Thursday night – Christmas Day – was the night of the long-awaited Teddy Afro concert in the grounds of the Ghion Hotel. I went with a bunch of people from the Embassy. There were big crowds. To explain … Teddy Afro is very popular in Ethiopia (Addis?) in part because of his music and in part because at the time of the last elections he released some songs that became the focus of anti-government and pro-democracy sentiment.
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.
I was pleased to manage to get out of Addis this morning, a little bit at least. Shimeles, one of the DFID drivers, picked me up at 9am and we drove north past Arat Kilo and Siddist Kilo through Shiro Meda – where there are countless stalls selling textiles – up into the hills of Entoto.
Work has begun to get busy this week, after last week’s easing in to things. Lots of interesting stuff. Other than work … thursday night I went out with a couple of folks from DFID and the Foreign Office in London, for some Lebanese food and then friday night went out with the bloke from DFID. He used to live in Ethiopia in the earlyish 1980s, at the time of the Derg, so was excited to be here. Continue reading
This video could have been produced by the Addis Ababa tourist board – in fact it might have been. It only shows one side of Addis, and Addis is clearly not representative of the reality of life in much of Ethiopia. But it does provide some balance to the nearly always negative views that one gets of Africa and Ethiopia in the UK. And, some of my readers – OK, only my mum and dad – might be interested to see some views of Addis.
A couple of contrasting nights out this week. Wednesday night – at the request of one of the folks I was going out with – I found myself at the Sheraton, the poshest hotel in Addis by some considerable distance. It was quite an experience – probably the poshest hotel I’ve been to with the possible exception Continue reading
I’ve had a great weekend. Yesterday I met a couple of (new) friends for lunch at the Lime Tree, one of the main Addis hang-outs for expats (ferengi) and – as the guidebook says – “trendy locals”. Then I went to a birthday party. Then I spent the evening watching Arsenal lose and carb-loading! Continue reading
Since coming across Graham Hancock’s “Lords of Poverty” in the lobby of the Hilton the other day, I had had a nagging feeling – not just about staying at the Hilton, but about Graham Hancock. The name rang a bell … I was thinking pyramids, nazca lines, atlantis. As one does. Continue reading