We had the privilege of connecting with a friend of a friend today. Ethiopian born and raised (with the exception of a brief few years in the UK), today we were gifted with a true experience. We started our afternoon with coffee (or a macchiato in my case...which is basically coffee with milk and ummm, amazing) at Tomoca. Well known mainly due to word of mouth, the smokey environment inside was almost smothering. It was the now familiar-to-us very aromatic scent of beans roasting.
Following our cultural liquid jolt we headed to the Mercato (a drive through only but an experience not to miss) and then Entoto Mountain market.
The market was not unlike many others. Yet, some of the sights upon entry were a little more than we have yet seen.
Bananas anyone? (In a wheelbarrow in the middle of the street.)
This is just like at our local farmers markets, don't you think?
And we thought Vancouver had a garbage problem during the strike a couple years ago (left side of photo). This was amazing. And so very sad. And unnoticed. It is part of life at the market...as are the jerry cans.
Plastic (jerry cans) and any other material of the like. Nothing is wasted. What a breath of fresh air, huh?! It (they) will all be reused in some sort of fashion. You see small children using them all over the streets, carrying them as they ask if you want your shoes shined. And that's just hitting the tip of the iceberg of re-usage. It's also part of survival.
Coffee...all the (green pre-roasted) coffee beans you could ever want. Stalls of them.
I apparently had difficulty articulating what it was I truly wanted to see and experience: The Entoto Mountain Women Fuelwood Carriers. We found this (the answer to my inability to comprehensively form the correct words depicting the latter) after completing our few purchases at the Entoto market, by happening upon a sign. "That!", I exclaimed (feeling a little blond). "The Fuelwood Carriers...".
We had planned to climb - and by climb I mean sit on our derrieres in a 4x4 and drive to the 3200m summit - Entoto Mountain anyway, but what we saw and experienced has lead me to conclude that those could quite possibly have been some of the most culturally experiential hours of my life.
And that our daughter truly does come from one of the most beautiful, green, history-filled countries on the face of this planet.
This in itself - our drive, our experience, the photos, the latter half of our afternoon - truly deserves a post of it's own. It will come soon. Tonight possibly. Likely tomorrow.
Tomorrow itself as you well know is a big one.
For now, we are off with our Ethiopian friend of a friend (and his three teen children!) for a Traditional Ethiopian Meal.
I. Can't. Wait.