Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ethiopia at Random

Just some random things we learned that I thought were pretty interesting:

* Ethiopia is called the "Island of Christianity" because it is bordered by all Muslim nations. It is now completely land-locked with no ports.

* Over 74 million people, 57% under the age of 20.

* Their main bread, injera - is made of a grain called teft. That we don't grow in America. It was reallllly good and was used to pick up different sides like Duma (chicken), spicy beef, spinach, lamb, etc. In this picture, the injera is the 'tablecloth' spread under the food with boiled eggs in the center. Injera looks just like an Ace bandage rolled up.

* Ethiopian food is REALLY good. Their attempts at American food, not so good. Now their Chinese.....

* They have a custom called "gusto" where you feed each other a bite of the meal. It is to signify your love and respect for that person.

* Ethiopian people are very affectionate. We would see young men walking down the street holding hands or with their arms around each other. Women would often walk holding our hands. Completely platonic and after getting use to it, very loving.

* Ethiopians, no matter how poor, will offer you anything they have. Extremely generous and kind.

* The capitol of Addis has a very low crime rate, especially when compared to America's big cities.

* In Ethiopia, every month has 30 days except for the 13th month which only has 5.

* They are 7 years behind us and the year flips in September. Some boys told us the legend is that the news of Christ's death was not brought to Ethiopia until 7 years later so that is when their calendar years started.

* Their clocks have the hands in opposite positions as ours.

* Ethiopian boys think I am a Hollywood actress from TV or the movies. (Just threw that one in to see if anyone was reading this!) But some really did!! Just ask Jerry!

* Ethiopian dial-up internet service cost me 1 berr a minute (or 10 cent). It would then take at least 10 min to actually bring up my first page. Conspiracy anyone???

* An actual coffee ceremony is actually made up of 3 stages: Abale, Towna, Bereka. So three rounds of coffee that take many hours of socializing and friendship.

* Children are forbidden to drink coffee in front of their parents. Teenagers must take it to another room.

* Children (or any younger) are forbidden to speak in front of an elder unless asked a question. We broke that rule a-lot!!

* Culture forbids marriage until after your education is finished and you have worked 2 years to prepare or have money for a family.

* Ethiopia is the sight of some of the oldest fossil finds ("Lucy") and the reported birthplace of coffee.

And some random Ethiopia shots:


Juli Jarvis said...

This is a very interesting post. I love the way you summarized some of the cultural details about Ethiopia. Thanks so much for sharing about this special trip!
The girl I sponsored in Thailand for years was accepted to the LDP program there and has only one semester left. I'm sure hoping to go to her graduation.

Abbie H. said...

I'm glad to hear the Ethiopian food is good. I have to doesn't look so tasty!

I love seeing the wide open field pics too. I bet it was amazing to see in person!

blessedmomto7 said...

WOW thanks for all the info! I KNOW my next 2 children are waiting for me in Ethiopia-still waiting for God to convince my hubby-it's slowly working-join me in praying.