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Entoto Observations

By Laura Davis | Sun Sep 27 2015
Today is Sunday and the eve of Meskel in Ethiopia. It is a leap year according to the Ethiopian calendar, so Meskel will occur tomorrow on September 28, instead of its usual occurrence on September 27. According to Wikipedia, Meskel is an Ethiopian Orthodox holiday that represents the discovery of the true cross. In a dream, Queen Eleni was instructed to build a bonfire and told that the smoke from the fire would reveal the location of the true cross.
Today, Matt and I hiked up Entoto Mountain, and though we have lived in Ethiopia for more than three years, there were new observations to be gathered and processed. That is the beauty of living in a foreign land - the learning never ends! Today we passed hundreds of people as we huffed and puffed up the mountain. Donkeys, sheep and cows being walked to market; the faithful going to church; tree branches dragged to neighborhood bonfire sites; soccer games; vegetables and coal being sold to prepare classic Ethiopian dishes; and the lists goes on of the endless, colorful activities that make up the Ethiopian experience. The most noticeable difference today was the yellow meskel daisy. The bright bit of sunshine made many appearances, being sold in markets across the city and by children who had plucked the graceful little flower from fields where it grows naturally this time of year. Tonight it will grace the floors of shops and homes underneath the traditional coffee ceremony setting, and be added to the bonfire piers that will be burned tonight in representation of finding the cross.
If you are interested in experiencing this unique country and culture first-hand and learning why major news publications like CNN and Quartz are saying Ethiopia is among the top travel destinations, consider an Econ-Tourism Trip with RENEW. We will make sure you get to the top of Entoto.
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