A wonderful trip to the Western coffee area of Harar from back in 2008.
I traveled solo to Eastern Ethiopia to meet up with the Ogsadey family. You know them as the Harar Horse exporter, who has had a strong relationship with US importers for many years.
They offered some of the best Ethiopia Harar coffees, and have a mill in Dire Dawa where they do extra cleaning and hand-sorting of all lots.
The central person in the MAO business is Abdirasid Ogsadey, a cousin of the patriarch Mohammed Abdullah Ogsadey, who passed away several years ago at the ripe age of … well, nobody can quite agree.
The sons of Mohammed Sr. are Abdullahi and Ledon Ogsadey, who mainly works with the trucking side of the business. Dire Dawa is on the rail line, and is the hub for coffee trading and transport to the sea ports of Djibouti. Harar city has no coffee trade, but the greater region of Harar, called Hararghe, is where all the coffee is grown that we call Harar.
I learned a lot on my trip, and am indebted to my hosts, who had just started fasting for Ramadan and were miraculously able to drive around with me far and wide. I spent a time in historic Harar city alone, to give them a break.
It all ended up with me getting a fantastically bad haircut (by someone who SWORE he could cut “faranji” hair, no problem), a nice episode with a cockroach espresso at the Ras Hotel in Harar, and too much good food to even start to list. Oh, and the Hyena, feeding them raw meat. Tacky, I know. But the photos, wow!
I really love this place.
-Tom, September 2008
It’s the rainy season and there are very strong thunderstorms that move through. The claps of thunder at night were dramatic, and the next day there were strong winds when another front came … the picture can’t do it justice. Ethiopia Ethiopia I didn’t get a chance to check out the Kaldi’s coffee in Addis, and wanted to see the roaster Mokarer but they are closed on Sunday. The handpull 2 group Cimbali at the London Cafe in the airport didn’t tempt me either. Check out the steam wand … Ethiopia Ethiopia It’s a lousy picture but I had to get an image of these old MAO Harar Horse bags. This is also an old style of sorting that they would no longer use. It is hand sorted on an intermittent conveyor. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ambo is a sparkling spring water you can get in most parts of Ethiopia. Cold, clean, refreshing … Ambo. There’s also Baible, which is about the same thing. Ethiopia Ethiopia This is a ’70s or early ’80s vintage electric Probat roaster, and works quite well. It hasn’t seen a ton of use since they have a more complete cupping lab in Addis Ethiopia Ethiopia Make your own coffee to suit your own particular taste. Proper roasting is the secret to good taste. A nice old box that was framed on Mohamed Ogsadey’s wall. Ethiopia Ethiopia On Mohammed Ogsadey’s desk, the model for the horse on the MAO bags. The desk is preserved in the MAO offices as a time capsule, in a room decorated with a lifetime of certificates and awards. Ethiopia Ethiopia Mr Ogsadey died a couple years ago after a lifetime of work in the coffee.Considering he was over 90 and lived with a pacemaker for 25 years, he did quite well. He was a religious man who built mosques, hospital wards, sponsored cycle clubs and soccer teams. He was the first Ethiopian to export Ethiopian coffee; it was previosuly controlled by Italian, British and Greek traders. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ogsadey sponsored the cycling federation in Ethiopia. Ethiopia Ethiopia The first Ethiopian to be granted a driver’s license in Harar under “Italian colonial authority”. So to speak… Ethiopia In the Dire Dawa offices … I am just not sure how well kittens exhibit qualities like Punctuality and Reliability. Ethiopia Ethiopia This woman was roasting coffee for consumption in the MAO office … funny considering they have a single barrel Probat that could do a great job supplying the office with great coffee. But the dark roast, scorched flavor of this type of roasting, with ample amounts of sugar added, is what people like . Ethiopia Ethiopia One of many truck photos I took, mostly of old Fiats. Now you see a lot of Izusu trucks, Iveco, Nissan, ShengFeng (?), even a couple Indian Tata trucks. This is the only of this mark I saw. In the back, the Indian brand Bajaj auto rickshaws. There are a lot of 4 stroke Force brand ones form China too. Ethiopia Ethiopia The Ogsadey offices are in an old Bridgestone tire building. They still have a large black and white photo on the wall inside of the Bridgestone plant in Tokyo that was left behind, probably 40’s vintage.These are the colors they use to paint every building they own. Ethiopia Ethiopia In preparation for Ramadan, may buildings get a fresh wash of bright paint. In Dire Dawa, I did not stay at the Ras hotel, but a newer one udner construction called the Samrat. It was good – but don’t expect AC in your rooms in Dire Dawa. At night, you hear dog packs prowling, and the Islamic call-to-prayer at 4 am. Ethiopia Ethiopia There’s a blend of style, exotic Eastern and Italian colonial. The design along the top is reminicent of the Harar Gates and the wall around the old city. But this is Dire Dawa here, the “Queen City of the Desert” as they call it. Ethiopia Ethiopia And who better than Tom and Jerry ? Dire Dawa Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia You see this style everywhere in the area, the current Coke campaign, but entirely hand-painted. I kinda like it … well, it could be worse. I am not sure how many understand the “Live on the Coke side of life” slogan, or if they care. Really, I have no idea what that means either. Ethiopia Ethiopia Another of the MAO warehouses in town, painted in their color scheme of yellow, brown and aqua. Ethiopia Ethiopia So different from the flying rats of California or elsewhere, but so similar too. Ethiopia Ethiopia Dire Dawa is the central place where they clean up the green coffee as it comes in from the Coffee Authority auction house. Normally, this would be a dry mill, but in fact the farmer mills the coffee in Hararghe, and then sells it. But it’s in rough condition, with lots of stones, pods, broken beans … so it requires machine cleaning and then hand sorting. Ethiopia Ethiopia In eastern hararghe, the coffee is milled out of the dried skin by pounding it in a big wood mortar. The farmers want to keep the skin for their own use; to sell or use to make qishr, the tea beverage. But a lot of bits and pieces are still in the coffee despite the fact that they winnow it. Ethiopia Ethiopia MAO employs as many people as possible to sort the coffee in their processing warehouse in Dire. At peak production they are running 5 lines, but this is the tail ends now, and there are just 3. The belt is not continuous. They clean the coffee in front of them, then the woman on the end advances the belt just as much as the table is long, so all hands have access to new, unsorted coffee. Ethiopia Ethiopia Closeup of hand sorting of Harar Coffee, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Closeup of hand sorting of Harar Coffee, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Closeup of hand sorting of Harar Coffee, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Closeup of hand sorting of Harar Coffee, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Can’t take enough pictures of this …. my apologies. Ethiopia Ethiopia The Saudis are huge buyers of Harar coffees. By law, they are limited to buying only Harar coffees, and Lekempti coffees from Ethiopia … I assume they cannot buy Oromia/Sidamo/Yirga Cheffe and others because they do not come from areas that are predominately Muslim. Ethiopia Ethiopia Printing the famous MAO Horse bag for Harar coffee, in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Printing the famous MAO Horse bag for Harar coffee, in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Not sure what happened to the original hub caps, but this is Mr Ogsadeys special ride, for occasions, parades, etc. If I remember right, it’s a ’59 Impala Ethiopia Ethiopia There are two grading stations and open-cry auction houses in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa. All coffees aside from cooperative union lots must go through the auction. Trucks come in and line up on the side street, a sample is pulled, each lot is cupped and graded. The auction is at 3 pm, and by the time you walk downstairs to the street, the trucks are headed off to the exporter who bought the lot. A simple, direct system Ethiopia Ethiopia They have some awfully nice equipment at the Coffee Tea Authority in Dire Dawa, and soon they will have a new building that is less cramped. Ethiopia Ethiopia At the Coffee Tea Authority in Dire Dawa, coffee samples ready for cupping. The roasts are fairly light. Ethiopia Ethiopia At the Coffee Tea Authority in Dire Dawa: Light roasts, late season Harar coffees … it’s the tail ends of the harvest and what’s left isn’t that great, hence a partial explanation for the very uneven roasts. Ethiopia Ethiopia At the Coffee Tea Authority in Dire Dawa: each lot is graded, roasted and cupped as the truck waits outside, parked on a shady street. After the auction the truck goes direct to the warehouse of the new owner. Ethiopia Ethiopia At the Coffee Tea Authority in Dire Dawa: I failed to write down her name, but the two women are highly skilled graders and roast all the samples as they come in. Ethiopia Ethiopia Tayachew Rentie, Cupper for the Ethiopia government in Dire Dawa. By the way, there is NO coffee trade in Harar, the city. It all occurs in Dire . Peak season is picked starting late Nov to March, exported December to March or so. So we are way late, and the only coffee around is old, musty stuff. Most coffee in Hararghe is 1500-1800 meter Ethiopia Ethiopia At the Coffee Tea Authority in Dire Dawa: They have an additional 4 barrel Probat unit that was a donation from the German government. When they move to the new facility, they will be able to run both units, which will help at the peak of the harvest when 70 or 80 trucks are outside, rather than the 7 that were there when we came by. Ethiopia Ethiopia Tayachew is one of the two brave coffee cuppers the Coffee Tea Authority in Dire Dawa. Brave? Well, they must taste everything that comes in, no matter how defective, and given the lots I cupped with them it can be a rough job. Ethiopia Ethiopia These two guys have immense experience with Harar coffees, tasting a few this day, but sometimes up to 70 lots ore more at peak of harvest. I think they were pleased that I was very calibrated with them: there were 2 good lots, one with no defect cups, and another with 2 defect cups. Some of the lots where highly variable and very defective … meaning intense mold, dirt, peanut flavor etc. It goes back to the quality of the prep by the farmers, and the fact it is late season, with perhaps a lot of coffee picked from the ground. Ethiopia Ethiopia At the Coffee Tea Authority