had no idea what there was to see when I arrived in Gondar.
I soon learned that it had been called by some the Camelot of Africa.
had an unbroken dynasty of about 250 kings. King Fasil, about number
150 in the bunch, established his kingdom in Gondar. Almost everything
to see in Gondar revolved around Fasil or one of his immediate successors.
In addition to the castle complex, I visited the Debre Berhan Selassie
Church (most famous for the winged angels painted on the ceiling),
the royal baths, and the market. Gondar was easily and leisurely done
in half a day. My taxi driver didn't speak much English, but somewhere
along the way he picked up Bewkat, a student with good English and
an excellent sense of humor. He told all sorts of funny stories about
the Seventh Day Adventist school he attended in Addis Ababa. The best
was when he got in trouble - for studying on the Sabbath. The teachers
called him a brat and promised to expel him if he was ever caught
couldn't believe I'd not attended an Ethiopian coffee ceremony. So
plans were made for coffee at his grandmother's home. The experience
was a great chance to see Ethiopian life. Bewkat lived with his grandmother,
two younger brothers, and a "lazy uncle". Fasil was about ten with
a killer smile. Daniel was one and cried every time I looked at him.
Their home was one room partitioned with curtains. It was kind of
like an Ethiopian apartment building because neighbor shared walls
on two sides. The grandmother was gone to a funeral so a neighbor
woman took over the coffee. Using a coal pot and metal plate, she
first roasted the beans. Then, she pounded them in a tall, skinny
mortar. The ground coffee was boiled in a pot that was made of clay.
It had a round bottom with a narrow spout. Ethiopian coffee was strong.
But when grandma and a friend arrived, they said the brew was too
weak. I let the neighbor know that I liked it.