Above is my extremely patient friend Henoch, who carted me around the capital by bike this particular day. We had just spent the last week or so teaching art in his hometown of Bahir Dar. Here he is waiting for me while I finish picking out scarves. (I was in a timeless state of bliss with the colors.) This is the yard of the property where women come to learn to weave. They are former fuelwood carriers; this is a dangerous, thankless job. 12 hour days, bundles tied to their backs, walking through the mountains, at risk of assault, for about a dollar a day.
Below is the right half of the yard. The ladies were making and eating lunch while we were there. They shared a homemade fermented drink when we wandered over. I didn’t want to be a tool and take their photos, but I snapped a shot of the building to give a feel for the place.
This is about a third of the weaving room.
This is just after we left, with obnoxious plastic bags of scarves hanging off both sides. I got excited and overdid it. Also, the shopkeeper scared me a little, so I bought more than I had planned. Lol… She wanted to be sure I bought scarves from each cubby, but I couldn’t understand what she was saying. Henoch was to polite to offer a translation, but I finally got him to tell me that the woman wanted me to buy scarves from every woman that worked there. Because, fair. He had been scowling at her, telling her I could buy whatever colors I liked. Meanwhile, I was in a dream-state and being a weirdo. Poor Henoch. I think that was my very last day. Later that night, he and I and two other friends went to a fine dining restaurant. It was, LITERALLY, the best Italian food I’ve ever had. And probably the fanciest restaurant I’ve ever been to. Full disclosure: I have never been to Italy.