Africa, Countries, Culture, Food, Food & Wine, Uncategorized

Ethiopia’s first lady

No, not Lucy, the earliest female for which we have bones, or the Queen of Sheba, or Sahle-Work Zewde, the President of Ethiopia.

Although all are celebrated examples of female power and contribution not just to Africa but the wider world.

No, my first lady of Ethiopia is the first Ethiopian lady I met… the graceful Meseret Tekalign.

Happy New Year

A smile that lights up a room

It was, of course Ethiopian New Year, Enkutatash… Happy Newer Year – from Ethiopia

And had we known each other before we would obviously have exchanged compliments… that we were looking years younger.

Seven years, of course, as our calendar is on a different time scale to the Ethiopians.

It was always a high point of the year to spend Ethiopian New Year with Meseret, Ethiopian Airlines’ Country Manager Ireland, and the Ethiopian community.

Hands up for Ethiopia

A bright future

And eat with our hands, a type of pitta bread to scoop up the meats, rices and vegetables, all washed down with Ethiopian wine.

Before we watched the traditional coffee-making ceremony and sampled the coffee which I now only take out on special occasions.

I was entranced by Meseret as soon as I met her.

And she by me, obviously, and she even invited me to send a writer to Ethiopia to celebrate International Women’s Day.

I’m a woman!

IMG_4893
Tuck in: And there’s seconds

When Ethiopian Airlines https://www.ethiopianairlines.com/aa put an entire female crew on from Addis Ababa to Washington Dulles via Dublin.

Always putting others first I asked if I could blag it, wear a dress and pass myself off as a woman.

After all being of the Scottish variety I’m no stranger to wearing a skirt.

I was, of course, happy to support such a wonderful idea.

A long history

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One more cup of coffee for the road

And to promote this land of mystery and awe, a country that has no fewer than nine UNESCO heritage sites.

Meseret is heading back to Addis with the good wishes of all who she took to her heart over the past few years.

We’re glad she enjoyed the craic as she revealed:

‘Taking up my first post in Europe was something I relished and will always look back on it fondly.

‘I feel lucky it was Ireland where the people lived up to the hype of being the friendliest in Europe even in business.’ 

And, of course, she and us feel years younger for the experience.

Pride of lions

And, of course, if all this talk of Africa has tempted you then remember that Ethiopian command’s the lion’s share of the Pan-African market.

And talking of lions and Africa, the two go hand in paw.

At a safe and respectful distance as I discovered when I visited the Eastern Cape of South Africa…http://www.southafrica.net What’s new pussycat?

I’m working my way up the continent. We’ll meet again, Meseret.

Uncategorized

Flyday Friday

It’s the final straw. Well done Emirates for introducing eco-friendly paper straws this month. And binning plastic swizzle sticks and stirrers and replacing them with eco-friendly alternatives.

And from August plastic bags used for Inflight Retail purchases are to be replaced with paper bags.

It reckons it will be able to remove an estimated 81.7 million single-used plastic items from landfill each year.

And that’s not all! It has introduced onboard blankets made from 28 recycled bottles, saving 88 million plastic bottles from landfill by the end of 2019.

The airline is also segregating large plastic bottles on board to be recycled in Dubai and the rest of the world. This diverts an estimated 3 tonnes or about 150,000 plastic bottles from landfill in Dubai each month.

Emirates operates two flights from Dublin each day to Dubai and from there connects passengers to more than 150 destinations. Visit http://www.emirates.ie. And why not visit http://www.emiratesholidays.ie for some great suggestions too.

London calling

The time is right: Photo by Pixabay

There are some things on our doorstep which we just take for granted… and obviously just shouldn’t.

One such is London.

London is one of the great cities of the world and so familiar yet so new… no matter how many times you visit you will always find something you either never knew was there or you just hadn’t got round to yet.

For me one of the great joys of London is Theatreland. It’s Beautiful! Cue for me to dig out my weekend there when I caught the dazzling and fun-filled Beautiful: The Carole King Story a couple of years back. Bear with me and I’ll post it soon.

For now Aer Lingus flies Dublin to London City from €47.99, one way including taxes and charges, to Gatwick €29.99 and to Heathrow €45.99. Cork to Heathrow is from €45.99, Shannon to Heathrow €45.99 and Knock to Gatwick €32.99. See http://www.aerlingus.com. And visit my review of London’s West End and a musical that made the earth move…. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/23/carole-king-youre-beautiful-londonwestend-musical/(opens in a new tab)

Shout of Africa

Congratulations to Ethiopian Airlines which has just been named the Best Airline in Africa for the third year running at the Skytrax 2019 World Airlines Awards in Paris.

Ethiopian also won Best Business Class in Africa and Best Economy Class in Africa at the awards. Ethiopian has 120 destinations worldwide. For best rates visit http://www.ethiopianairlines.com.

I missed out on the pleasures of flying out with Ethiopian this year to Addis Ababa, preferring to send a female colleague instead…. well, it was World Women’s Day… they were going to ‘meet’ Lucy, the world’s ‘oldest’ woman.

And it is a pleasure I will certainly be keen to enjoy in the future. The Ethiopians are a wonderful friendly people and have the secret of good ageing… as shown by Lucy.

But also because everyone there is seven years younger on account of them using a different calendar as they explained the first Enkutatash I celebrated with them at Dublin Airport… and such was the hospitality of Ethiopian;s Country Manager for Ireland, Meseret Tekalign and her team, and food I went back for seconds this year.

Me and Meseret: I’d look good in gold

Flyin’ air

Now I’ve been a customer of Mr O’Leary in the last week and intend to be again next weekend. It is an acquired taste but there is no denying that he has added to the gaiety of the nation and that his fares are darned reasonable.

Just back from Lourdes, and I will tell you about it in the coming weeks, and at just two hours it isn’t far to go for a miracle.

Ryanair is offering Lourdes at €22.98 one-way among a tranche of other great offers.

And this will leave you lots of spare change to buy those holy trinkets, candles, holy water and Virgin Mary statues because if my Dear Old Mum is anything to go by you can never have too much holy stuff around the house to bring you luck.

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES