I have had the privilege of spending time in the average Ethiopian's home also. These homes are in Adama, a few hours outside of Addis Ababa, where the cost of living is more affordable. The average Ethiopian in Adama lives behind a compound gate such as below. A wealthy person would have their own compound, but the average lives behind it in one of about six to ten rental houses. There is almost no home ownership among the middle class, since there are no mortgages; you must be able to build debt free.
We went and visited where Brooke lived with her mother before she passed away. She lived in the home with the dark green door. They are made of either mud or concrete and usually have two rooms. There is generally a living room and a bedroom. The cooking is done outside. They often have electricity, but not plumbing. I have not figured out where the bathroom is for this compound, but I fear it is one less than desirable squatty potty for the whole compound.
Ethiopians are very welcoming people. We were invited in by Brooke's former neighbors for tea. Something I can't figure out is that my first three trips to Ethiopia, we had coffee everywhere we went. This trip was tea every time. I don't know why the change, but I loved the tea! I did not take pictures at the tea time but they also invited us to stay for injera (dinner). We kindly declined dinner and told them just tea, because we wanted a few hours to play with the kids back at the orphanage before dark. We talked with the translator between us and the man of the family at one point looked so confused and said, "why no injera, why?" like he could figure out how we could turn down such an offer.
I don't know who may remember Hanna, but she is a little girl that has been in Brooke's orphanage as long as I have been visiting. I inquired about adopting her four years ago. This time I found out that she had been returned to live with her mother, with financial help via Unicef. I won't get into all the Unicef debate but I am not a fan! The orphanage offered to take us to see her and we rolled right up to her compound. It was first thing in the morning and she was still asleep. I was unable to meet her mother, since she was working, but it was so good to see Hanna. She is 10 now.
|Hanna, Me, Aunt Deb and Brooke|
We were invited in for tea by Hanna's neighbor in the same compound.
The two little girls on the right were the lady's daughters and the girl in the red shirt was a neighbor. Hanna was seated on the couch with us and served tea since she was the visited guest, but the other children knew to take a seat on the mat on the floor and not request tea. On a funny note, Hanna tried to decline the tea, but was informed in Amharic that she would be having some with us and politely drank the tea.
I have so much more, but I will end here for today.