where I am no expert. But I will hope that
my brothers and sisters of the Ethiopian and other
Orthodox Churches in Africa and Europe search their
souls over this matter. I am not saying the Orthodox
faith promotes war and war-like tendencies. We too
have crazy, uncompromising Protestants and Roman
Catholics shooting away at each other in Northern
Ireland. In Indonesia and the Philippines, street
battles have become the main way of life between
Christians and Muslims. But the dominant pattern of
war and internal civil conflict in Orthodox-dominated
countries in Africa and Europe is inescapable. I hope
I don't appear to be blaming the Ethiopian Orthodox
Church for the country's political tensions and many
past wars. I am only trying to study a pattern and see
if it offers explanations. From the little I know, I
can say this: the Orthodox churches have, at the
center of their belief system, the idea that they are
national churches. They are not simply part of the
general body of Christ, but they often take on a
national character. Thus, you have the Ethiopian
Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the Russian Orthodox
Church.) They bear the names of the nations in which
their roots are planted. They also seem to instill in
their followers an extreme loyalty, a spiritual and
emotional connection to their country. To an Orthodox,
his country is his father-mother, his very being and
reason for existence. People are willing to sacrifice
their lives for Ethiopia. Olympic champions give their
medals to a church, out of gratitude for their
victories. That is the patriotism that is so striking
in Ethiopia. People revolve their lives around service
to their country. It is the same in Russia, Greece,
Eritrea, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Macedonia, and Cyprus.
Even military dictators like Joseph Stalin of the
Soviet Union and Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam,
although they were Communist and had no time for
religion, were raised in this atmosphere of extreme
patriotism and so reflected the influence of the
Orthodox Church. All this patriotism is fine and
admirable. As I mentioned in my very first article in
February, if only Ugandans had the national spirit
that the Ethiopians have, we would be so far ahead of
where we are today in economic development. But....it
gets to a point where this patriotism can become
self-destructive, if it is not controlled. And this is
the danger I see facing Ethiopia. If you can't stop
and shout, "Hey, let sanity prevail!", before you know
it, your country could be in flames, such as what we
are witnessing in Yugoslavia and what we saw in 1974
between Greece and Cyprus, when the United Nations had
to intervene.

We need to understand our history. Ethiopians might be
putting all their blame on governments as the cause of
their national problems, yet the same problems existed
even before Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was born. He
himself blamed Ethiopia's problems on the dictator
Colonel Mengistu and so went to the bush to start a
student guerrilla uprising only to come to power and I
am sure by now, 10 years on, has realized that the
problems are so deep, anyone in power in Addis Ababa
will be tempted to react exactly as Mengistu did. Pope
John Paul II visited Greece and Ukraine within the
past two years. For several days before he arrived in
Athens, priests and nuns of the Greek Orthodox Church
staged demonstrations in the streets, denouncing him
and threatening him if he set foot on Greek soil. The
same thing happened in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.
What these hard-line priests and nuns forgot was that
as head of the Vatican, the Pope is a Head of State,
not just the head of the Roman Catholic Church. At
least in his capacity as a Head of State, he deserves
the minimum of a formal diplomatic welcome. When he
visited Syria, a predominantly Muslim country, he was
warmly received, even though the differences between
Islam and Christianity are greater than the divisions
between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox
Church. When your very being, your whole personality
is tied with your country and state, when the question
of your nationality and ethnicity is the main reason
for your existence, it can land you into trouble,
because by their nature, governments and states are
not always sincere, not always rational, and peaceful.
How can a whole nation tie its deepest emotions with
those of the state, ruled as it is by politicians, who
are often the most unreliable people of all? How can
you want to die for your country, when the people who
lead it are mere mortal humans, with their own
political agendas, who use your sentiments to their
advantage, even as you suffer? How can people not see
these things?

This extreme loyalty to one's country lives in nearly
every Ethiopian, particularly those of the Orthodox
faith. It might perhaps be one of the explanations for
the tendency to be volatile that is so easy to observe
in the Ethiopian character. The illusions of national
greatness In May, the South African pay TV network
M-Net held the finals of the M-Net Face of Africa
modeling competition. The title for 2001 was won in
style ---- and really deservingly so --- by a dashing
and charming girl from Senegal. Two days later, when I
met an Ethiopian girl in Kampala, she was angry. She
wanted to write a letter to M-Net in Johannesburg and
ask why they did not have an Ethiopian girl among the
24 African finalists. First, I had to cool her down.
As a typical Ethiopian, she first heated up to 300
degrees centigrade before she had time to think. I had
to try and bring her temperature down to the normal
human 37 degrees, before we could talk.

As usual, she could not help the typical suspicious
Ethiopian way of viewing the world. They are against
us, they are out to get us, there is a hidden agenda
by the Whites against Ethiopia. Classic Ethiopian
mentality. First, my friend couldn't think that there
was also no Ugandan girl in the Face of Africa finals
and yet I wasn't complaining. Secondly, if these
Whites in South Africa are so discriminating against
some Black Africans, how come all the winners of this
200,000-dollar prize have been Black Africans, and not
White South Africans? Then I asked this girl: surely,
you know the shyness and reserve of your fellow
Ethiopian girls. Can you realistically expect shy,
modest, soft-spoken, self-conscious Ethiopians to win
international competitions as fierce as these, where
the stakes are so high? Finally, only after I reasoned
calmly with my friend and with her temper back to
normal, did she admit that, yes, the beautiful and
electrifying girl from Senegal had won the title
outright. No more argument. I did not watch the finals
that Saturday night, but when I eventually watched
parts of it on CNN television the next week, not only
did I confirm that the Senegalese girl was indeed the
deserving winner, but that this charming girl is going
to become one of the most successful models on the
world stage very soon. That Senegalese is even better
than some of these international models like Naomi
Campbell, Tyra Banks, or Cyndi Crawford! I wondered:
did my Ethiopian friend first have to get into a
heated mood, threaten M-Net, before I could calmly
made her see that, if she had thought in a balanced
way before getting all heated up, she would have come
to the same conclusion as me, that the girl from
Senegal deserved to win? Just multiply this Ethiopian
girl's explode-fi rst-then-think-later typical
reaction by 64 million people, and you begin to
understand the difficulty involved in governing
Ethiopia, even if you were St. Gabriel himself!

However, this Ethiopian attitude did not just come
from nowhere. Apparently, Ethiopians are raised under
what seems to outsiders to be brainwashing. They are
raised as children to believe that their country is
the greatest on earth. Most Ethiopians genuinely
believe that their land is the most fertile, their
country is the greenest, their food the ideal and
best, their women the most beautiful in the world,
their history is richer than that of any other nation,
their climate gives them "13 months of sunshine",
their country is mentioned countless t in the Bible,
their music is the best on earth, their traditional
clothing the finest, and of course, they are the only
Black people on earth who successfully beat off
colonial rule. About the general greatness of
Ethiopia, there can be no doubt. I have written and
agreed many t that this is true. Ethiopia, to me,
ranks or should rank among Africa's top five countries
by virtue of its cultural heritage. There is no
question about that. But Ethiopians might also need to
take a close, objective look at the rest of the world,
and their eyes will be opened to the fact that as
great as Ethiopia certainly is, there are many other
countries that as just as great or even greater.

