The Lalibela rock-hewn monasteries are unique because King Lalibela built them from the top down. They are the only structures in the world to have been constructed in this way.
One Ethiopian staple food is shiro. Naturally processed, it is vegetarian and made with beans and spice. The powdered mixture is a rich yellow. Cooked, it is a smooth, curry paste.
We kept the white maggot of a fly called qmburs. It reached 3 centimetres and pupated for 25 years. As it aged, it shrank and produced more silk. Qmburs wove a silk case around a shell. When it got too large, the case would stifle it and the maggot moved out. My grandmother transferred it while still inside its shell to a new home. This was usually the underside of an old bamboo coffee table. The maggot adhered to the surface with a glue-like substance and produced more silk: 3 x 600-millimetre-square harvests per year, thick and frothy. I scrounged bamboo-coffee tables. Mama kissed my forehead: a rare gift.
‘Do not abuse the environment. When your flesh changes into soil, your spirit will remain on earth. Leave behind a comfortable home for it.’
Petrol fuelled the taxi. Materialism did not drive the yerada lij.
Never betrayed, the warrior and his horse survived in the thick of battle, bullets flying. He emerged through flames. This baffled Italians who called him ‘Illusion’.