Wednesday, May 27, 2009

flat stanley goes to ethiopia

One day an envelope arrived in Christy & Jason's post box. A friend's nephew, Juan, sent his friend Flat Stanley to see another part of the world. Juan explained that Stanley was smooshed by a bulletin board that fell on top of him while he was sleeping. This made it possible for Stanley to do all kinds of interesting things, including traveling to see different parts of the world. Lucky for Stanley, Christy & Jason were heading to Ethiopia for an adventure of their own.

Stanley learned a lot about Ethiopia and got to see some fun places. He learned that Ethiopia is a very religious place - the Ethiopians believe in one of the oldest forms of Christianity known as the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Their last day in the country, they decided to visit a famous monastery called Debre Libanos. It's famous because it used to be the centre for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. But in 1937 the fascists from the Italian occupation came to the monastery and shot 297 of the monks, 100 deacons, and more than 400 other people and completely destroyed the church. The new church was rebuilt in the 1950's by Haile Selassie, the last Emperor to rule over Ethiopia. Stanley managed to climb on top of one of the fancy pillars to get a better view.

After seeing the church, Stanley, Christy & Jason walked for a few minutes through an empty river bed and up the side of a small mountain to visit a holy cave where an old and important priest prayed for over 25 years, standing the whole time. For 7 of those years, he only stood on one leg! Water that comes from the cave is considered very holy and can heal the sick so they keep barrels of it to give to the people that come to visit.

On their way to lunch, the group passed through a traditional market selling all kinds of seeds, beans, herbs and spices. Christy bought some herbs for her tea and Stanley tried not to get run over by all the people!

One of the best things Stanley saw that day was a very interesting bridge that was made over 400 years ago by the Portuguese. Back then they didn't have cement so they mixed limestone and ostrich egg shells together to make it. The bridge is still very sturdy!

After the long day, they finally made it back to Addis and to a very tasty traditional meal. Ethiopians eat a bread called injeera, which is fermented for a few days so it has a sour taste to it. It is flat like a pancake and looks like a sponge. With it people usually eat a lot of different types of meats, like dora wat (chicken with a boiled egg in a red spicey sauce), tibs (fried beef), lamb and goat. Ethiopians also love raw meat but Stanley, Christy & Jason weren't brave enough to try it. If you want a lot of vegetables you have to wait till Wednesday or Friday, the traditional fasting days, and then you can get a meal with just vegetables and fish, but no meat.

At dinner that night, the waitress brought out their delicious tray of food
but she didn't see Stanley and flattened him again under the big plate of food. Christy & Jason rescued him and they ate like Ethiopians, using their hands and ripping off pieces of injeera to scoop up some of the meat. They even got to watch traditional dancers while they ate.

Sadly, the next morning they had to say goodbye to Ethiopia and go back to South Africa. As they boarded their flight , they promised to come back because there is still so much more to see… AND Christy LOVES the food!

1 comment:

jsutton10 said...

I had a flat stanley!!! haha... hilarious! I am so glad that he had a good time in Ethiopia with you. Can't wait to see you in a couple weeks and in Puerto Rico! Sorry about the hotel, but I am sure any hotel will be just as beautiful! xoxo.