Today’s news about an Ethiopian man winning the Boston Marathon gives me the hook to write a post that has been on my mind since Friday. Back before I knew much about Ethiopia from actual experience, I heard an interview with a man from Ethiopia, an emigre in New York City. Adopted man. Adopted city. And a worldview, a lifeview, that I could relate to with a powerful intensity that I did not fully understand at the time:
Something in that interview began changing the structure of my thoughts about Ethiopia. And then within months of that one of our colleagues from the Zaina Lodge project started telling me that the next place I “must, must, must” explore is Ethiopia. The dial moved even further because that colleague told me stories I could hardly believe about the beauty of Ethiopia. And when I finally made my first visit, I was nonetheless awed beyond what the colleague had led me to expect. So, Ethiopia has been on my mind every day for a couple months now.
And then a couple of days ago, another Ethiopian emigre to New York City checked in to Marari Pearl. She had already been at Spice Harbour for some days, and now would kick back at the beach with a friend for a week. I was told she intended to play volleyball, so I made a visit on Friday, thinking to join the game and say hello. And the dial turned further in the right direction: in short bursts of conversation Friday and Saturday, extended into email exchanges on Sunday, I can sense that this guest, who has lived in the USA long enough to sound like a local, is another member of the Ethiopian diaspora rooting for its success. My mind is wandering back to Marcus, toward dinner in the restaurant in New York City that has been his first solo success there, and I now know where I will have lunch on my next visit: