I am falling behind on telling you about my trip to Ethiopia. Sorry!

Next, I’ll tell you about the food. To be honest, there were some things we just could not eat. Any fruits or vegetables that would have to be washed we could not eat (because we could not drink their water, and the food would have been washed with their water). We ate in a lot of restaurants. There were some that were really good, and some…not so great. The restaurant in our hotel was actually my favorite, when it had electricity.

Because they are in a drought (spelling?) they can only afford to give half the city electricity for half the day, and the other half of the city electricity for the other half of the day. The half of the city we were in rarely had electricity at night. A lot of places had generators, but our hotel was pretty large so the generator could not keep everything up and running. So, every night for dinner, the first question always was, “grill?”. If there was no grill, our choices diminished substantially. We were left to (and grateful for!) soup, salad (which we couldn’t eat), and spaghetti. They actually have some pretty good spaghetti.

Just to be safe a lot of times (b/c apparently I can be a picky eater at times) I would just order a toasted cheese sandwich. Or as we call it in the states, a grilled cheese sandwich. Of course, I could only have this when there was electricity, but it was so good 🙂 One funny moment that happened was the fourth or fifth time I had ordered the toasted cheese sandwich, I randomly ended up with a cheese burger. I just thought it was funny, and illustrated very well how inconsistent things are there. You just kind of have to go with the flow.

Ask just about any  (I say just about just in case there is that one Ethiopian with whom this does not apply) Ethiopian what their favorite food is, and they will instantly tell you injera. Injera is a type of bread that comes with pretty much all of their meals. It is kind of like a spongy, sour, flat bread. They will use injera instead of forks. They will just pick up their food with a piece of injera and eat it all. Some times we would see pieces delivered to tables that was bigger than a large pizza. Personally, I did not enjoy, nor did anyone else on my team I don’t think. But Ethiopians sure do love it!

There was also something called a “coffee ceremony”. This usually happens when guests are over. The guests will be served 3 cups of coffee and popcorn. I was kind of nervous about this because I am NOT a coffee drinker, but knew I couldn’t really say no. Well, they were gracious and only served one cup of coffee, which was the size of what we would consider to be a shot at Starbucks. At one of the ceremonies the caffeine actually had kind of a bad effect on me. I hardly ever drink/eat things with caffeine…besides chocolate. So, when I had two cups of strong coffee with LOTS of sugar in them, I got a little wild. I sang someone’s name over and over. I actually recruited two guys to sing with me. (Pretty sure there is a video out there of that one). I was all over the place. Thankfully, my new friends just thought I was funny, and not crazy…hopefully.

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