As I asked in my recent long article in June, Ethiopia
and the fate of Africa , if the country is all that
great, it should have been somewhere in the top 10 of
the economic table of the world. But even in
comparison with the rest of Africa, Ethiopia is among
the bottom 10. A painful fact, I know, but better to
be bravely faced than pretend the evidence is not
there. If the girls are all that beautiful and
elegant, why have we never heard of a Miss World from
Ethiopia? If the country has produced so many
well-educated, talented people, so many scientists,
who now live in the "Diaspora" in America, Britain, or
Sweden, how come we never hear of an Ethiopian Grammy
music award winner, an Ethiopian Pulitzer Prize
winner, a Nobel Prize winner, an Academy film award
winner? You can't just say the reason is because the
whole world hates Ethiopia. If the whole world hates
Ethiopia, how come that same world, especially the
White western world, has given so many Olympic and
world championship gold, silver, and bronze medals to
Bekila Abebe, Miruts Yifter, Derartu Tulu, Haile
Gebreselassie? How come this same "biased" world has
not stood in the way of these Ethiopian world-class
athletes becoming famous and quite rich? In other
words, it is time for Ethiopia to start seeing things
in a broad, balanced way, for its own good. When you
are truly great, even the biased, racist White world
still takes note of you. If Ethiopia is lagging behind
even most of Africa, the answer could simply be that
we might not be as great as we imagine we are.

When I came to Addis Ababa last month, I made a point
of carrying photographs of parts of Uganda and
Tanzania's island of Zanzibar, as well as Zimbabwe.
Many Ethiopians I showed the photos were very
surprised by what they saw the dazzling beauty of
Zanzibar, with its coconut trees, white sand, and blue
ocean; the breathtaking beauty of the Victoria Falls
of Zimbabwe at sunset, and Uganda where the country is
green all year round. It opened a few eyes to the
illusions of greatness that most Ethiopians are raised
to believe. Yes, Ethiopia is beautiful. But so are
dozens of other countries like Uganda, the Bahamas,
Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and the Seychelles.
God's handiwork is spread all over the earth, not just
over Ethiopia. I also quietly told some of my
Ethiopian friends to revise their illusion that only
Ethiopian girls are beautiful on the face of this
earth. This is because one day they will travel abroad
and, surprise, surprise, they will see other girls who
will leave them breathless.

This idea of somehow being the most beautiful breed of
people on earth seems to me to be a central theme in
most Ethiopians' minds, so I will comment at length on
it. But ask those people who have been to Nairobi,
Kenya. Or western Uganda. Or Rwanda, Burundi,
Tanzania. Go to Zanzibar. Somalia. Mali. The West
Indies. The Bahamas and Barbados. Some of the Black
Americans and Black British. Have you seen some of
these girls from India who have won the Miss World
beauty pageant? Can anyone argue that they did not
deserve to win? Even these Whites. The Black beauty we
have in Africa is not the only one on earth. Take a
look at the 20 year-old American Pop singer, Britney
Spears. She is White. But what a beauty she is!
Remember the late Princess Diana? Who can argue about
that? Or Marilyn Monroe? Cyndi Crawford? The American
Country music singer Faith Hill? There is this
American actress Cybil Shepherd. I think she really is
a truly beautiful woman. Have you seen some of these
White women who appear on the adverts of the brandy
Remy? Or in the fashion magazines Vogue and
Cosmopolitan. I think that too is pure beauty. I even
see some of the many White girls, the tourists who
walk aimlessly through the streets of Kampala, wearing
dirty slippers and dirty T-shirts, with their funny
blue eyes and blonde hair. Some of them should be
models.

True, Ethiopian girls are beautiful. Very beautiful.
But so are those from many other African and Caribbean
countries. Because Ethiopia has a large population,
the abundance of feminine beauty is more noticeable.
That is why I think a visit to another large city like
Nairobi would help people in Addis Ababa see things
from a broader perspective. What you see might
surprise you. Blacks, Whites, Asians, as far as I am
concerned, all have among them very beautiful people.
Let us not think that we Africans are the only people
God chose to make beautiful! Then there is that other
beauty that they call inner beauty, which at the end
of the day is the only beauty that time does not
erase. One of the problems with thinking of yourselves
as the most beautiful on earth is that it breeds
vanity and surely those who believe in God have some
idea about what God thinks of pride. But more
importantly, if you have this adamant idea that your
girls are the world's most beautiful, then it is
obvious what it leads to SEGREGATION.

Not everyone in any society can be beautiful. If being
beautiful is something Ethiopians hold as dear a part
of their identity as having not been colonized, then
obviously they will become ashamed or uneasy about
those people in Ethiopia who are not beautiful. You
then have to start living a lie or keeping up
superficial appearances, when your identity is based
on vanity, rather than better reasons to be proud, for
example being proud that your country is a just
society which treats all of its people equally. That
is a more sensible thing to be proud of than
perishable human beauty. While I was in Addis Ababa, I
saw several Ethiopians who in terms of appearance look
identical to the very dark-skinned, Black people of
southern Sudan. They speak Amharic and are Ethiopians
in every way. A British girl whom I sat next to on the
flight to Addis Ababa in February, told me when she
came back to Kampala that the general population in
Ethiopia tends to look down upon these dark-skinned
Ethiopians. I refused to believe her. But this second
time in Addis Ababa, I noticed that these people
seemed to be strangers in their own land. They walk
through the streets of Addis Ababa as a group, with
people staring at them. I did not see a single one of
these Ethiopians doing business, owning a shop, or in
a position that seemed one of advantage and
prosperity. I wondered what they do for a living. What
I saw quietly troubled me. But it did not surprise me.
When you build a national identity that revolves
around the myth of beauty and cultural superiority,
rather than on justice and fairness, you inevitably
have these uncomfortable situations of unstated
discrimination.

When I returned to Kampala, I had photographs of the
many places I visited in Ethiopia --- the nice ECA
office buildings, the Sheraton Addis, inside Fasika
restaurant with its attractive artwork, Debre Zeit,
Nazareth, and the countryside. When an Ethiopian
friend of mine saw some photographs of the simple,
humble people riding on horse-drawn carts along muddy
roads in Debre Zeit, she angrily exclaimed: "Why did
you have to take photos of these?" I asked: "But I
thought you Ethiopians love your country. Is this not
Ethiopia too? Are those poor people in Debre Zeit not
Ethiopians also?" To her, Ethiopia is the attractive
images you see in Selemta , the in-flight magazine of
Ethiopian Airlines beautiful women, the Hilton and
Addis Sheraton hotels, the new ECA conference center,
the great rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, the castles
in Gondar, the Blue Nile waterfalls in Bahir Dar, the
great Olympic champions.

The severe poverty in the small towns like Debre Zeit,
which touched my heart so deeply, is something that
many urban Ethiopians would rather not talk about.
They would rather that the visitor walked through the
well-lit corridors of the Sheraton Addis Ababa, and
return home with the Sheraton as the total image of
Ethiopia. But then, what happens to some of us ugly
people? Should we be sent to prison because we don't
meet beauty standards? (Come to think of it, maybe I
should also launch an Ethiopian guerrilla group and
call it the Ugly People's Liberation Front (UPLF), to
fight for the rights of the ugly people!) I think
Ethiopians should start traveling and seeing other
countries. Expand your view! See the broader world.
Make friends! The days of a closed world called
Ethiopia should come to an end. All across Africa,
these are your brothers and sisters.

An Ethiopian told me of how he brought his relative by
road from Ethiopia through Kenya to Uganda. When they
entered Uganda, the young man asked, "Where are we?"
His uncle replied that they were now in Uganda. The
boy could not believe his eyes! "All along," the young
man said, "we are brought up to believe that Ethiopia
was the greenest country around. What is this I am
seeing!" What he was seeing was Uganda. Green from
January to December. But you rarely hear Ugandans talk
about it! Some Ethiopians have told me the same thing.
They step outside Ethiopia, carrying all the legends
and myths they have been fed on since childhood. Then
they discover that there are other countries with
advanced cities, beautiful women, green and fertile
land, sophisticated people, and rich histories, and
suddenly they are in a crisis. Many get into a denial
mode, stubbornly arguing that Ethiopia is still number
one, despite the evidence before their eyes.

When I appeared as a guest on Tefera Ghedamu's Meet
ETV show, I complained about the many Ethiopians who
are struggling to leave the country. I feel that
Ethiopians who were never colonized --- should set a
better than the rest of us Africans, by not flooding
America and Europe, as if we don't have a home. We end
up making the Whites believe even more that they are
superior to us. Our floods of people fighting to enter
their countries have made the Whites feel more
confident that without them and their help, the Black
people are nowhere. But on the other hand, I am somet
tempted to welcome this new craze about going abroad,
which I will address in a later part of this article.
Let these young Ethiopians, who have been raised on a
narrow, inward-looking menu of illusions, go abroad,
open up to the world, see wider places, see the
variety of countries and as a result, develop a more
international outlook than the feeling that the world
starts and ends with Ethiopia.

Discomfort with other nations

A Ugandan friend of mine in Kampala called Michael
attended a workshop in July which several people from
several African countries attended. Commenting about
the Ethiopians he met at the workshop, he said: "They
are painful people to be around!" He said
they are tense, not free with other people, generally
only free with fellow Ethiopians. I understood what he
meant.

An Ethiopian journalist not long ago went to
Washington and when she returned to Addis Ababa, she
wrote an article on her experience of the Ethiopian
community in the United States. Her conclusions were
almost identical to those of other people who know
Ethiopians elsewhere in the world. They keep to
themselves, find it difficult to mingle with other
people, and even if countries where freedom abounds,
the Ethiopians still do not become outspoken or take
part in the life of these countries. White South
Africa Since apartheid ended in South Africa, the huge
White South African businesses have began spreading
all over Africa. I have been observing the White South
Africans, who are already starting to dominate
business in Uganda. I still can't believe those
people. These are people who were raised from
childhood in a country where racial separation and the
tendency to despise Blacks were not just a social
norm, but official church and government policy. Yet
if you see the White South Africans in Uganda today,
they are among the friendliest people you can meet.
They are so popular, they play Rugby and Cricket with
Ugandans, they are always at Ugandan parties mixing
and laughing with Ugandans, and even wearing Ugandan
traditional dress. Many of these White South Africans
date Ugandan men or Ugandan girls. I have wondered to
myself, "Are these the racists that the world
portrayed them to be?". It is so hard to connect
apartheid South Africa with the White South Africans
living and working in Uganda.

I told my friends in Addis Ababa that if you were to
conduct an opinion poll over who they think are more
racist, Ethiopians or White South Africans, 70 percent
of people anywhere in the world would answer that they
think Ethiopians are more racist or at least more
socially discriminating. When the apartheid era in
South Africa came to an end, the White South Africans
displayed the character which, I think, explains why
the are beginning to spread all over Africa and
dominate it.

As I have mentioned, the White South Africans quickly
threw off their racist policies and began to unite
with the rest of Africa. That flexibility of mind
still surprises me. At last week's United Nations
racism conference, a large number of White South
Africans were part of the crowds on the streets of
Durban, South Africa, to demonstrate their opposition
to racism. Whether that gesture is hypocritical or
not, at least it demonstrates a pragmatic attitude,
considering that the White South Africans were raised
to believe in racial separation. So if Ethiopians say
that their isolation and closed country, their
culture, and upbringing are largely responsible for
their aloofness from the rest of Africa, they should
take a look at the White South Africans and see the
importance of flexibility, of recognizing the need to
come out and mix, and be seen to mix with the rest of
Africa. As noted before, the White South Africans are,
today, some of the most popular Africans in Black
Africa. Who would have thought that this would ever
happen, as recent as just 10 years ago, considering
the reputation of White South Africa! It would be a
pity if as time goes on, many people begin to think
that the White South Africans, with all their racist
background, are actually more social than the
Ethiopians.

Something has to be done about this reputation that
Ethiopians have around the world. That impression of
being unable to relate with other Africans is one that
Ethiopians leave behind them everywhere they go. They
give people the impression that they are uncomfortable
with and cannot adjust to other people from other
nationalities. Of course I who has taken the time to
understand Ethiopia, know better than most Ugandans. I
know the realness, the sincerity of Ethiopians, the
hospitality that they are capable of. But most other
people think of Ethiopians that way, as racists, as
more racists than even the White people. This is
something Ethiopi

  

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guerilla_love
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Thu Oct-10-02 01:47 AM

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147. "well"
In response to Reply # 144


          

i skimmed it, because it's so long

but i'd like to read it more in depth

he's absolutely right dead on about family. that's the truth.

been talking to a lot of people about summa the other stuff, and i'm learning a lot..... apparently this article is getting much crculation!

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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kemetian
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Wed Oct-09-02 05:57 PM

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145. "some activities"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Notes

The following are notes on some of the activities I’ve been up to in and around Addis. For the most part my posts have just been describing different experiences without any deep commentary on what I am witnessing. Soon I’ll attempt to address or bring forth what i see as some pressing issues.

The Coffee House

Across from the Egyptian Embassy in an area of Addis called Sidist Kilo is a little restaurant/bar called the Coffee House. On Thursday nights they have jazz night. It’s a cool little place, the music starts at 9:30 and goes till midnight. When you walk in there will be a woman in traditional dress doing coffee ceremony. The bathrooms (like a lot I’ve found) leave much to be desired. Anyway there’s a big screen TV over bythe bar area, where they show black and white snippets of jazz legends. From the bar sectin you can see the restaurant section and the bamnd on the little stage. In another room is a large what I thought was a grill.it’s like a fireplace and the room has chairs all along the walls for ppl to get cozy and talk. You can’t see the band but you can hear them from there. This band is 50% European and 50% Ethiopian. And they are very good. I couldn’t help but laughing at the dude on piano tho’ (I think he’s german). I think perhaps he had seen too many tapes of Ray Charles and he was trying look like he was ‘getting down’ or ‘feeling the music’. Or maybe it was the drinks. Well he was quite stiff and awkward-looking – hilarious!! Besides that the band rocked. There weren’t too many Ethiopians in the house when I was there. Mostly European farenjis. All the tables were candlelit and the food was excellent. I had pasta with what was supposed to be chicken herb sauce but they were out so I had tomato sauce. It was good. The person I went with had fish with sautéed veggies. That was good too (don’t act like you don’t know how we do). The price wasn’t bad. The whole meal (for both of us and drinks and tip) came up to less than 10 bucks! So that’s the coffee house, it took us a while to find but definitely check it out when you come to Ethiopia. Oh that’s one thing about this place, goodness! No signs!!! Not anywhere, there are pedestrian crossing signs. Stop signs. No parking/ u-turn signs. But as far as ‘this way to Bole/ Entoto /Amist Kilo/ National Theatre/ Piazza/ Cathedral? Forget it, you just have to get lost until you get the hang of it. something to work on.
#############################################

