Thank You Addis Ababa
Dear Addis Ababa, my New Flower!
First, I want you to know that you are new every morning, just like your name ... just like a beautiful new flower. You literally light my days!
You are so beautiful, (konjo nesh), beautiful girl!
Leaving Nairobi, the City in the Sun, I was sure I wouldn’t to find a more robust and beautiful place. But here I was!
My first impression of Addis Ababa was the city itself. So beautiful and cozy and welcoming, with buildings standing tall and proud! Cars driving slowly in a line, unlike the bustle I was used to. People walking without a hurry, traders selling foodstuff and other material without shouting too much into my ears.
For anyone who has considered visiting Addis Ababa, waste no more time. The place is a beauty to behold. Make sure to bring your camera (or phone) along so as not to miss out on the beautiful scenery. You might also want to get warm clothing as the weather has been unpredictable lately, with episodes of rain every once in a while.
I am most grateful that the people are so hospitable and friendly. They easily make any foreigner feel at home.
And the food! We should have started by talking about the food! Ethiopian cuisine is unique, with a wide array of sumptuous local dishes. Most foreigners apparently take a long time to get used to injera, the staple food made from teff. It took me a whole half year. But once you do, you will want to have it over and over again, especially if it is served with doro, the local chicken, and the most special dish. Most other dishes are equally delicious, and are served alongside dabo, the local bread (like scones). Even spaghetti is served with dabo, and oh, don't they just love it! Sometimes it actually feels like I am actually here to just eat!
Apart from the food, Ethiopia has wonderful scenery. Within Addis, you will find beautiful parks where you can go have a picnic. At Entoto Park, a few kilometers from the city, you will have an opportunity to experience a beautiful atmosphere within a vast space. You will find a number of activities like wall climbing, horse riding, zip lining, and a number of restaurants that serve both local and foreign foods. Here, you can also get a first-hand lesson of how to make injera on your own!
There are other places outside the city like Bishoftu, a town located in the East Shewa Zone of the Oromia. Most people call it DebreZeit. Here you can take a tour of more than three beautiful lakes, surrounded by luxurious hotels.
There is also the Unity Park within Addis Ababa, which is one of Ethiopia's most modern and multi-faceted tourist attractions. It is in the compound of the National Grand Palace, which is at Arat Kilo, a short distance from the city. The Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II built the National Grand Palace in the 1800s during his reign. The palace still serves as a home for the current Prime Minister. The Unity Park has zoos with different types of animals, including giraffes, zebras, and the White Rhino. There are also different species of aquatic animals, and various indigenous birds in the aviary. It is also the home of the Black Mane Lions, that are rarely found anywhere else.
These, and several other places that you discover with time, make Addis Ababa the perfect place to be!
Living in Addis Ababa has taught me to value and appreciate people more, as I have had to learn the basics of the local language, Amharic. Most people speak it, and a foreigner would need to know the basics to have an easy time getting items from shops or the street. The people are extremely patient and excited to help you learn the language.
Addis Ababa is definitely a place one would love to spend more time in.
Sally Luduva Isahi is a Kenyan currently living in Addis Ababa. She writes for fun and loves visiting new places and making new friends.