Injera and My Introduction to Ethiopian Food
Have been meaning to post this for quite some time but here it is.
Fresh from a work trip to Ethiopia, I returned with a great appreciation for the cuisine and wonderful hospitality.
Somehow I missed trying Ethiopian food while living in Washington, D.C. a few blocks from the “Little Ethiopia” neighborhood. But was pleasantly surprised when I got to Addis Ababa.
I was incredibly lucky to travel with the UN Foundation and visit the growing health care infrastructure Ethiopia is building. The new Minister of Health, Dr. Tewodros Adhanom, launched an aggressive plan to build and integrate a health care system. Our group visited the busiest hospital in Addis Ababa, Eithopia’s capitol, where the maternity ward is doing some amazing work on maternal mortality rates. Even toured labor and delivery:
Most Ethiopians live in rural areas (85%) and it is difficult to get even the most basic care. Dr. Adhanom started a program to train health extension workers to deliver primary care, vaccinate children and fight malaria in remote villages, called kabellas. The health extension workers, mostly women, who often grew up in the community are able to stay and help improve the well-being of their neighbors. The other perk of becoming a health extension worker? Most of the agricultural workers are men. It’s great for those single and ready to mingle.
Rural Health Post
The health extension workers train families in healthy practices, like using bed nets to prevent malaria, and once a family has adopted these practices they are awarded the status of a “Model Family”. They then encourage other families to adopt these practices. We had the opportunity to meet two model families who showed us how the health of their families improved.
While in the kabella of Wolliso, we were treated to a traditional coffee ceremony.
Three elders stood to bless the coffee and bread.
Kabella's kids coming to see what's going on
Our Model Family hostess
After a full day, the gorgeous fields between mountains on our drive back.
Greeted by these guys upon arrival to the lodge.
On our final night, we had dinner at a hot spot for both Ethiopians and ex-pats. Before eating, waitstaff arrive with hot water and soap to wash your hands.
Once dinner got rolling, so did the dancing.
Not enough beers in Addis to get me up there. St. George’s is brewed right in Addis and is the sponsor of the football team.
It was an amazing trip. My hope is the country continues to grow, prosper and be a stabilizing force in the East African Horn.