|The gang's all here|
Once we were there we hopped out and Fatuma quickly made a bee-line to a clothing store where she proceeded to pick out silk scarves for my wife, my mother and my mother-in-law -- and anyone else who might need a gift. Then we moved on to dresses (for my daughter) and a traditional Ethiopian suit for my son. Some trinkets followed - and some shirts, and some souvenirs. When I pulled out my wallet to pay, her driver and accountant jumped between Fatuma and myself as if I was brandishing a gun. They take their generosity very seriously here.
After an hour or two of shopping we were driving again -- i assumed back to the hotel. It was not to be. Instead we ended up at an Italian restaurant for lunch (of course). I chose a safe menu option: spicy tuna pasta.
Our driver went for some tibs (beef), also good.
But the kids, being smart and fearless, ordered some pizza. They ignored my please to stop as I tried to snap a photo.
This little guy Hoovered down most of the pizza, so I figured I'd ask him to show off his belly.
|Full of "za"|
In fact, they were so nuts about pizza that I let them play a "Pizza Maker" game on my iPod that my kids are crazy for.Fun stuff.
At some point Fatuma disappeared to conduct some business, so I burned time by handing the camera over to the kids.
|I know. I am so cool.|
So, I'm done right? Of course not. We returned to the market where more goods were acquired (this time for my fellow Canadians in Ethiopia) then we hit a jewelry store where she helped me pick out earrings and a necklace for my wife. (I was successful in paying for this one).
Then I remembered that I had brought a copy of one of Doug Wright's Nipper collections with me. Fatuma was talking about a library she was building back home in an Afar school she established (and we had visited) so I zipped up to my room and got the book. Famously, Doug Wright drew his classic Canadian strip without the benefit of words, so language wasn't going to be an issue. She seemed very pleased by the gift, but not as much as her nephew who grabbed it and was well and fully absorbed in the 1960s antics of Nipper and his family.
I swear, I think he may have liked this better than the pizza. And why not? Nipper's devilish antics have rung true with my kids and many others some 40 years after they first appeared, after all a kid is a kid, right? Anyways, it was a genuine thrill to see this Ethiopian kid, who knew maybe 10 words of English, devour this book. Here's to the global power of comics!!
|That's a Nipper look if I ever saw one|
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