Posts Tagged ‘Ethiopia’

Do drink the water

Saturday, April 10, 2010

One of my favorite things about working in Ethiopia this week has been enjoying the lovely local mineral water. At home, I’m an advocate of tap water and DIY bubbles, but on the road when unknown organisms are a fear, it’s really nice to see water that is a) local, b) delicious and c) bottled in glass. Mmm, Ambo.

Ambo Water from Ethiopia

Consider this a second reminder to watch The Story of Bottled Water.

And to read Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It.

Both gems.

Ethiopian trash murals

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spotted on the streets of Addis Ababa: this series of trash picking, street sweeping, public gardening and construction images.

Street sweeping




Reusing colonial currency

Thursday, December 3, 2009

While in Ethiopia last week, I stopped into a silver store to check out trinkets, including antique Coptic crosses. The Ethiopian cross, if you haven’t seen one before, has a distinctive elongated shape and cross hatch pattern, so abstracted from the traditional European kind of cross that you can’t always tell immediately that that’s what they are.

Austrian coins, Ethiopian cross, coin cross

In Addis, I learned that these shapes vary by region and era and that collecting examples from around the country and throughout its history are a popular hobby among people interested in the country—expat bingo if you will (just kidding, I am sure collecting crosses reflects a deep interest in Ethiopian history and culture). Anyway, it wasn’t the traditional cross that caught my eye, but some examples of crosses cut out of old Austrian coins from the Colonial era. It seems Ethiopians more interested in the Colonialist’s religion than his currency “upcycled” old Austrian silver coins into silver crosses. As you can see, the coin cross is shaped more like the Western shape we are used to. That’s because this upcycling was done by Protestants rather than members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Of course, I couldn’t resist picking one up as a souvenir, which as a non-believer and non-Christian may not be put to much use, I just had to have a 200-year old sample of upcycling!

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