Archive for March, 2009

Zikr’e Wegayehu – Part II

For those of you who found downloading sistu’s shared files difficult, herebelow is a complete-mp3 version of “FiQir Eske MeQabir” – Wegayehu endeterekew. Courtsey goes to Daniel who burned the CD and mailed it to the undersigned, sparing no expense, in his passion to make this great work a part of the world wide web. Further chapters to follow:

FiQir Eske MeQabir – The Introduciton

Chapter I – Tidar
Chapter II – YeSet Lij
Chapter III – YeWelaad Mekan
Chapter IV – YeQolo Temari
Chapter V – Tekl’e Alpha

Chapter 6 – Bichegninet
Chapter 7 – Difrett
Chapter 8 – Kassa Damte
Chapter 9 – Debdabe Le’Asege
Chapter 10 – Wede Feress Meda

Photos: EthioMeda

March 30, 2009 at 5:45 am Leave a comment

Week 1

While waiting at the airport:
A fellow-traveler (who lived in America for 6 years and seem to have spend those years accumulating hatred towards Mexican Americans, whom he referred to as “Kebtoch” – “Kebtoch nachewu sewu endaimeslush”) warned me about single moms. How I shouldn’t associate with their welfare-Sebssabi-behind unless I wanted them to destroy my life (by sweeping in and taking my husband), etcetera. I’ve had an “aRaaQi, aQgni, astemari” experience with a single mom, a good woman associating with whom wasn’t such a good thing for me. Since what came out of that toxic friendship was what became of BewQetu’s character in his poem “YeHulet Zemen Sewoch”. Not so much in the aging department, although i aged faster than I’d ever age in those two years, but in throwing away all the good things I had to embrace my friend’s silent anger and bitterness; and not noticing the 10 years difference when she started giving me advices using words like “BeNena banchi edme yalu setoch..”).

It’s gotta be admitted though, there are things worse than associating with a single mom. One of these my waiting-room buddy topped his advices with. “You know who you should hang out with?” he asked, sprinkling me with a bit of ‘miRaQ’ while he talks, “married women! That’s who you should limit your extra-curricular activities with.. women like you!”


On the plane:
I sat next to a talkative man who looks like a big-bonned version of Actor Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson, Fracture, The Notebook) who told me he and his crew were on their way to Illinnoise. The crew is comprised of three male adults and 6 or 7 teenage boys. They were active members of a youth group of his church, he added, going home from an educational trip to Rwanda (where they were allowed to see how the ‘other half’ lives, and get a reality shock in the process). By cooking for kids in a camp and going down to the river to hand-wash clothes with them. “How nice” I said, looking at the 5/6 blonde boys i felt should be living high and doing drugs that were busy walking around bare-footed, playing mobile games or farting in their sleep, “so there is hope to the world”.

Looking down at the dark world from 3?30?,000 feet was like watching a garden-party between the branches of a tree. The fish was delicious. The waitresses, mostly bored.

23 hours of flight (made 27 by the various authorities in whose door I had to park my luggage and present my self), a night at freezing DC, and a 1 hour drive on the free-way later, I’ve arrived at destination’s end.

Stop. Fwd.

A week and two days later:
I’ve gotten used to taking a bath, sometimes, twice a day; using a machine to wash my ‘yanGet libs’ and having my drinking water come out of a can. I’ve had as much KFC (minus skin) as I can chew, made friends with one of the waitresses at Ihope and tipped a generous 2 dollars for the delivery boy from Pizza Hut; things I promised Babi and Blen I would do (and report the results of).

Alas, the food section of ‘America’s Finest City’ isn’t the only place I showed my mug in. I’ve sat at a corner in Barnes & Noble, with a Frapuccino infront of me, and chuckled at The Teacher’s Version of Jon Stewart’s “America: The book”. I’ve gone out jogging in the middle of the day, and been both surprised and amazed when realizing that nobody seems to find my jogging odd. I no longer look deaf and dumb when everybody seems to offer to help me; when drivers give me precedence however far I am to their car. And made a habit of reaching for the seat belt the minute I got into my husband’s car.

