Sunday, January 15, 2006

WUBE.NET @ETHIOPIA 2005 & 2007


July 21, 2007 - ENTONTO The First Capital City Of Ethiopia, and residence of The King.

This time with my family members, departed from Miami on Friday July 20, 2007, and arrived on Saturday July 21, 2007 @6:00PM. Unfortunately, our luggage did not arrive with us, and to learn the problem for the delay, it took us almost three hours to get the answer from Ethiopian Airline service agents. The Flight we took from Amestedam was KLM, and KLM told us that our baggage will arrive on Tuesday, which was three days after we arrived. The two family member of mine had a wedding On Sunday, and all clothes were on those luggage. I had a hand bag and in it there were was shirts, casual pants, and sport jacket. The main reason for my arrival was to see my mother who was very ill, and I called home from the airport and told them story of our luggage and promissed to be home in the morning. Since I was tired we just went to Hilton hotel to spent the night.

The room was arranged for us by our friend who works at Hilton hotel, and decide to keep the room for 4 nights.
Sunday, July 22, 2007, I and my sister took a taxi from hotel to my mother home located in Markato area. Which is about 10 miles from Hilton hotel. We arrived home before 9:00 A.M. and at the time my mother was sleeping. Since I was expected to arrive in the morning, they decided to wake her up from her sleep. They did, and I saw her and felt very sad when I saw her. She was very sick and can not stand or without the support of people, and she was having difficulty to talk as well. Well, she knew me and saw her smiling at me. I never expect to see my mother to be sick that way, and I wondered what happened to her?. she is about 70 years old, but she now looks over 100 years old. I sat down and started to talk to her, and she responed to me but very slowely, and she looks very tired. Few neighbours came to say welcome, and Ethiopian coffee was prepared, and last time my mother was making coffee for me now another person was preparing coffee, and that brought another sad moments for me not to see my mother behind the coffee ceremonies. Oh well, I gues that is how life is and we do not know what will happen to each of us in the future and internally I did complaign to GOD why, and I ask him to give her a strength soon. After the coffee, I wanted to do something to pr-occupied my mind, and I statred to set up a computer I bought for them 8 month ago. he story of the computer: There are many youbg peoples who knows to use computer, and to send e-mail they travel about 10-20 miles to use commercial computers in a cafe house. I did the some last time I was here, and decide to send a home computer from USA. The computer is a Dell Computer with 17" flat panel screen. The computer has every has all basic components, except DVD burner. This computer was sitting inside box for about 8 months and they could not find any one to set up for them, but they have built beautiful computer desk for it. Any way I took out all electrical equipment, such as transformer, and adaptor that I send with the computer to connect the power. The voltage for Etiopia is 220 vs 110 for America, and the setup took about 20 munites, and computer now being used. I did ask a family member to find out about Internet and he said he will take of it on next day the internet became active. The Internet is a dial-up sharing a phone line which is about 33kbs, and not bad for email cost about $65 birr($8dollar) per month. I stayed with her ubtil 3:00PM, and went back to my hotel to take a nap before I go the wedding I was invited. I almost changed my mind, but I also know my family members will expect me to be there. so i took a nap for about one hour, showered, put a jeans a tea-shirt a double breast sport jacket, a jacket that worn by people who works on a ship. No ties, took a taxi from hotel, arrived to the wedding place @7:30 almost when dinner started. I can here all family member asking me where I was and what caused me to be late. I gave them all silly reasons just make comfortable and I was guided to my reserved table with my sister, her daughter, and a friend of my sister.