Traditional Dance Night at the Alliance Ethio-Francais

While at the conference of Christian/Islamic Relations in Ethiopia held at the German Cultural Institute (a conference that I will write about when I beat my bout of laziness) we saw a flyer to a night of traditional dancing at the ethio-french alliance. The French have their own school here, for their children. I believe the germans do too, and of course there’s an American school. What about the ethio-Malian/Ghanian/Togolese/South African/Congolese/Zimbabwean/Sudanese/Senegalese /Nigerian alliances or cultural institutes you say? There aren’t any. I feel your pain. Anyhoo… the most important bit of info that this flyer had on it was that the mug was free. So off we went that night (getting lost on the way). ‘it’s beside Paul Ries’ Peugeot company.’ Okaay and that would be where exactly? When we finally turned onto the very bumpy road leading to the alliance we thought surely this is not the place. All of the surroundings were quite run down. Then the guards opened the massive gate. Now this is another thing abut Addis. It’s full of contrasts. Right where you least expect it is a remnant of the Garden of Eden and 9 times out of 10 it’s some white folks on it. they sure now how to hook themselves up (or we like to hook them up), WHEREVER they are. Yes, a bit of Eden the Alliance is. The grounds are gorgeous, well-manicured. They hold classes there and the construction of the place itself is really nice. Carved wood trimmings, etc. there is a stone walkway leading up to the place where the dancing was to take place. Still thinking about the contrasts we entered the main building. It actually sort of reminded me of my high school in JA. There were ppl milling about everywhere. Ethiopians doing the French kiss on the cheeks (which is only once on each cheek and barely touching). There were Ethiopians speaking to their French counterparts in french. Little brown babies running around with their Ethiopian nannies chasing them and their white mothers getting caught up with their friends. In the room were several small round wooden tables and traditional round stools. On each table was a menu in French and Amharic of what was being served and the price beside each item. So not completely free. It was all good I wasn’t hungry anyway. We sat at a table in the smoky (from incense) dimly lit place. On either side of the room were the tables and many people and in the middle the area was cleared for the performers. This area had a red glow from the stage lights.

Men came out first, in the traditional white sandals, white pants, long white shirt and white wrap over the shirt. Some had a sash of sorts with Ethiopian colors on it diagonally across their shirts. They played traditional instruments, whose names I unfortunately cannot remember. They are stringed instruments, one resembles the kora or Senegal and there’s one that is played with a bow. Then a famous Ethiopian singer came out whose name I didn’t catch but I remember her from television on Addis Amet. ( not Aster). Then the dancers came out. Only 2. a man and a woman. And they were
Excellent - Dinqnash!!!!
As the night went on, more and more people came, the place was at full capacity. There were all kinds of people at this point. Teens, young adults, older adults – mostly Ethiopians. The atmosphere was festive. It’s very hard to describe the dancing. It’s called skista. It’s like doing the harlem shake while having a seizure. Primarily the upper body is moved. They popped their chests forward, the woman knelt on one knee and pivoted around while bringing her neck in and popping it out. The man invited a young lady from the audience to dance with him. She tore it up, she held her own and then some. He vibrated his upper body as if being shocked and she did the same, he popped his chest she did the same. It was excellent. She got a standing ovation. We left before it was over, but during the course of the performance the dancers would come on and then retreat only to return just as full of energy. The male performer sometimes performed with a stick. At one point one of the musicians and the singer had a little back and forth going through song. I wished I could understand Amharic at that point because the audience was cracking up. I hope to find a video I hear is floating around with the traditional dances of some of the major ethnic groups in Ethiopia, Skista sure would breath some life into popular choreography in America. I’m so bored with the dancing (or lack of) in our musical performances now. Black folks have pretty much stopped dancing and the others are just rehashing old Michael and Janet Jackson moves. It’s pathetic.

Fatima can you hear me?

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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kemetian
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1336 posts
Mon Oct-14-02 03:36 AM

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148. "^"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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kemetian
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Thu Oct-17-02 11:22 AM

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149. "Shashemene I"
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The drive to Shashemene was very good. The road there is very smooth and it is about 240 km from Addis Ababa. We left on Tuesday morning at around and arrived in Shashemene early afternoon. We got a little confused on the way because there were signs saying Shashemene hospital and other such signs before we actually got to the place we were looking for. My host told me of a shop that sells oils and incense that she wanted to stop at. Well when we arrived it was lunch time and the place was closed. This shop can be recognized by a large painting on its wall of a black Lion of Judah with an Ethiopian flag as the backdrop. It is located beside the Ethiopian world federation office. Apparently this federation has been given international NGO status and is using a land grant. All of the rastatfarians in Shashemene do not live together. Actually there are several groups, including the 12 Tribes, The House of Nyabinghi and those that are associated with the EWF. There is one more whose name escapes me now. this was news to me as i thought all Ras was Ras and that was it.

We pulled over in front of another shop that happened to be opened. A young man stopped by the window and said “wha yuh a seh?” I understood what he was saying of course but my host just stared back at him with a blank look on her face. “evryting irie?” I then said “yes we are doing fine.” she asked about the museum beside the EWF and was told that it was closed. We then made our way into the shop. The storekeeper, a woman about 5’7” with a luminous black complexion was giving some screws to a young man along with some instructions about something that needed fixing. She wore a traditional west African outfit. We then introduced ourselves. Upon hearing that I was from Jamaica she asked me which part. I said St. Ann. “Really? I have a lickle shop in Ocho Ryos.” Really? Wow, I lived not too far from there. I asked her how long she had been in Ethiopia. She leaned forward on the glass counter, her chest resting in the cradle her folded arms had made. She told me. I asked her how it has been. She said rough. my host then asked what exactly she meant. She then went on to tell us that what she thought life would be like here and what it actually is, is 2 different things. “We are taught back home in the teachings you know that we are one blood. Hmph one blood? One blood? It’s a different thing ma dear. A different thing. You see, to Ethiopians we are still farenjis, they expec’ dat yuh come wid a lot of money. And some of di bredrin come ova here an’ ah pop sport and a live big life, drinkin’ areke (a local alcoholic drink), and mixing up with the young girls and givin rasta man bad name. When di money finish dem doan have nutten. They caan fine no work.” She spoke of rastas being harassed by the police, apparently they are allowed to smoke ‘herb’ in their back yards, but she spoke of police coming into the people’s yards and charging upwards of 2000 birr for possession of a spliff.

Once we got her going, she let it all out as if she had been waiting, dying for someone to ask so she could speak her piece. “Mi ah no paupa, I come here to help, I leave 2 homes in Jamaica and I have a little business at the entrance of Dunn’s River Falls ( a famous tourist spot in JA), if you si a shop name Marlene No pressure shop, ah me dat.” She said she is basically using the money from that store to live on in ethiopia along with whatever little she makes from the shop we were in. she then spoke of disunity among the rasta in the community itself.

"that set live up dere, this set live ova here, everybody want they own land and they own church. everybody wants to do they own thing and nobody wants to work together. "

"You see dat school across the way? Ras so and so built it for rasta children and Ethiopian children now they force the children to cut off them locks, any child wid locks cannot go in there. " She said the same for another school down the street. "Yuh si dat? and is we buil' it." . then she told us of a Ras bredrin who was employing a young man. He paid the young man and the man wasn't doing the work. He fired him and the young man came back and shot him – dead. she said the local authorities weren't doing anything about it. "the more you give the more they want," she complained, pausing to wipe the tears from her eyes. In addition to this she says, there are rumors of the government wanting to take back land. she said this land was gift from HIM and they are trying to take it back.

“So you si everywhere rastaman go we sufferin’. But anyway we believe in his majesty selassie and that will bring us through.” I purchased some very potent oil and left my friend, squeezing her hand and telling her to "hush" and take care. She said "pray for wi, yuh hear?" definitely, definitely.

We then made our way to the house of Nyabhingi. Here women are required to cover their heads and wear a skirt. In front of the brightly painted house is a structure made of concrete concentric circles. Intermittently throughout the structure are ornately decorated iron gates, painted red, greed, gold and black with several stars of david. Atop it is an Ethiopian flag and inside are many flags including the Black national flag conceptualized by the Jamaican national hero honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, the Ethiopian flag, with and without the lion of Judah and flags that say ‘Jah lives’ on them. We drove around their church, still under construction, past a little area where the ironworker was making more iron art for the church and pulled up in front of the house. At the door a tall, dark person stood and heard the person say “mi nuh haffi look ah who?” (I have to see who it is.) the person had locks wrapped up and a long outfit on. The person had, also a beard aht was about 2” inches long. So I referred to the person as a he to my host. My host having been there before quickly corrected me, “that’s a woman.” But she has a beard, not quite sure now if I had actually seen it or not. “yes she does.”
Oh.

