(Camrose Burdon is a retired government librarian. Last November, she travelled to Ethiopia as part of a CODE initiative.)
We in Canada wish! But in Ethiopia, where the calendar has 13 months a year, there is usually plenty of sunshine year round. The calendar is one of many unique and wonderful features of that fascinating country, where I travelled in November.
A number of you have expressed a desire to learn a little more about my trip, about Ethiopia's attractions, and about the libraries I visited there as part of a delegation of interested donors and volunteers who support the literacy organization CODE (www.codecan.org).
So I thought it would be fun to gather at the Blue Nile, an authentic Ethiopian restaurant (recently reviewed in the Ottawa Citizen), to share good company and enjoy food, drink and atmosphere together with a short presentation about Ethiopia and Ethiopian libraries/librarians, including: the National Archives and Library of Ethiopia, the Public Library of Addis Ababa, the University of Bahir Dar Chief Librarian, the Shola Library (known internationally through the selection of its founder Yohannes Gebregeorgis as one of CNN's top 10 heroes of 2008), and last -- but far from least — a few of the 62 reading rooms developed with support from CODE's partner organization CODE Ethiopia.
After dinner, the Blue Nile will offer the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, a very special and relaxing experience that blends the aroma of roasting green coffee beans with the scent of burning incense and the fragrance of popcorn! The charge is $5 per person and it must be ordered in advance.
For those who prefer to avoid caffeine in the evening alternatives include tej (the Ethiopian honey wine), regular and decaf coffee, and tea.
If you are interested please join me:
When: Wednesday March 25 at 6 pm.
Where: Blue Nile Restaurant, 577 Gladstone (map)
Cost: Restaurant charges for the price of the food and drink you consume: the price of main dishes ranges from $6.50 to $13.99. Each person will be billed separately.
RSVP: Please reply to me by e-mail not later than Thursday March 19 — stating your choice of:
-- main dish (refer to the menu)
-- appetizer (if any),
-- coffee ceremony or not
It will be great to see you there — and please feel free to extend the invitation to others who may be interested!