The wedding was held in Hotel called SEMEN(North), a moderate hotel with 200 rooms. The wedding room was full of people, and there was a band as well. All guest dressed up nicely, and most family members of the brides are also dressed with Ethiopian traditional out-fit. I start to mingle with some people I know and took some pictures as a part of my collections. After dinner served, the band started to play ethiopian music, and I saw thw grooms leaving their chair and heading to the middle the dance floor and started a slow dance. The second music a little fast, and with a traditional high bit and all a sudden I see all this people runnung to dance floor. Mostly a couple but then you can not tell who is with whom, but I can see a very happy crowed jumping up and down, and shaking their shoulder until 11:30PM. It is now getting warm inside wedding room, and some how I made my way out to Hotel lobby looking for fresh air. I stayed on hotel entrance for about 15 munites, nd noticed one of the hotel bar was open. I went inside the bar and approched the counter where the bartebder was standing. He was surrounded by all kind of liquor behind him displayed on the shelf. After I said good evening(endemin amesheh) to him, I ask him if he can offer me a black coffee. I sat on one of the stool that is arranged in front of bar counter, and while waiting for my coffee to arrive, I decided to call my friends and anonce my arrival. The first call I made was to Hizkias, and at this time it was not a surprise like two years ago, and he was expecting me. I spoke with him and told him where I was at the time, and he did not know about the wedding and wondered how he was not invited, and jokingly he ask me to pass his mesage to the groom. The groom was actually my aunt daughter and few years ago tried both her and my friend to be friends and was hoping they get married and live happly after, Now she she is enjoying with her husband Tesfaye. Now the coffee arrived and I and Hiskias arranged to meet at Hiulton Hotel on Monday after 5:00 PM. The bartender noticed that I am a visitor and we talked all kind of things and enjoyed the ethiopian coffee. I noticed few people coming from the wedding place to the bar, and I was told the wedding is over. I thanked the bartender and left after I pay the bill.

I met mt sister, and a car was waiting for us to take us back to our hotel room. While we approach our car, I keep seeing more people that I did not them for a long time and kept extending my greetings. Finally, we drove back to hotel. My sister, her daughter, and my self decided to go to the bar and get more coffee before we go to our room. Hilton hotel is one of the best hotel in addis ababa, and the bar looks great and very relaxing and comfortable place to have a drink. At 1:30 P.M. we all went to our designated room for a good night sleep. For me the sleep did not come as I would like too, and some how I managed to sleep for about 4 hoours.

Monday - July 23, 2007 - after I had my coffee in one of the restaurant in my hotel, I took a taxi to see my mother and also chit-chat with the rest of my family members.

Second day, Monday July 23 took taxi from hotel to my mother house to talk more and be with her all day.


Ethiopia - I arrived on December 11-2005 @9:30AM. It has been 4 years since my last visit, and I noticed the new Bole International Air Port has been improved beyond my expectation. Simply beautiful, and I went back twice to visit my Mother and that was in 1995, and in 2002. Both time the Air Port was a mess and dis-organized and it was inconvenience for passengers as well as for people who work at the AirPort. Here are some pictures to see:Bole and its surrounding area

I took a Taxi to GHION Hotel to check-in. On my way to Hotel I was impressed to see that the City seems clean, and there are more new high rise buildings that has been added. I arrived to the Hotel @10:00AM and checked in to room 104 that is located in Demara Section. My flight from USA to Ethiopia took about 20 hours or more, and I was tired and went to bed immediately. In my dream, sort of but not sure that I was listening to Ethiopian song. When I woke up I saw a group of people through my bed room windows dancing in an open field. When I opened the window to see what is going-on, I saw the Bride and Groom standing with other friends and families watching and enjoying musicians playing Ethiopian traditional song. The Time was was 3:00PM and I thought it is time to take a shower and put on my casual dress and take a Hotel Taxi to see my mother. While I was in the Taxi I was amazed to see the number of people on the street is beyond my expectation, simply there are too many people on the road. Starting from Piazza all the way through Mesalemia passing Merkato is simply a mess. The number of Mini-bus taxi on the road makes it so easy to have an access to transport citizens with a very minimal fee, but due to the number of people on the street it makes it very difficult for Taxi driver or any other driver to use the road because the road is covered with people. I arrived at my mother house @5:00PM, and since I never told my arrival to any one, I knew my mother will freak-out to see me at her door. She did freaked-out and for me that was a thrill. To see the expression on her face and the surprise was a joy for me.

Well, all neighbors heard and they came to my mother home to see me. We all talked through the night. I spend the night at my mother home enjoying home made food and Offcourse the best Ethiopian Coffee in the World and most importantly the settingTraditional Coffee Serrvice. On the next day before noon I visited neighbors home that I know and gave each of them a little money to buy coffee. Later, I went back to my Hotel and took shower and start to call friends that I know. Hizkias kassa, and Salmon Getachew came to my Hotel and they were surprised to see me, without letting them know my arrival in advance. We talked for few hours and laughed with things that we did a few years back.

