Having never been outside of North America, the journey to far-off Ethiopia was an event that I had been greatly anticipating for more than a year. I must admit, that as a Christian, I felt a historical connection (though a vague one) to Ethiopia, especially after reading Philip Jenkin’s recently published history of Christianity in northern Africa. I also love Ethiopian coffee. At the coffee shop where I work as the roaster, I cook up several batches of beans from the Sidamo or Yirgacheffe regions each week. It’s no secret to the rest of the staff that they are my favorite. So I know something of the agriculture and history, but nothing of the people. I knew what the Wikipedia article said about the country, but little else. Africa has always been kind of mythical place of poverty, deserts, jungles, and mystery. Of course, I would only be there for 5 days and spend the entire time in a city, so this trip was only going to include a certain slice of the culture. Even this turned out to be no small thing.

I wrote about 10 short blogs posts worth of observations and thoughts scribbled in my notebook during the course of the week. I’ll be posting them here in the next few days. For a more linear account of how the trip went, my wife posted the bulk of her own journal here.