Photo credit: EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP/Getty Images

If you live in the U.S., your newsfeeds are currently filled with passionate #midterms debates. Healthcare. Immigration. Education. Equal Rights.  Ethiopia’s top issues are also health care, immigration, education, equal rights Now imagine you live in a country, Ethiopia, that has no organized health care system and limited access for many. Girls as young as […]

Throughout the many seasons of Downton Abbey, Lord Robert Crawley and his valet John Bates make references to their days fighting in the South African War. They were participating in the “scramble for Africa,” an intense period of European colonization between 1884 and 1914. Almost the entirety of the Dark Continent came under the rule […]

It seems everyone I know has a quiet spark of brilliance upon eating Ethiopian food for the first time: There is a market for this! So I felt no surprise when my sister-in-law, Woubie, told me that her friends were already working on a plan to market teff, the gluten-free grain indigenous to Ethiopia. After all […]

Edna, my sister-in-law, called me on Friday evening: I know this is super last minute, but I just found out that there’s a big event at the park to celebrate today’s Ethiopian holiday. It’s about the finding of the one true cross, and— I cut her off. You mean Ethiopia not only has the Ark […]

Most traditional Ethiopian dishes are cooked over the stove, stirred frequently, and treated with love. While a romantic option for those with a little extra time, I needed a more efficient option—a rice cooker. My favorite weeknight staple is a simple stew made with red lentils and berbere, alongside grilled fish with awaze sauce. Here are […]

Ethiopia largely went “off the grid” following the implementation of King Fasilides’ closed-door policy in the 1620s. The country’s policy, along with the advantage of its geography, helped to isolate it from the conquests of European colonialists. Toward the end of the African scramble, Italy tried to capture what remained. First, an Italian shipping company […]

My high school world history book failed to mention the existence of Ethiopia’s Camelot. Built in the 1600s by King Fasilides, the castles illustrate the country’s historical ties to Western Europe and almost a hundred years of successful foreign relations with Portugal. Those hundred years were overshadowed, however, by the discovery of the New World […]

I can’t remember when I first learned about the Queen of Sheba’s love affair with King Solomon. In fact, I think I tried to correct my Ethiopian friends, “You mean Samson and Delilah, right?” And besides, why do memories of childhood Sunday-school classes keep resurrecting themselves in the context of Ethiopian emperors? The trouble is […]

For today’s cultural lesson, I thought I’d share this BBC explanation of Ethiopian’s counting system. To us, it seems bizarre. To our computers, however, it’s ages ahead of its time. Also, if you missed my earlier post, be sure to read: Adjusting to Ethiopian time.  

So our tour guide leads us through a series of panels depicting familiar Bible stories — the parting of the Red Sea, the birth of Jesus, the exile into Egypt — then he points to the image above and says, “And this picture shows when St. George slayed the dragon.” My Roman Catholic education must […]