We made it to Ethiopia in one piece (Four pieces actually. Ha!) and were able to spend time each day visiting the Transition Home and getting a good chance to see different parts of the city. Such an incredible experience of extremes. On the same streets you see well-dressed business men, mothers with babies begging for food or money, new Range Rovers and this . . .
As you can see in the photo, the roads are terrible - as is most of the infrastructure. While a few people are wealthy and able to purchase whatever they need, most are not. If gravel is needed . . . well . . . people mine for rocks right out of the roads and alleyways. Our drive to and from the Transition Home each day was very BUMPY! :-) This was not an uncommon sight and tucked right in between several roadside storefronts, there were patches of grass where the goat herders brought their live animals to sell to local purchasers. Yes. They would kill and skin the goat right there on the street and sell to the local butcher shops (there were several) or sell live goats to take home and slaughter. Gives a whole new meaning to fresh meat. :-)
This is a charcoal vendor. Most of the local people cook over charcoal fires and coffee beans are also roasted this way. Often frankincense is mixed with it to give a sweet smell to the fire. Coffee is a staple of this culture and no matter how rich or poor, the coffee ceremony brings all people together. I must say as a coffee addict, this tradition should definitely make its way to America. Such a beautiful way to bring people together.
These . . . ? I have to admit I thought it might be an impressive store of firewood for some ambitious person. It turns out that these nice, straight, uniform pieces of wood are used for this . . .
Scaffolding! All over the city, wherever new construction is happening, you see this. Looked kind of pretty to see all those sticks lined up and strapped just so, but it also made me very glad to be from America. :-)
From our Guest House balcony we could see this . . .
A 'middle class' home with their chickens. (A common sight) They also had two dogs who barked ALL NIGHT LONG. Ava said after the first night, "I think dogs in Africa are nocturnal." :-)
And this . . .
We got a kick out of the white mannequins. This street was like fashion row. All shoe and clothing and a few jewelry shops.
And this . . .
This family lives right behind the chicken family. SUCH an incredible difference in lifestyle, yet they were friendly next door neighbors.
And this . . .
This one shows the extremes here. Note the satellite dish and right beside it, large bowls of corn ready to be hand ground. On the tarp drying? Chile peppers. (Most of the Ethiopian food we experienced was very spicy.) And my gardener's heart loves the vegetables planted along the perimeter of the fence. Clothes lines are everywhere. Hand washing and line drying are just a part of daily life. Seems romantic, but I sure am thankful for my Maytag.
Coming soon . . . . Meetcha Day!