Day 2 - of my arrival I started to visit my family located on different area of the city. The First one was my sister, and I took my mother and my brother Sebsibe with me. She again was surprised to see both of us at her door step with out announcing ourselves at first. My sister could not believe to see me and so are her childrens, they were thrilled and we talked all day and I took some pictures of friends and neighbors of my sister. After my sister we went back to my room @Ghion Hotel and ordered some drinks and dinner. My mother ordered Spaghetti, and I ordered Ethiopia Dish. My mother started with spaghetti and then she tried Ethiopian dish and she found it very delicious and kept sharing the food with us. At 10:00PM my mother and sebsibe went back to their home and I stayed in my room. I wake up in the morning took a tour inside hotel property and admiring the setting and the plants and flowers. Since breakfast is included with the room I treated my self again with Ethiopian dish called FIRFIR. The breakfast was set as buffet style and it includes European dish and Ethiopian dish as well.

Day 3 - Sebsibe came to my room and we left to take a tour of Addis Ababa. We walked to Meskel Square and I talked to shoe boy while he polish my shoes, and it has been long time since I had such kind of hospitality. Close by we saw a modern coffee shop and we decide to see inside and ordered cappuccino and pizza for my self, sebsibe also ordered the something. The coffee shop was located in front of Saint Stefano’s church, and I decided to visit the church. I ask the waitress in the cafe for a change in a small bill(eth$1.00), and I probably have something about $20.00 or more which is intended to be handed to people who need it at the church. That change was not enough and I used some more from my pocket, and I always wished to do some more for all poor people for a long term. What will happen tomorrow to them? Can these small gifts will solve their people even for the day? Where do they live?. in the house or street? What are the Government and the church roll here? There are so many of them, and I feel sad every time I go back home and seeing my own people asking for money in the street. It was like this 30 years ago and it is the same now, may be the worst. The City physically changed. Road system is much better, noticed modern buildings around Bole road, and modern house being built out of Addis city. The area like Piazza and it is surrounding is getting crowded, and small shoping cart is added to an existing business store, and that created more dis-organized settings. The side walking road is bad and needs maintenance.

We kept going from piazza to Merkato, Merkato(Market) as always busy or may be it looks busy. All you see is too many people walking or standing around. Cars and people are pushing each other, and I am not sure why people use Taxi but it is much faster to walk, and you can accomplish a lot more than using any kind ground transportation in this area.
After we explored Addis City I decided to go home and talk with my mother and spend the night at home and greeting guests who will be coming to see me. My mother still looks great but I noticed she does not eat much, and I was concerned and discussed with her and invited the rest of my family as well to find out the best way to provide her a proper meal accordingly. There are people at home who are on a salary, but they do not provide breakfast, lunch or dinner unless she ask for it. I talked to Mulu(a family member) to be responsible for prepareing food and provide on a timely manner. I hired Mulu to pay her $80.00/month to take of my mother and to make sure she gets a proper meal. Mulu I know her very well and she is a good cook and did work as a cook for so many Ethiopian professionals and I have a confidence she will take care of my mother.


Day 4 - Looked around the house and noticed some maitenance work to be done, and I hired a carpenter to extend room for the kitchen, and installed water heater for my mother bath room. Later I went back to my Hotel and relaxed for few hours before I met my friend Selemon who invited for dinner at his home. Selemon is a contractor and he has beautiful house and families. They prepared big dinner with so many choices, and unfortunately i am not a big eater but tried my best to make them happy. After dinner we chit-chat for a while and Selemon drove me back to my Hotel, and Selemon invited me to spend the next day to be with him and to drive me around the city.


Day 5 - I got up around 9:00AM and went to hotel restaurant to have breakfast. I treated my self by taking Ethiopian dish FirFir again and Ethiopian coffee with milk as well. I spoke with different people who works there as a waitress and cook, and they treated me as a very important person. Solomon came around 11:00AM and we drove to so many places. First he took me to real agency to let me have an idea how to buy or build a house, and then he took me to a new house location which is under construction. I saw two places and they both looks great and cost much much less concidering the house market in US. I think it will be a great investment to own a house to any Ethiopian live here in US. It is affordable for any one who works here. As my self I am impressed and I am considering to buy one, and I am not exactly sure but soon. He also took me to his sites and offices. Selemon has two or three office, and I am hoping he will put all of them together soon. The highway system called ring is done well. It feels as you are in a state until you take the exit where you meet over crowded taxi and people. Even the Bole road area has too many people, but modern kind of business is booming. Modern store, fashion store, computer and network related business can be seen every where. Internet Cafe is growing up, but the connection is a modem and accessing e-mail will be fine. I am hoping to see high speed soon. One thing that i was surprised to see was a Cell phone(NOKIA) is every where. Almost all people in the city are using cell phone. Taxi driver, a business man in the office or the guy who has street shop is conducting his daily business through cell phone. I am very glad to see that, and it is very affordable for most of the citizens, and I am considering one for my mother just for the sake of it. I remember it took me more than three years to get a fixed phone line for my mother, and now just a day or two to get your phone.

