From Hazel in Ethiopia: Sunday

Here’s the latest from my mom in Ethiopia.

Have you all been waiting anxiously to find out what fasting food is? Well, here is it: fasting food is made without animal products to honor various fasting days and requirements in the Muslim religion. Which being interpreted means, a vegetarian meal!

I think if Ron had realized that, he really would have stayed home and had pizza. Plus, we had to walk a mile or more to get to the “Bright House,” which is an experience in itself. There are endless numbers of potholes and animal debris in which a person might fall or sprain an ankle. The roads are shared helter skelter by motorcycles, pedestrians, trucks, a few cars, and taxis consisting of small 2-wheeled carts pulled by ponies.

Ron says the roads are all uphill, both ways. Ferenjis like us attract followers of all ages who walk right with us and try to engage us in conversation or touching or gifts of money. Children trot along looking up at us with beautiful bright smiling expectant faces. It’s quite a puzzle knowing how to respond to them all. We’ve been told that the smartest approach is to ignore them to minimize the following, but it seems so rude to do that. Ron spoke to one man who then stuck right with us all the way to the door of the restaurant. It makes the walk seem very long!

Our waiter understood not a word of English! I mean, not even “water!” We 10 ferenjis were all frustrated with him, and he with us. Utilizing lots of sign language, plus a few native words that Sophie knew, we finally did get a large tray of injera and fasting food. We tried to make him understand that we needed 2 more of the same, but he never caught on. He did bring us other, tasty food. Suffice to say, we all got plenty of “fasting food” to eat, and Ron had (meat-free) spaghetti!

Darkness had descended for our walk home, making the potholes even more treacherous. At the top of the bank building is a restaurant that serves wonderful smoothies, so we made our way up several stories and settled in an outdoor rooftop restaurant. As soon as we ordered our smoothies, the word came that they were closing for the night! No smoothies for the ferenjis!

On Saturday morning fresh eggs were delivered right to our door, each for 1.25 birr or about 12


  1. Absolutely fascinating. I would love to try that coffee! Thank you for sharing…

  2. This is WONDERFUL! So interesting! I love the image of singing in the gazebo in Ethiopia – just enchanting.

  3. Sounds like a fun and interesting day! I agree with Rebecca, sining in the gazebo is a beautiful image. Thank you so much for sharing your families experiences in Ethiopia.