I have done all these things yet none of those things I thought, & were told, I’d be doing by now: have a hard time sleeping due to time difference, miss my mother’s cooking, home! Nay! I sleep like a baby, have no intention of opening my “yeMiGib Shanta” any time soon and, when it comes to “home”, all I remember is the viciousness — the fact that I’ve been treated as a stranger, a “negro”, in my own country.

So, tell me, when did it happen for you? The realization that you aren’t at home, surrounded by people who can look at your face and read your thoughts? When did you stop marveling at how everything (the quite neighborhoods and the rooms in them, the roads/streets/lanes/avenues/Blvds/Pkwys with their intricate traffic lights, the supermarkets and the stocks they boast of) seem to be well thought of and designed to make your life easy? When was it you stopped uttering the word “if this was Ethiopia..”/“if that was in birr” after observing how nobody seems to notice (laugh, “meteQuaQom”, make faces at) the stupid mistakes you make or have found yourself in the “clearance” section of an Old Navy, WalMart, or Payless respectively. When did you, be honest with me now, stop secretly thinking if there is a God in Ethiopia, America must be where He comes to vacation?!

March 25, 2009 at 3:11 pm 16 comments

Final post – for now

Been pondering over what my last post from Addis should be like for a few days now. As I felt sharing my 30+ years experience as an abesheet, my hopes and dreams for it, a note of thanks to my readers, etcetera, was in order. However, nothing seems to surface, except one.

You don’t need me telling you, I know, how the reason for blogging differs from one blogger to another. Some blog to tell the world about the joys of Motherhood. About Two Moms being better than one. About Mean Beans, Cats & Pixelated Minds. They even blog about other people’s babies and become “Top Worpdress Blogs of the Day”. [Not judging, only observing. Speaking of judgement, has anybody caught Filmmaker Haile Gerima’s interview with ETV on Adwa Dill?! Now that’s what I call “liKliKachinin menGer” .. “and then some”] . hailye_ger

I started blogging, as most of you know or will learn after reading “Abt Z Box”, so I could have a place to vent my rage in. This I did. With my teeth sunk in my lips and my heart beating against my ribs with an over-flowing passion my lack of fluency in the English language always checked; I questioned, mused-over and ridiculed those aspects of our lives I felt calls for questioning, musing-over and ridicule. Aspects I saw, and still see, as inexcusable. Aspects whose logic I failed to decipher. Aspects I misunderstood or misunderstood me. It was a trip I never expected to get me anywhere, except for providing me with a momentary relief so I do not have to go to bed angry.

But it did! It helped me come across people who, unlike the country men & women I live/work/go to school with, took time to explain why things are the way they are. It helped me be more sensitive to the plights of the less fortunate the angry voices in my head had thus far blocked out. It created a more responsible individual, I’d like to think, who is less pious but ever so more eager to learn out of me. But the best part of what My e-Shoe Box did for me is, it helped me see things. Things of beauty. Things of tranquility. Things more noble and intricate than what my painfully insufficient vocabulary is able to express. Things… Ethiopian!!. A destination worth the journey, as they say.

[Don’t think so? Bite me 🙂 .]

So this is an affectionate message of “good bye, I’d miss you, Au Revoir” to all those people and things I’ll miss from home. (more…)

March 5, 2009 at 8:59 am 17 comments


The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

Life quote:

"I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint." - Antonio Salieri, from the movie "Amadeus"

Recent Posts

Books by Ethiopian Writers


Favorite books

My Favorite Podcasts

ሙዚቃ [Ethiopian Music]

Some classic Some modernish And some Yirdaw... When I need a ringtone When I feel nostalgic When I need poetry

Free & Abridged Audiobooks


March 2009

Member of The Internet Defense League