Bad things happen. To people, to countries, they just happen. It's how we handle them that matters. From as far as I remember, my way to cope has been to immersed myself in books. “We are all refugees from our childhoods. So we turn, among other things, to stories.” Stories feed my dreams. They do much more than that but it's the dreams that are floating around me which give me hope.
Hope, to catch a dream and to make it real. I honestly can't remember in which heroic account, I first read about the source of the Nile. I was very young, the journey was full of perils but the hero got the mighty waterfall and so would I one day.
The irony is that when we landed in Ethiopia, I hadn't realised that it was the land where the blue Nile takes its source. Like the heros in the book, we went on a "bumpy" journey. We got conned and it marred the experience. It rained heavily on us and the tiny ferry across the river was far from safe.
And when we got there, we sat in a little hut and he had coffee.
Coffee is Ethiopia main export and Ethiopia is assumed to be its birthplace. It partly drives the Ethiopian economy up but it's also at the core of Ethiopian hospitality. The coffee ceremony may be a grand word for the slow ritual of making and drinking coffee.
The green coffee beans are first washed then roasted over a brazier. Once the roasting is done, the smoke is gently waved by the hostess towards the guests for them to inhale.
The beans are then ground in a wooden mortar to a thin powder which is placed in long necked boiling pot, placed on the fire once more and when the coffee boils so that overflows pushing the cork seating at the top of the long neck, it is time for the hostess to pour a small cup of very dark and smooth coffee.
The coffee he drank at the source of the blue Nile was without ceremony, it was and tasted rustic, looked more like mud than the delicious brew served in urban centers all over Ethiopia and we hoped that the water had been boiled enough. However, in my mind Ethiopian coffee ceremonies will forever remain associated with a precious moment when one of my many dreams came true.