Today is Ethiopian Christmas, or Genna.
Appropriately, thankfully, we were invited over to a friend’s house for injera b’wat – Ethiopian food. The friend is named Teddy (real name: Anastasia). She is Greek, her family lived in Ethiopia for several generations, she wrote a book about it (and signed a copy for me today), she worked with the UN for 40 years in Kenya, she and her husband retired in Nairobi and they are friends with my father through church. (These are the kinds of interesting people that are out there in this world, the kind you are more likely to come into contact with when you also are living not in your home country and encountering the strange blend of the international community.)
The thing about injera b’wet is that usually, when it is first tried, people hate it. It is a mix of sourdough and spice that can be quite uncomfortable in your stomach. It is an acquired taste that may take several months to grow to appreciate, but once you do you are addicted. Even then it can be painful, but glorious: there is nothing like eating doro wat so spicy that your nose is running and there are tears in your eyes and you take a drink of Coke (the only drink you can have with injera) which just intensifies the spice in your mouth, but it is so good at the same time you have to keep going until the injera covering the tray is a tattered mess and you can be rewarded with a double macchiato. (I am envisioning Dashen right now, for those of you who know what that is.)
So I am grateful to be able to have a taste of Ethiopia for Christmas today. Melkam Genna, everyone!
[image 1 source]
[image 1 source]