The entire compound is very beautiful, there is lush green grass everywhere and flowers growing around the church. The sky was a clear blue that day and the sun radiated gently over the property. We went up the steps to the verandah, on the other side of the steps was a wheelchair ramp. We greeted the lady, the only lady in the house of mainly men. Inside was dimly lit, to the left was a little room, in front of the room on a board was painted the rules of the ‘theocratical churchical house of the nyabhingi.’, which included the 2 I previously mentioned. In corner facing it was a small cd player and a large drum with a chair. On it sat papa _____. I am not good with names, in case you haven’t figured out by now. He wore a bright mustard pair of pants with a matching sweatshirt. Behind papa on a portable blackboard was written the Amharic alphabet. To his left (my right) against the wall was a table. The tablecloth hung all the way to the ground and on it was written the house of nyabhingi. Above the table were pictures of Haile Selassie and his wife and Marcus Garvey. The table was full of books, “important utterances of H.I.M. Haile Selassie,” volumes 1 and 2, there was a bible in Amharic and in English. Other books included, 12 great black leaders. Some were published in London, some in new york and all looked like they had seen better days. To the right of the table was another room, the kkitchen. My host asked the lady if she had any of the nice food she had had on her previous visit, to which the lady replied “I can really call it food still, but I have 2 lickle frittas here.” Well by this time the author was well hungry, I’m telling you those were the sweetest tasting fritters I ever had. After our snack we promised to return in the morning for what the lady called ‘real nice food.’ She said she would be expecting us in the morning. We climbed back into the vehicle and made our way to Wondo Ganet.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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kemetian
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Sat Oct-19-02 05:44 AM

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150. "Wondo Ganet"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Wondo Ganet isn’t terribly far from Shashemene. The road is the same smooth road from Addis and I hear this road can take you straight to Kenya! On both sides you get to appreciate the wonder Nyame’s creation. The landscape changes considerably. It’s just open field, fields of tef, cindi (wheat) and piccolo (corn). There are circular natural homes with thatched roofs that often have a pointy object at the very peak. In Maharishi architecture this is very important as it focuses energy, this can be seen throughout Ethiopia. There are young girls carrying large bundles of sticks on their backs the way the women of Entoto carry the bundles of eucalyptus. Sometimes there are collections of houses surrounded by hedges. Some houses have been decorated with paint, some say ‘welcome’ on them, others have geometric designs reminiscent of Zulu design. I also saw some tombstones like those on display at the IES that I described. They had pictures painted on them of a person, sometimes it was a person atop a horse with a sword, which reminds me of the pictures i have seen of St. George here. Yes, a smooth road until you get to an intersection which separates the way to Wondo Ganet and that to Awassa. There was a sign turn left to Wondo Ganet, 14 km. Ha! 14km. When you visit Ethiopia you will notice that people sometimes get teens and ties mixed up. That is, you might have to say four-zero when you mean 40 because 40 and 14 sound similar and people often get them mixed up, hence the saying of the individual numbers for clarification. Well let me tell you, I fear they have made that mistake with that sign because trus’ di I when I say, that 14km feels like 114! The road to Shashemene has made you thoroughly spoilt and makes the unasphalted road to Wondo Ganet slightly annoying. Bump bump bump! Somehow land cruisers manage to speed their way through this area, leaving a cloud of dust so thick sometimes we had to crawl to a halt because we could not see in front of us. Sometimes it’s a truck to your left, a horse-drawn cart to your right and you in the middle. There is a section of winding road on the side of a mountain that reminds me of tv shows I’ve seen of people driving on the coast in Cali. To your right and down (way down) is grass of varying shades of green, more traditional homes. The view is really beautiful so it makes up for the road. But then the road gets really really rough. There is mostly red dirt in this area and you can’t go more than 5km/hr. Up up up you go. There are some false banana plants lining the road. There are homes in this area so neighborhood children can keep pace with you, going so slowly. Some are selling papayas, others, guavas, some aren’t selling anything at all. Just as I thought I could bear the bumping no longer we spotted the blessed sight of a light blue sign with white lettering. It had 2 arrows, one pointing left for Wondo Ganet hotel and restaurant and the other right to the springs.

We went left so that we could take a sit down and eat properly. We went up the path leading past the hotel and we parked. The area is really beautiful with several tall, trees with overhanging branches. Their roots are thick and there is one tree that sits in front of reception that would take several people to encircle it, so thick its base. There is another path which leads to the restaurant. It is lined with beautiful flowers. It looks out of place though, with its spaceship-like architecture. You can sit on its roof and enjoy the view of the mountains in the distance. My hosts said that the food at the restaurant wasn’t that hot so we made sure we were prepared. We had packed dabo (baked that morning!), fruits, peanuts and peanut brittle and a roasted barley snack that is particularly popular here. We then sat on some stumps that partially encircled a tree. On the tree the staff had put a little garbage can. We got our food out of the vehicle, unwrapped our dabo and got some cookies out and water. Then we had an uninvited guest. A little monkey decided it would join us for lunch. We tried shooing it away at first, it backed up then moved forward again. The people at reception called out to us and said “dabo, dabo, dabo!” oh it wants dab huh? We gave it pieces of dabo and it ate. Then its friend or cousin or something jumped on the vehicle and tried to go inside! After getting it off of the vehicle it joined us too. 5 min later there were no less than 7 monkeys around us. They had been in the large trees. Some were still there. Some were small and brown-grey. Some were large and black and white. The black and white ones are called Guereza and the brown ones I believe called Vervet, so look that up so you can see what I am talking about. I myself had never seen monkeys that close up. I watched them, it’s interesting how human-like they are. We gave them bananas. They peeled them, ate the inside, put the peel down and wiped off their hands in some cases! Other times when we had already eaten part of the banana they ate what was left before throwing way the peel. I watched them eat orange. They took the wedge ate the inside of the orange and took out the white skin; the part that I eat myself apparently is not good enough for them. They didn’t spit it out either, they used their hands to take it out and put it down. They ate our peanuts, they didn’t too much care for the peanut brittle, oranges, bananas and dabo and were looking expectantly as if they expected us to give them some water and a glass. The brown ones were more polite than the black and white ones. They would just come up to sitting on their rump and look at you, sometimes crossing their hands. The largest of the Guereza came over and we could not shoo it away at all, it even tried to grab some food! Well I snapped some photos while they were there. Afterwards we packed up all the food and put it back into the vehicle. My host wanted to take some pictures of them. Well let me tell you, after the food was gone, so were they. I don’t mean they weren’t on the ground anymore, I mean we couldn’t even find them in the trees! It was like they completely disappeared. So, no photos for her unfortunately. After taking a little tour of the grounds we set off for the springs.