Day 6 - GHION Hotel have fine dining room that only serve Ethiopian dish and also entretainment that re-flect Ethiopian cultural music. I know my mother loves this kind of settings, and I invited her and other member of my family as well as my two best friends including their family. The invited guest were about 20 and the day was Thursday evening, and they ordered dishes that they like but all the food was served on Ethiopian style Trays and in Ethiopia it is called MESOB. The Food that was ordered was a combination of Vegetable and some chicken. The beverage was Ethiopian Honey Wine and offcourse some Ethiopian beer as well. Guests were sitting in a group of five and there was about 5 tables(MESOB). The tripod chair and other comfortable chairs brings the old Ethiopian traditional home settings. Before the food served, the service girl brought a water and a soup to wash our hand before dinner is served. Right after that few waitress who are dressed Ethiopian traditional cloth came with a tray(China made tray). On a tray the flat bread what we call it Ingera or Engera was set flat and on a top of that there was a variety of souce were displayed. It is absoluetly loos beautiful, and on the side they brought a rolled Ingera to help us use more if we need additional bread.

I was so impressed with the service and the settings, and it reminds me the Ethiopian restaurant in Boston called Ethiopian Red Sea Restaurant. We also served Ethiopian Honey Wine, and this is not what you see in USA or in any other part of the world. This is a honey wine that is home made with out any ingredient except honey and a little hope. So while we enjoy the food and drinks, the entertainment started. This are a group of musician who sings Ethiopian love song in a different Ethiopian languages, and offcourse the music instrument that are being used are all made in Ethiopia. The cloth that they had on is also woven by Ethiopian and all cotton. Here they come all this beautiful young musician and dancers performing the dance in front of us while we enjoy our dinner. It was simply the perfect evening, and brought back memories that I know long time ago. My mother was enjoying as well, and all of my friends and families were happy as well. After dinner is over some of ordered Ethiopian Coffee, and we kept listening and watching the dancers. Among the Dancers I noticed a beautiful girl that dance well, and she normall does to guest she came to my table and started to shake her shoulder and we call it ESKISTA. She was expecting me to shake my shoulder as well, but unfortunately, I am some what shy and I did ask my friend Hizkias to take over. At the end of the dance show i thanks the stage girl and gave her some money. Simply she was beautiful, and wanted to know more about her and inquired more from a friend. In Ethiopia there are many entertainers and you can have in person or a goup of band to entertain you. One of my family member arranged without my knowledge, and a singer who plays accordion came to my mother and started to sing for her. He was singing about her and me saying all those nice words infront of hotel guests who came to have dinner like us. Well, we became the center of the attraction and the evening went well. Finally my mother went home as well as the rest of the family, and I went back to my room.

Day 7 - Since I have many family I kept inviting people to come to hotel and have dinner again to place where they serve Ethiopian dish. This was on the next day after my mother dinner invitation that I met ASNI who were performing a show in restaurant. I called a aitress who work there and also who happens to be relatives and her name is DESU. I did ask her if she knows her well, and she did not let me finish what I wanted to say, and she want back to her told her that I asking about her. To my surprise the girl came to me and ask me to stay for her until she finishes her work for the night. Since I was not prepared and not sure how to handle this, I just left the restaurant with my guests and went back to my room to talk more. After one hour I recived a call from ASNI, and she ask me why I did not wait for her, and I told my guests want to go home. I appologized and she said she will call on the next day to meet me, and I say ok and hang the phone.

Day 8 - Asni called and I ask her if she would like to come to my place or may be to meet me @Hilton hotel for a cup of coffee. She agreed to come to my place, but she said her friends will come as well. I said fine and Asni and her two male friends Mick and Daniel showed up. Micky and Dani are two young boys who were dancing in the restaurant as well. We ordered some food and drink and kept talking for about three hours. ASNI is very pretty woman and she is funny as well, and we became close in a short time. We agreed to meet again but this time she agreed to come by herself, and she did. We talked and took some pictures in a hotel complex, and ordered lunch. Asni told me that she had two children from her previous marriage and currently sepparated. She works two place and some time travel to middle east for a show. She left and we agreed to meet again to know each other before we establish any relationship.

Day 9 - Coming soon with Asni and other staff.....

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