Fasika, Easter, is a day of Doro Wot. That’s Chicken Wot. In Ethiopia, chicken is a celebration food, because it’s expensive and takes so long to prepare. Got to kill the chicken, pluck it, strip the meat off and on.
Beyond being very tasty, Doro Wot means a party. It’s also eaten on Christmas, important birthdays, weddings… I think that’s why so many Ethiopians list Doro Wot as a favorite food. Some also assess ferengi (foreigners) based on our opinion of Doro Wot. If you like Doro Wot and can handle the berbere, it’s a good sign.
Sile and I were lucky to spend Easter Sunday gorging on Doro Wot and other assorted meat dishes. Orthodox Christians have been fasting for 50 days—they haven’t eaten animal products for 50 days. People miss meat so much, in the weeks after Easter it can be hard to find vegetarian wots at the big restaurants in town.
Sile and I went to six or seven friends’ houses, including Dhaba (my favorite Oromo Historian), McKonnen and Kasaye (teachers at Metu Teacher’s College—TTC—and a hilarious duo), Dagate (a friendly TTC student), my neighbors…
By the last couple of houses we could only drink Coca* and eat a bite of bread. That’s my kind of day.
Yesterday was also my kind of day. My garden fence is finished. And, there’s nothing like hacking bamboo with a machete to put you in an “I can do anything” kind of mood. Reason #567 to join the Peace Corps.
After a triumphant morning, I had lunch with my neighbors and we made wedding decorations. There are no weddings during the 50 day fast before Easter, so there’s a crush of weddings afterwards. It’s wedding season. My friends Mimi and Weldu are getting married next Saturday. There’s an ox for the wedding in the back of my compound that reminds me of Ferdinand. He has long eyelashes and munches contentedly on tufts of grass. He won’t have as happy a fate, but many people will be happy next weekend.
*Coca is a traditional non-alcoholic drink. It’s made of barley and has a lemony taste.
This post is one week late… Easter was last Sunday… but better late, etc, etc.