The springs are a stone’s throw away from the restaurant, we parked got out and went to the entrance. It costs 5.25 Birr to get a private room, I don’t know how much for the communal place. The manager got the key for my room and unlocked it and gave me a small bar of soap. The tub had already been filled and the water was still going. At the bottom of the tub is a large wooden plug. You can take this out and let the water run out and opt to take a shower or you can just sit in the tub. I closed the door, removed my clothes and stepped into the tub.
Just as quickly, I stepped back out.
Obviously I was going to have to do this gradually; the water was scalding!!!!! I put in one foot at a time and ever…so….slowly…I lowered the rest of my body inside, oftentimes having to start over because I just couldn’t take the heat. About 5 min later my whole body was immersed in the water. Aaah! The water felt great. I spent about 30-45 min in Wondo Ganet’s healing mineral waters. The water is channeled from the mountain, I hear further up the mountain the water is about 10 times as hot. They channel the water into about 5 or 6 private rooms, an outside area, one side for men, one for women, where the water comes through pipes and off the rocks onto you. There is also a large pool you can go swimming in. when people need healing, they stay for a number of days and take the baths everyday for the duration of their stay. I let the water out of the tub and took a shower in there, washing my hair. I felt really good when I finally emerged. We all did. We then hopped in the vehicle and off to Awassa we went.



Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Abdurrashid
Member since Jun 20th 2002
15939 posts
Sat Oct-19-02 06:11 AM

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151. "Sounds soo wonderful...I can't wait to go next summer"
In response to Reply # 150


  

          

>Wondo Ganet isn’t terribly far from Shashemene. The road is
>the same smooth road from Addis and I hear this road can
>take you straight to Kenya! On both sides you get to
>appreciate the wonder Nyame’s creation. The landscape
>changes considerably. It’s just open field, fields of tef,
>cindi (wheat) and piccolo (corn). There are circular
>natural homes with thatched roofs that often have a pointy
>object at the very peak. In Maharishi architecture this is
>very important as it focuses energy, this can be seen
>throughout Ethiopia. There are young girls carrying large
>bundles of sticks on their backs the way the women of Entoto
>carry the bundles of eucalyptus. Sometimes there are
>collections of houses surrounded by hedges. Some houses
>have been decorated with paint, some say ‘welcome’ on them,
>others have geometric designs reminiscent of Zulu design. I
>also saw some tombstones like those on display at the IES
>that I described. They had pictures painted on them of a
>person, sometimes it was a person atop a horse with a sword,
>which reminds me of the pictures i have seen of St. George
>here. Yes, a smooth road until you get to an intersection
>which separates the way to Wondo Ganet and that to Awassa.
>There was a sign turn left to Wondo Ganet, 14 km. Ha! 14km.
>When you visit Ethiopia you will notice that people
>sometimes get teens and ties mixed up. That is, you might
>have to say four-zero when you mean 40 because 40 and 14
>sound similar and people often get them mixed up, hence the
>saying of the individual numbers for clarification. Well let
>me tell you, I fear they have made that mistake with that
>sign because trus’ di I when I say, that 14km feels like
>114! The road to Shashemene has made you thoroughly spoilt
>and makes the unasphalted road to Wondo Ganet slightly
>annoying. Bump bump bump! Somehow land cruisers manage to
>speed their way through this area, leaving a cloud of dust
>so thick sometimes we had to crawl to a halt because we
>could not see in front of us. Sometimes it’s a truck to
>your left, a horse-drawn cart to your right and you in the
>middle. There is a section of winding road on the side of a
>mountain that reminds me of tv shows I’ve seen of people
>driving on the coast in Cali. To your right and down (way
>down) is grass of varying shades of green, more traditional
>homes. The view is really beautiful so it makes up for the
>road. But then the road gets really really rough. There is
>mostly red dirt in this area and you can’t go more than
>5km/hr. Up up up you go. There are some false banana plants
>lining the road. There are homes in this area so
>neighborhood children can keep pace with you, going so
>slowly. Some are selling papayas, others, guavas, some
>aren’t selling anything at all. Just as I thought I could
>bear the bumping no longer we spotted the blessed sight of a
>light blue sign with white lettering. It had 2 arrows, one
>pointing left for Wondo Ganet hotel and restaurant and the
>other right to the springs.
>
>We went left so that we could take a sit down and eat
>properly. We went up the path leading past the hotel and we
>parked. The area is really beautiful with several tall,
>trees with overhanging branches. Their roots are thick and
>there is one tree that sits in front of reception that would
>take several people to encircle it, so thick its base. There
>is another path which leads to the restaurant. It is lined
>with beautiful flowers. It looks out of place though, with
>its spaceship-like architecture. You can sit on its roof
>and enjoy the view of the mountains in the distance. My
>hosts said that the food at the restaurant wasn’t that hot
>so we made sure we were prepared. We had packed dabo (baked
>that morning!), fruits, peanuts and peanut brittle and a
>roasted barley snack that is particularly popular here. We
>then sat on some stumps that partially encircled a tree. On
>the tree the staff had put a little garbage can. We got our
>food out of the vehicle, unwrapped our dabo and got some
>cookies out and water. Then we had an uninvited guest. A
>little monkey decided it would join us for lunch. We tried
>shooing it away at first, it backed up then moved forward
>again. The people at reception called out to us and said
>“dabo, dabo, dabo!” oh it wants dab huh? We gave it pieces
>of dabo and it ate. Then its friend or cousin or something
>jumped on the vehicle and tried to go inside! After getting
>it off of the vehicle it joined us too. 5 min later there
>were no less than 7 monkeys around us. They had been in the
>large trees. Some were still there. Some were small and
>brown-grey. Some were large and black and white. The black
>and white ones are called Guereza and the brown ones I
>believe called Vervet, so look that up so you can see what I
>am talking about. I myself had never seen monkeys that close
>up. I watched them, it’s interesting how human-like they
>are. We gave them bananas. They peeled them, ate the inside,
>put the peel down and wiped off their hands in some cases!
>Other times when we had already eaten part of the banana
>they ate what was left before throwing way the peel. I
>watched them eat orange. They took the wedge ate the inside
>of the orange and took out the white skin; the part that I
>eat myself apparently is not good enough for them. They
>didn’t spit it out either, they used their hands to take it
>out and put it down. They ate our peanuts, they didn’t too
>much care for the peanut brittle, oranges, bananas and dabo
>and were looking expectantly as if they expected us to give
>them some water and a glass. The brown ones were more polite
>than the black and white ones. They would just come up to
>sitting on their rump and look at you, sometimes crossing
>their hands. The largest of the Guereza came over and we
>could not shoo it away at all, it even tried to grab some
>food! Well I snapped some photos while they were there.
>Afterwards we packed up all the food and put it back into
>the vehicle. My host wanted to take some pictures of them.
>Well let me tell you, after the food was gone, so were they.
>I don’t mean they weren’t on the ground anymore, I mean we
>couldn’t even find them in the trees! It was like they
>completely disappeared. So, no photos for her unfortunately.
>After taking a little tour of the grounds we set off for the
>springs.
>
>The springs are a stone’s throw away from the restaurant, we
>parked got out and went to the entrance. It costs 5.25 Birr
>to get a private room, I don’t know how much for the
>communal place. The manager got the key for my room and
>unlocked it and gave me a small bar of soap. The tub had
>already been filled and the water was still going. At the
>bottom of the tub is a large wooden plug. You can take this
>out and let the water run out and opt to take a shower or
>you can just sit in the tub. I closed the door, removed my
>clothes and stepped into the tub.
>Just as quickly, I stepped back out.
>Obviously I was going to have to do this gradually; the
>water was scalding!!!!! I put in one foot at a time and
>ever…so….slowly…I lowered the rest of my body inside,
>oftentimes having to start over because I just couldn’t take
>the heat. About 5 min later my whole body was immersed in
>the water. Aaah! The water felt great. I spent about 30-45
>min in Wondo Ganet’s healing mineral waters. The water is
>channeled from the mountain, I hear further up the mountain
>the water is about 10 times as hot. They channel the water
>into about 5 or 6 private rooms, an outside area, one side
>for men, one for women, where the water comes through pipes
>and off the rocks onto you. There is also a large pool you
>can go swimming in. when people need healing, they stay for
>a number of days and take the baths everyday for the
>duration of their stay. I let the water out of the tub and
>took a shower in there, washing my hair. I felt really good
>when I finally emerged. We all did. We then hopped in the
>vehicle and off to Awassa we went.

