It’s Christmas Eve here in Ethiopia. In this deeply religious country Christmas is a very big deal, but a big deal in a rather different way than in the UK.
From what I’ve seen Christmas here is a festival of eating and seeing the family – just like in the UK – but not one of buying stuff for people. In fact, the seeing the family bit is somewhat limited by the fact that it can take a couple of days to travel the distance that one might do in half a day in the UK.
The eating and drinking side looks like it might be a bigger deal even than it is in the UK though, as Christmas marks the end of five weeks of fasting – not-eating meat and lots of other stuff. So, the streets are full of people carrying their Christmas chicken, goat, sheep off to the slaughter. One of my DFID colleagues was excitedly telling me about all the animals that are going to have their clogs popped this evening – I didn’t feel it was the right moment to mention that I’m a non meat -eater.
I’m a bit uneasy about having a day off for a second Christmas. So, I will do a bit of work, but intersperse it with a bit of R&R and maybe some exploration of the city on christmas day.
Melkam genna. Happy Christmas!