First Coffee Ceremony
Feb. 4th 2003
The morning was another session on Amharic. The previous day's language stuff hadn't really had a chance to settle but we did try to cram some more in. Part of the language session was watching the coffee ceremony. This is an important part of Ethiopian life. Neighbours invite each other over for coffee but they actually make the coffee - roasting, grinding and infusing the beans. Shame I don't like coffee really. As a ferenj I can be forgiven this, apparently.

Also in the morning we had a session on cultural differences that we would experience, and differences amongst the regions of Ethiopia and a little bit of its history. The sessions were interesting. Maybe it's the fact that we might need this, but I don't remember history being interesting before.

At lunch we were given the good news that the luggage might have turned up. Several of us got into the Land Rover and were taken into town. We had to stop and wait several times because of the conference. There was a very strong military and police presence. Young soldiers could be seen chatting quite easily with their machine guns resting a short distance from them. This wasn't threatening at all. Even when they searched us the soldiers were very polite and quickly let us proceed after a quick feel of the pockets. They even brought over a female police officer to search the women.

Some of the bags did turn up, but then some of them didn't. I am still without my other bag, and this means that Space Hippo is still missing. We can hope to get the bags on Friday morning when another flight will have landed (late on Thursday night). By this time, we should have been moved to our hotel.