"The camel never sees its own hump but that of its brothers is always before its eyes"- N.African proverb

Alhamdullah For Everything!

  

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kemetian
Charter member
1336 posts
Wed Oct-23-02 02:00 AM

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152. "^"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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kemetian
Charter member
1336 posts
Wed Oct-23-02 06:28 AM

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153. "Desta: Master Traditional Dancer"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Sorry for the break in sequence, Awassa and Shashemene II are coming.

If you’ve been reading my posts you’ve noticed more than 1 reference to Skista: Ethiopian traditional dance. This dance is really entertaining to watch. When you come to Ethiopia be sure to stop by the gift shop at the Tourism authority and pick up a videotape collection of about 16 different traditional dances from different areas. You will no doubt see these dancers on Ethiopian Television or at major functions. There are a number of restaurant/clubs that boast traditional dancers as well and every month the Ethio-Francais Alliance has Azmari night, a night of traditional dancing (check out http://www.whatsupaddis.com to see what’s happening in and around Addis Ababa). Well, one of the foremost dancers in Ethiopia is Desta – a middle-aged woman and Master Dancer. I have the privilege of doing dance classes with her now. It was a little hard to find at first, but for a very reasonable amount you can learn traditional Ethiopian dance from a Master Dancer. I know if this lady were doing workshops in the U.S. she’d be making loads. Anyway her classes are for one hour every weekday, during which you travel around Ethiopia through dance. Deftly switching her tapes on her double-cassette player, you switch from Tigray dancing to Amhara, Gurage, Oromo, the rather difficult (for me anyway) Wolaita, that of Gondar and Wollo and Gojam dancing. We have covered all of the above regions except for Oromo and I have only done 2 days! Skista looks very hard when you see it and it takes a lot of work. Her dance studio that is by day a basic school, is located near Churchill road close to the main Post Office. It is off the road Kream mentioned getting reasonably-priced souvenirs as an alternative to Merkato.

The class, with the exception of myself and my host, is comprised of all ‘Habesha.’ Mostly middle-aged women who want to either develop or brush up on already existing skills to show off at the next wedding come to the class at around 5:30 p.m. everyday after work. They change out of their suits into baggy t-shirts and sweatpants and begin the jerking chest motion that is typical of Skista. If you are familiar with hip hop or popular black dance you shouldn’t have too much of a problem. The dances are similar. Emphasis is placed on neck and should movements. It’s very important to be able to isolate parts of your body including your shoulders, your neck and chest. Depending on the region, some fancy footwork is involved. For example, Gurage dancing requires a lot of movement and if you’re not in shape it can quickly become exhausting.

Lucky for us there are a few English speakers in the class as Desta speaks almost entirely in Amharic. They came in handy when just yesterday W./o Desta warned us of thinking that what we see on TV is actual traditional dance. “Much of it is mixed with contemporary dancing.” She imitated the dancers by doing wild jerky motions, causing an uproar of laughter in the class. “And people clap for this?” She is a firm teacher, having no qualms about telling you when you are doing is wrong, she often imitates what you are doing then shows you how to do it. Sometimes she will have you sit down and watch others or she’ll have everyone sit down and do some one-on–one training.
“And…hulet… Sost!” she keeps count as the students try very hard to imitate her. In between steps she sways to the music, loosening us up by singling out a student and saying “Taddeus?” in a booming voice. She draws from everyday experiences to explain how to do the dances. “Pretend you are hushing a baby. Shuru, shuru, shuru.” She says, making the hushing sounds and bringing her chest forward in rhythm. Sometimes she gets so lost in the music I wonder if she remembers the students in the room, It is clear she truly LOVES what she is doing,

Neck Action
Neck action is universal folks! That’s right, the neck movement that is normally attributed to Sisters in America whose last nerve has been worked, is done in Ethiopia as well. Desta told us, when illustrating the neck movement featured in many of the regions’ dances, “It’s like when you are arguing with your husband.” She pointed her finger, squinted her eyes and moved her neck right and left. Yep, those days of practicing on the playground, snapping your fingers in time with your neck moving right and left and all around was not for naught. It hurts after a while though, because chances are you never did it that fast on the playground or for that long. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 that’s your neck going back successively in time with the (fast) beat, then 1…2…3. that’s your neck going right and left. Then 1,2…8 again. Yes neck stretches are every helpful. You know she is happy with what you are doing when she exclaims “Au!” or “Heh!” She may stop dancing herself and just clap for you, topping it off with “Betam gobez! (very good!)” and that’s exactly how you’ll feel at the end of every class.

Price
If you are spending at least 2 weeks in Ethiopia I would definitely try to enroll in this class. At 300 Birr/month it’s a very good bargain for what you are getting, everyday for an hour, you are being taught the dances of all the regions by a Master Dancer and very capable teacher. Plus, the longer you take the classes, the cheaper the fee. The downside is even if you only attend for only 2 weeks you will still have to pay the full amount. Even so it’s not that bad and remember, everything’s negotiable.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Solarus
Charter member
3604 posts
Wed Oct-23-02 06:43 AM

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154. "Ethiopian Martial Arts"
In response to Reply # 153


  

          

Did you witness any while you were there?

any headbutting, stickfighting, wrestling???

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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Kream
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Wed Oct-23-02 10:58 AM

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157. "LoL"
In response to Reply # 154


          


>any headbutting, stickfighting, wrestling???

Isn't that what the 'doryeyees' do?

Peace,
Kream

  

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Solarus
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Thu Oct-24-02 07:05 AM

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159. "?"
In response to Reply # 157


  

          

Who are they?

And what is funny?

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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kemetian
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Fri Oct-25-02 07:54 AM

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161. "sort of"
In response to Reply # 154


  

          

i saw a form of stick fighting at the musuem (not up close, live or anything), that might not count tho'. but to be sure there is a form of martial arts here. as far as speaking amharic goes...tinish, tinish (un poquito as u would say.)


Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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guerilla_love
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Fri Oct-25-02 07:56 AM

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162. "i find"
In response to Reply # 161


          

it's easier to listen than speak amharic

stick fighting is _absolutely_ martial arts!

.....

"Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain't goin' nowhere"
- Amiri Baraka

http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines

BUY MY BOOK- only $6! Inbox me for details

  

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Solarus
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Wed Oct-23-02 06:48 AM

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155. "Hol up"
In response to Reply # 153


  

          

u still there?! Damn you've been there a long time! So I KNOW you speak amharic now! (just kidding )

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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Kream
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Wed Oct-23-02 11:00 AM

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158. "Are you going to Axum?"
In response to Reply # 0


          


Just wondering if the price worked out.

