The same week I received news about having typhus, Mama (house 1’s landlord), was having a large party for friends, family and the community to celebrate an Orthodox Catholic Holiday!
The preparation for this party was intense. The women and girls have been preparing and working for this celebration for 2 days straight. My housemates and I had offered to help with the preparation but we were denied of course.
The night before the celebration, everyone was working hard, whether it was preparing the food or reorganizing furniture. Mama had family members coming from Australia! The day of the celebration we meet Mama’s beautiful daughter from Australia early in the day. Already was the celebration starting early in the day. Mama made sure that we would be present from the celebration. Unfortunately, I already knew that I couldn’t have any of the traditional food or tejj (honey wine) since my body wouldn’t be able to handle it due to the TYPHUS!
My housemates and I had left during the day to hunt for wifi to get some work done. When we arrived to the street where our house was located, we found the street to be crowded and filled with people. Parked cars filled the street and we found many people outside our gate trying to gain entrance. When we entered, the place was filled with food and people. Even inside the house the living room was filled with chairs and people. We braced ourselves for the food offering and practiced the little Amharic we knew.
Though I could not have almost any of the food, I was able to have homemade chips which were delicious. It was funny seeing Gina and Sara getting their plates filled by Mama. Mama’s hospitality was wonderful. I had to explain to her several times that I was sick and couldn’t have any of the delicious food, but I reassured her that the chips were delicious! Yosef, Sam, house 2 group and even Maiwal (our Amharic teacher) came to the celebration! It was great bounding with everyone in a party setting! I had a fun time playing with Mama’s grandkids who spoke pretty good English!
Afterwards we tried to offer our help cleaning the house, but of course we were denied by Mama!!! Her hospitality and compassion is out of this world!