Kim Haughton is in Ethiopia for her Simon Cumbers Media Fund project. This is her second blog on her journey.
i insist on a 6.30am start.. sense unease with driver and G.. no breakfast.. just go.. I must get the good light.. bananas.. buy 20 for 11 birr, @55 cent. bring some for local children.. Offa woreda.. farmers ploughing with oxen in the far away distance.. poor farmers working for cash.. meet Tumato, a farmer names after a tomato.. I wonder will I meet Mr. Banana and Miss Mango.. area is heaving with both.. he’s the grand old age of 85.. a bee keeper.. says honey is the secret to a long life.. shows me where his house was.. in the valley that’s now totally degraded from soil erosion.. make a picture of him as his head scarf flutters in the breeze. Tre siga for lunch.. a platter of raw beef.. half a kilo of it G ordered from the butchery.. I taste.. eat at Gutara conference centre.. again.. every day.. packed at lunch with students.. fasting time of year for the Christian orthodox community.. some salivate at the G’s local delicacy.. should be eaten with tej.. honey wine.. but no wine.. but.. Umbushe, mother of five feeds family with 3kg of maize flour and 2kg of haricot beans and cabbage from her farm. I go with her to the market to see what the daily food looks like.. and with the plan to buy it but we get mobbed. Surrounded by crowd of about 30 people initially.. then more and more.. so close, hard to even open the car door.. ferenji’s not so common around Wolitta.. still, I follow Umbushe… get to the maize & haricot bean sellers.. circle of curious faces all around.. too close to feel comfortable.. can’t move.. people standing on the beans now.. women sellers getting angry.. start throwing small stones at us.. time to leave.. without making a picture.. March.. the start of potentially food insecurity in the area.. all depends on the rain now.. it rains every day since I arrive…kind considerate rain, only falls as dusk does.. Mathewos.. Concern project officer is convinced I am a rain maker..
Kim’s blog can be viewed on: www.kimhaughton.com
Please note: The views and opinions expressed in blogs under the Simon Cumbers Media Fund are those of the journalist and / or their interviewees. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Irish Aid, the Department of Foreign Affairs or the Irish Government.