Also, will you have enough time to go to Harar? (If you're even considering it)

Peace,
Kream

  

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kemetian
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Tue Oct-29-02 02:21 AM

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165. "^"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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kemetian
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Tue Oct-29-02 10:15 AM

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166. "Awassa"
In response to Reply # 165


  

          


Well I’ve slacked for far too long. Currently I am attending a seminar on African Literature. The authors tonight have been exercising their ability to give excuses as to why they publish in French as opposed to their African indigenous languages (I mean besides the fact that they would not have been invited to speak by the Alliance Ethio-Francais, which curiously, has no ‘E’ in its acronym). With the exception of the Ethiopian authors, those who have spoken claim to be more ‘comfortable’ writing in French, or complain of not seeing the point of publishing in the language of their little ‘tribe’ as the readership would be close to nil, etc. etc. how sad. Speaking of sad, i must be getting old. My body is sore from W/o Desta’s class, knees aching, back aching, shoulders aching…Azmari Night’s coming up on Thursday tho’ so hopefully I’ll be able to do a little sumthin sumthin. Alas, this has NOTHING to do with Awassa and Shashemene, so now I reach back into the recesses of my mind to recall as vividly as possible the activities of that time that now seems so long ago. Like I said I must be getting old ‘cause it wasn’t that long ago.
******************************************************

… We were so happy to get back on that smooth road to Awassa. It was more of the same scenery with more frequent occurrences of horse-drawn carts. When arrived in Awassa it was nearing dusk. We drove directly to the big beautiful lake that is the highlight of Awassa. When We pulled up there were people all around. Some people stood at the bank of the lake holding hands and chatting animatedly, others just watched the sun set in silence, still others sailed in little boats on the lake. ppl rode their bicycles past us, stopping on occasion to patronize the peanut or popcorn vendor.

**A note: Handholding isn’t just for those enamored of each other here in Ethiopia. It’s a sign of friendship, so it’s not uncommon to see members of the same gender walking and holding hands, be they male or female.

We joined the silent sunset-watchers at the bank of the huge lake. The water washed up against the sides. After the sun took her final bow, but before the stars could precede the moon for the final act, we hopped in the vehicle to find a hotel.

**Another note: this time about hotels in Ethiopia. A lot of them are not up to very good standards, in particular the restroom facilities. I’ve heard many a horror story about hotels that were supposed to be good that ended up being anything but. My hosts told me of a hotel they stayed at in Shashemene that refused to give them more than one towel even though 2 ppl were staying in the room, that had an odorous rug in the room that they refused to remove and whose restroom facilities were so horrible they thought it better to go to the forest to relieve themselves, hence their insistence on spending the night in Awassa. Your best bet is to check out a guide or ask ppl who have traveled and are used to the standards you are used to. There is another trick you can use that I will explain presently.

There are several hotels in Awassa, they include: Wabe Shebele I & II and the Pinna hotel. There are others but their names escape me now. Since we were closer to W.S. II we decided to stay at that one. As it turns out we were just closer to the sign pointing to it. you see that wasn’t the only sign pointing to it, in addition to that, that the sign was there didn’t necessarily mean that the hotel was nearby. Indeed we spent an additional half an hour looking for this hotel, all the while going deeper and deeper into what looked like at this time of day very foreboding woods. Turning right then turning left driving some more over rough road looking for another sign or the hotel itself. We got a lot of false positives. Just as I thought we would never reach we saw the blue and white sign and an opening. It wasn’t very well lit and there was a lot of shrubbery around. By now very tired, we pulled up to a building with a sign on it that read ‘Reception.’ We went to the desk to find a room.
How much are the rooms?
“35 Birr for Ethiopians and 90 Birr for farenjis.” I should’ve stayed in the car. Later I was told it wouldn’t have made a difference because they would’ve asked for ID.
“how many of you are there?”
3 females, 1 male.
“there are only 2 rooms available though.”
Can 3 of us stay in a room?
“No. You will have to get 1 room for 2 of you, 1 room for the male and 1 room for the other person. But there are only 2 rooms available. There is a government meeting here and they are using all of the rooms. They’ll be gone tomorrow though.” We groaned. (but that doesn’t help us NOW). We left dejected because all of that driving was for nothing. I mean I’m sure we would’ve enjoyed the scenery if it wasn’t for the fact it was pitch black outside. Fortunately, one of us had been talking to someone at Wondo Ganet who recommended some hotels, one of which was the Lina hotel. So we set off looking for it. It took less time to get to the 1st W.S. II sign from the hotel than it did doing the opposite. That could’ve been perception though. we headed towards some street lights all the while looking for hotels. Then we saw one: The Pinna Hotel. That was the hotel recommended, Pinna not Lina. We made a U-turn and pulled up to it. it is beside a restaurant on a very busy street - the exact opposite of the previous hotel. We peered through the window, the lobby looked promising. Another comfort was all the Land Cruisers parked in the small lot in front of the hotel.

**Yet another note: actually, this is a continuation of the last one, you know, the trick I was going to tell you. This is how you can tell if a hotel is good or not, that is, if it’s not called Sheraton Addis and is owned by Ethiopian gazillionaire Sheikh Al-Amoudi (here, the term Sheikh is bestowed on a very rich person who claims Islam as his religion and has had a heaping helping of arab money to help him along the way). If you see Land Cruisers, or even better, Land Rovers in front of a hotel, especially if there’s a Red Cross on the side, or the letters ‘U’ ‘N’ on the license plate, or the license plate is yellow, it is highly probable that said hotel is clean and the service is good (another note is forthcoming about ‘service’ at these hotels). You see when the ‘Lords of Poverty’ (pick up that book) are on their way to their ribbon-cutting, they exploit their colonial-style privileges in developing countries only at the best of hotels or on prime land of said countries. So if you see a sign of them, at a hotel anyway, it is a good thing with regards to the hotel.

Heartened, we entered and enquired about a room. “150 Birr for farenjis 75 Birr for Ethiopians.” Can 3 of us stay in 1 room? “Yes but you will have to pay the farenji price. We can give you an extra little bed and linens.” Thank you. The rooms looked very good and they even brought the price down to 110 Birr. Very good means I only saw 2 roaches, there was mosquito netting over the beds, each room a television with a movie channel, ETV and who cares about the rest. You do? Ok, 2 BBCs and a CNN. There was a night stand and a desk and I believe each room has a balcony. At least our 2 did. The bathroom was cool, toilet worked, it had a seat (many public toilets for some reason are without seats). The water pressure was good from the showerhead and there were plenty of linens. Our fatigue was surpassed only by our ravenousness. We were howngray. All that monkey food we had Wondo Ganet wasn’t cuttin’ it, I needed some Wat, some Injerra, some kiti… well, I wasn’t that hungry. We went to the restaurant beside the hotel and used one of their private rooms, only because it was set up with traditional stools around a messaup and nobody else was using it. the dinner was served promptly, I stuffed myself and washed it down with some Ambo. I rolled myself over to the hotel and worked off some of the dinner by climbing the 3 flights of stairs to our floor. folks in wheelchairs are out of luck if the bottom floor is full – i.e. no elevator. I flopped onto the bed and half-watched a movie that was on. I lowered the mosquito netting and went to sleep. The next morning I watched the sunrise from the balcony. We all showered and packed up our stuff. We went downstairs, paid the bill and were pleasantly surprised to see that our very dirty vehicle had been washed. We tipped the man who had taken our bags and saw about the extra mattress and tipped the man who had washed the car. This brings me to my next and final
**note: the trouble with going to hotels or any places frequented by the ‘Lords of Poverty’ is that you might be mistaken for one. Locals who provide service, any kind of service, be it directing you to a parking space or watching your car, generally expect a tip. It’s worse if you are mistaken for a L.O.P. because then they expect a very large tip. The men at the hotel were no exception. This could be seen by the disdainful expression one had on his face when he got our tip. Such ppl are used to getting 100 Birr tips, they get such tips from arab visitors as well and so anything less, or much less as in our case is not looked upon very well. Fear not! Though you will probably question the possibility, looks can’t kill.

We packed up our stuff and raced towards Shashemene as we had promised the lady we would be back in time for breakfast that morning.

Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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kemetian
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Sun Nov-03-02 12:57 PM

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Kemetian
--------------------------------------
check it out:
www.natureworksforyou.co
m

"Pour libation for your father
and mother who rest in the
valley of the dead. God will
witness your action and
accept it. Do not forget to
do this

  

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Gyrofrog
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Sat Nov-09-02 10:59 AM

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