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Ethiopia

Addis Ababa

I did not get much time to sketch in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.

It’s a crazy city, such a mish-mash of old and new, rich (in relative terms) and very very poor.  I had good experiences and bad experiences, but I can tell you when I most needed some kind words a family waved me into their very small shack sat me down and gave me a coffee (mmmmm, Ethiopian coffee).  They spoke no English but they gave me their smiles and affection (and coffee) freely and this cheered me up no end.

I remember sketching this cathedral in central Addis Ababa and meeting a rasta with gold teeth.  Ben was his name.  He played the bongo and had no shoes.  He thought my skin was very white and was genuinely concerned about my exposure to the sun, ha ha.  We chatted for a while and then he moved along. It’s nice to remember these snippets associated with quick little sketches.  It truly brings the magic to sketching on location.Medhane Alem Cathedral Addis Ababa travel sketch