This is a typical “kitchen area”. In the middle are the two “stoves” that everyone has, a gas burner and a coal burner, on top of the coal burner is the “whet” pan, staying warm for the next meal. A little to the left is the tea pot, used for morning and afternoon tea snack. Behind the burners is a typical cabinet and to the left of that is an ingera basket with ingera dough fermenting in it. To the right of the cabinet is an ingera basket with ready to eat ingera in it. The Pringles can was where they stored the coffee in this home.
The diet of the Bete Israel is very simple. It consists of mainly “ingera”, “whet” and tea. My topic next week will describe these in a little more detail.
The Bete Israel are living in incredible poverty. They did not mind this at first as a temporary condition as they believed they would soon emigrate to their beloved Israel. But they are not happy with having to live so long in such conditions. I was taken to some of their homes and visited with some of the people. One lady said to me when we first arrived “Please, please help us go to Israel, we have to live in such dirty conditions!”
Their dwelling places can hardly be called homes, most live in one room structures that are shared by 4 to 12 people. Each dwelling has two beds, set perpendicular to each other against the walls.
The remaining space (also used for sleeping for larger families) is the living and “kitchen” space. Future entries will discuss diet and food preparation. These dwellings often leak, which is why items are kept in plastic bags. These are typical samples of the dwellings of the Bete Israel in Addis Ababa. There are no