Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Becoming francophone (well...)

After finally connecting with Alliance Francaise and meeting some really cool people, learning French language, why not?

So, this evening was our first class for French Language Level 1 at Alliance Ethio-Francaise (aka Alliance Francaise aka Alliance) Dire Dawa. I was able to half-convince two of my Filipino colleagues, Lizel and Luzzette, to register as well, but I came alone this first day to scout the scenes...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrating Fasika (Ethiopian Easter) with Student Interns

Happy Ethiopian Easter!
Yesterday marked the Ethiopian Easter, which means the breaking of the intense 56-day fasting over Lent, when no meat or any animal products, including milk and butter are eaten by all practicing Ethiopian Orthodox Christians.

I was on that student trip when this long-fasting season began, and had experienced about a week of fasting from meat with the habesha's (local Ethiopians) and with their very limited cuisine as it is, it could be tedious. There's always meat, of course. Ethiopia has a good number of Muslim population, and other Christian denominations, Roman Catholic, Protestants, and an ever-growing number of expatriates and tourists, so there can't be no meat. In Dire Dawa, particularly, the Muslim population (Somalis, mostly) is quite huge -- so you can be sure to still find macchiato (it has milk, no!) and shukla tibs even during fasting season. Most Christian meat shops (marked with red cross signs), though, are closed for the full 56-day period.