Dejene’s House and Dan’s Birthday

Because Dejene drives us around all week, he knows a lot of our business. He knows about my interest in photography, and has asked me a lot of questions about it. A couple of weeks ago, I explained that I mostly take family photos, and I casually offered to take photos of his family any time. He immediately jumped at the opportunity. “You must come to my house for lunch! Next Saturday!” I told him that was Dan’s birthday, but he insisted on throwing him a small party. I have to admit, I was nervous about the whole thing because I didn’t want his family to go overboard. I knew that our visit would be a big deal. But he didn’t stop talking about it for days: planning the menu, telling us which of his children and grandchildren would be there.

So, we showed up at their modest mud and cement home on Saturday afternoon, and his family was absolutely wonderful. They had printed out a sign for Dan’s birthday and even hung our Christmas card on their wall. His wife had prepared a feast: beef, potatoes, lentils, greens, all served on (what else?) big pieces of fresh homemade injera. 20140125-DSC_0235

20140125-DSC_0165They also made a beautiful loaf of dabo, prepared over the fire exactly the way it was at Amayu’s house. (The injera, however, was prepared using an electric injera maker instead of over the fire). Women are never allowed to cut the dabo. On Saturday, Dan, the guest of honor, was asked to cut it.

20140125-DSC_0067Charlotte played with Dejene’s grandkids the whole time. 20140125-DSC_0154

20140125-DSC_0091We all took turns holding Willa.


20140125-DSC_0234 After the meal, Dejene’s wife had a traditional coffee ceremony. She popped popcorn over the fire and sprinkled it with sugar and maybe something else. Whatever it was, it was delicious. 20140125-DSC_0075

She roasted coffee beans over the fire and brewed the coffee in the traditional jebena, right there in the living room. The coffee was perhaps the best I’ve ever had. But I say that all the time here in Ethiopia. 20140125-DSC_0082


Back at home, we sang “Happy Birthday” and ate cake. 20140125-DSC_0256

20140125-DSC_0253Dan and I splurged on a babysitter (sweet, sweet Askarlich) and went out to dinner last night. Dan says it was a very good birthday.







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