While Bryon is tilling the garden, I am nearly on the other side of the world. Instead of picking up my regular trusty camera and walking down past the chickens and apple trees I snap what whizzes past in the chaos that is daily life in Ethiopia’s capital with a pocket Point & Shoot. The first few days it looks like this–a jumble of cars, tin shacks, and people.My driver honks to warn oncoming jaywalkers (one has a package perched on his head).How do you handle the load? Any way that works.Apparently there are no height restrictions on moving goods by truck.From where I sat (trapped in a van), it was difficult to photograph people as they went about their business. Local women cover their hair, and sometimes their faces. Once when I ventured into the nearby market, one of the hotel staff offered to show me where to buy cheaper souvenirs. Perhaps he was only trying to be friendly, but I was alone and it made me uneasy.Near the souvenir market. Dogs are part of the neighborhood.Addis is changing. A lot of construction is underway: shopping malls, luxury highrises, office buildings.A local grocery.Barricades separate construction sites from the traffic.Yesterday we were running late, so our driver took a shortcut … … through a construction zone.Metal shacks with satellite dishes: that pretty much sums up the contradictions.
While people far away are stuck in the grips of the polar vortex, Bryon and I ponder the garden. It had become almost feral during the August peak, but now it was simply unruly.It was past time to get it under some sort of control. The alternative was to be invaded by more sorrel, sweet potatoes, and rosemary. We also decided that grape tomatoes were more trouble than they are worth–better to grow Romas or San Marzanos. First things first: major clean up. The renegade sweet potatoes, peppers, and rosemary were dug up and tossed over the fence. How many pounds of old, purple, gold, or puny potatoes were excavated as we raked our way toward the coop? At least 40, but they’re long gone–eaten by one of the night critters.