Some days my mind wanders a bit more than usual. It’s on those days that I can come to a lot of different conclusions. I do have to say the pace of life in rural Ethiopia lends itself to pondering. Here are a few recent realizations…
The rule for improv (always say yes) may not be the best rule for the improvisations in real life. In my case it is an “ishy,” but I may or may not be agreeing to things that I shouldn’t agree to. I’m still learning Amharic, and I’m a bit of a slow student. Lately, I’ve said that my Amharic is like “baby Amharic.” My sentences are simple and usually pretty broken, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to have conversations and interactions with folks, friends and strangers. I have realized just how much I agree with or to and it occurred to me that in my simple understandings my agreements may not always be appropriate. There is the possibility that I agreed to let someone have Baby Girl.
If you have a tree directly outside your kitchen door you may at some point end up with a funnel in the branches (oh, it also helps to have a 5 year old boy that likes to play with kitchen utensils). And, if you end up with a funnel in the tree right outside the kitchen you may end up with a tree frog in it. This guy hung out in the funnel all day. At one point I moved the funnel with him in it for Dawit to see. He hopped onto a branch but a short time after the funnel was put back into place he returned to his spot.
There is nothing like a little medagwa meat to make you feel like you are back in North Carolina during deer season. A medagwa is the local name for a small species of deer. It is also an unwelcome visitor to the farm because medagwas love apples. One recent Saturday I woke to a lot of shouting inside our compound. I waited until all seemed calm and peeked outside. No one was around. Jon came from the kitchen and informed me that a medagwa, running for its life, had run into our compound and was overtaken by the farm staff (that is my nice version). That afternoon there was a feast of medagwa. We were given some of the raw meat to prepare for ourselves, a leg and some other chunks. We made several meals from the meat. It was a welcome addition to our cuisine because leading up to Easter the Orthodox in Ethiopia fast. Chencha is a small enough area that no one sells meat because of the fast. So, Orthodox or not, you aren’t going to eat meat for two months leading up to Easter, unless you catch yourself a medagwa, of course.