At the end of every year I tend to write a lot of recap posts so I can easily catapult myself into the new year, be a little reflective, and also so I can remember everything I’ve done and want to improve upon the next year. I traveled a lot this year for which I am extremely grateful! I spent most of my time abroad in Ethiopia. Who knows where I will travel to in 2015, but April and June of this year were mostly spent in one of my favorite countries in the world. Even though I haven’t seen nearly all of Ethiopia (which I very much intend to do!) I have seen a great deal of it in Addis and its surrounding area, the south to Arba Minch through the Great Rift Valley, and even the northern part of the country on Lake Tana.
I associate a lot of my memories in Ethiopia by what I ate and drank because the coffee and beer are so very good and so is the food! I love that you can easily find vegetarian meals if you’d like because so many Ethiopians fast from meat and dairy and I even love that you can find some pretty decent Ethiopian wine if you look hard enough.
Here are a few of my photos of some of my favorite moments in Ethiopia involving food. I can’t wait to go back. I miss it already!
Washington, Dulles (IAD)
I have my own little beloved ritual every time I fly Ethiopian Airlines out of Dulles. I eat sushi at my favorite Japanese spot in the airport and drink a cold bottle of Sapporo. I love this place because none of the sushi is premade. I sit and watch the sushi chef meticulously make my food to order. I look forward to this every time I fly to Addis!
Hotel Harmony (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
When the International Reporting Project trip I planned was over in June I took a quick trip to Johannesburg and then back to Ethiopia and spent a day and a half in Addis Ababa. After nearly two weeks spent with a team of nine journalists, two translators, one fixer, countless drivers, NGO liaisons, and IRP staff I couldn’t believe I found myself in Addis all by myself. This was my first dinner alone.
Lewi Hotel and Resort (Hawassa, Ethiopia)
One early morning I got up at the Lewi Hotel and Resort in Hawassa, ordered a cappuccino, and just sat quietly and looked out at the lake. It was blissful before a busy day! It’s really hard in the midst of work to stop and reflect. I did more of this in 2014.
Hotel Bethlehem (Ziway, Ethiopia)
I have no idea why the name of this dish escapes me at the moment because I surely ate enough of it both times I was in Ethiopia this year! All I remember is it was a very, very spicy chicken dish and delicious!
Lucy Restaurant and Lounge (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
I was happy to be taken to the lush Lucy Restaurant and Lounge by my fixer, Zelalem, right next door to Addis’ National Museum, hence its name. When Lucy (yes, that Lucy) is back in her rightful homeland you can visit her bones in Addis Ababa and then go for lunch at the Lucy Restaurant. I had a fish, vegetable, and rice dish here, but was more intrigued by all of the flowers and cacti.
Radisson BLU (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
I spent so much time at the Radisson BLU in Addis that I probably ate everything on their menu including cultural dishes with injera, Ethiopia’s staple food made from teff. I am going to be completely honest and tell you I am not a fan of injera. I can eat it every so often, but it’s a little too sour for me. But for people who have gluten allergies, going to Ethiopia and eating injera is heavenly! No wheat!
Castel Winery (Ziway, Ethiopia)
Who knew Ethiopia is growing its own, quality wine culture with its Rift Valley wine? While this is far from food, I’m happy that the journalists I was traveling with insisted we go to the Castel Winery on our way south to Hawassa. With a vineyard nearby in Ziway you can stop, eat lunch, or just casually drink a glass of wine. I had a delicious glass of Chardonnay as was impressed!