Thank you, Ethiopia

Today Ethiopians celebrate a new year, 2008. Families, friends and neighbours gather together. Since two days ago, we have heard the sheep making their sounds in gardens around our houses. This morning, as we took a walk, the noises had disappeared, the reason being clear: two guys walked into houses and then came out to wash […]

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Charaka 1 year!

Look at our little Abyssinian moon (moon, that’s what her name means). She turns one year old today. Here are some pictures from along the road. It hasn’t been an easy ride, this first year, but I’ll be damned, she made it through. She is celebrating her birthday with close family and as a birthday […]

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Never again?

If the numbers are true, there might a famine emerging in Ethiopia. The warning signs have been in the air since May. The rainy season didn’t arrive as expected this year. It came late, and it came erratically. For anyone of us who can buy food from the (super)market, this has not posed a problem. But […]

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The Joy of Eating With Your Hands

In the Ethiopian food culture, injera is not just a pancake. It is the plate, the utensils and a powerful food item with ideological meaning. Injera is the basis for all meals and it is the recipe of injera that runs through generations. Just like Indian people, Ethiopians too eat with their hands. I’ve come […]

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Countries do not remain poor because their people are lazy

Are some countries determined to be poor? Are their trajectories set in stone? Are rich countries destined to always prosper? Definitely not. But for the past 150-200 years or so, roughly the same countries have remained poor in terms of GDP. In fact, if we were to divide the world into rich and poor countries […]

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The Only African Country With Real Culture?

Time is running. Only six more weeks in Ethiopia until it is time for us to return to Finland. Realizing this has caused a newborn infatuation towards the country in me. For anyone interested in traveling to Ethiopia, do check out Steve McCurry’s recent photographs of the country. At least I fell in love with them. […]

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Book Tips, Part 2

These past two months or so (rainy season in Ethiopia), I’ve immersed myself in reading creative nonfiction and a few great novels. Here are a few I recommend: The Bees by Laline Paull. What a beautiful gift to be able to transform real-life events into an adventurous book filled with carefully chosen and elegant words. Even if you are […]

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There’s no business like khat business

After a while in Ethiopia, you’ll notice khat is everywhere. At first you might spot the teenager boys along the roads, holding plastic bags filled with green leaves, hoping that the minibus, car or truck drivers will stop and do business with them. Then you learn how to spot the khat dealers in town. They […]

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Don’t give up on a paralyzed cat – Physiotherapy saved our cat

We adopted Aizo almost two years ago. She was a street cat and I have no idea what she was doing in the early years of her life. She probably didn’t have a lot of contact with humans – or if she did, that contact wasn’t great because she was extremely timid when we first […]

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