in Dire Dawa: Each coffee receives a 2 part report on its grade and cup analysis. This one resulted in a UG or undergrade level due to “Too Many” in the defect category. Ethiopia Ethiopia At the Coffee Tea Authority in Dire Dawa: the cupping report for this one was better, receiving a Grade 5 Average score 76-90 range. I learned here that naturals from Harar will always be Grade 4 or 5, and that there are 4 levels of each grade, followed by UG rating under that. There can be no Grade 3 natural from Harar, whereas there can from Lekempti, The grade system is not uniform country-wide. Ethiopia Ethiopia Fekede Regassa is the director of the Coffee and Tea Authority in Dire. He oversees the lab and the auction, and all the administrative affairs here. While it’s a small affair compared to Addis, in the peak season it is extremely busy. Ethiopia Ethiopia At the Coffee Tea Authority in Dire Dawa: as mentioned, this is the street to the side of the cupping room and auction house, each containing a lot in that days auction. Ethiopia Ethiopia I brought our balls to dispense to those who will really use it, but I knew the 3 Ogsadey children would like one so … Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Rasid’s children. Ethiopia Ethiopia Great Hair Salon Photo #148: Featuring … the “fade” Ethiopia Ethiopia Pictography should do the job, in Dire Dawa Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia This is a huge national bank that takes up an entire block in Dire Dawa Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Here is a table of the auction lots for this particular day… This is incredibly late in the season and the coffee is of poor quality. One lot I cupped was good, many were seriosuly defective … Coffee is sold by farmers to millers/exporters in 17 kg amounts called a Ferasula or Feresula. The Feresula is used in the auction too. Ethiopia Ethiopia Only 10 lots were new, all others rolled over from unsold previous auctions. All coffee is auctioned, except lots from the cooperative unions. But there is little competitive bidding: if a particular buyer brings in coffee in his truck, it is understood that nobody else will bid against them. Ethiopia Ethiopia We dropped in on this shop roasting local, undergrade (non exportable) harar coffee. Ethiopia Ethiopia I really like paitings of technology used in commerce, such as these cell phones in Dire Dawa Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Nice paintings of Bajaj auto rickshaws. Ethiopia Ethiopia This guy was so excited to have his picture taken … Ethiopia Ethiopia This auto rckshaw had odd model’s eyes cut out from a magazine … you can always use an extra par of eyes on the road, especially in Dire Dawa Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia They had some nice signage for Bashanfer coffee roastery in Dire Dawa Ethiopia Ethiopia This was not the only local roaster in town. I also went to one in harar city proper, as well as another Green Gold in Dire Ethiopia Ethiopia Not a lot of choices, but who needs them anyway. Many people still roast green coffee in a pan at home, so buying roasted is a luxury. Ethiopia Ethiopia They had two roasters, one in this tight space out front, and another in an expansive back room. Note the haze and smoke. Ethiopia Ethiopia I have never heard of a Yenkar before, but it seems Turkey has quite a few brands … such as the Has Garanti Ethiopia Ethiopia Not. Perhaps the better of the 2 roasters at this shop in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. What amazed me is that they load this roaster until the drum simply cannot take any more. It is crammed with coffee. I don’t think they read the owners manual. Ethiopia Ethiopia I think I should make a collection of all the roasting machines I have seen that exist on the verge of a firey oblivion. Here’s my first candidate – in Dire Dawa district, eastern Ethiopia. It’s turkish, and they stuff the drum full of reject Harar coffee and roast for 15 or 20 or 30 minutes. Ethiopia Ethiopia This is what typical undergrade Harar, roasted for local consumption. Unless you dark roast it, you will find it undrinkable Ethiopia Ethiopia Yet another view of a seriously neglected coffee roaster. Ethiopia Ethiopia Little goes to waste, so when cans that once contained aid food from the US are used, they are flattened to make walls and fencing. Ethiopia Ethiopia Yet another person who wanted a picture taken… I always who them the photo, which is the best part. Ethiopia Ethiopia In Yemen as well as Harar, they think these golden beans are a good thing. Surprisingly, they aren’t that bad, but they are certainly not special. I think they are the result of a fully ripened cherry, but one that received poor nutrition. So the roast fine, but they are not “complete” in terms of their chemical makeup. Ethiopia Ethiopia I offered some impromtu assistance with sample roasting in Dire Dawa, since the office had this nice Probat, but had used it very little. Now, the grinder was not quite up to the task, but I was able to produce a good range of Hararghe coffee samples for cupping. What I didn’t realize this that Ramadan prohibted them from acutally cupping the coffees! But they were able to smell, and I demonstrated that some of the defective cups came from very “good looking” green samples — the whole reason people need to do more cupping rather than buying based on green appearance. Ethiopia Ethiopia It’s still the rainy season and there are some fairly potent afternoon thundershowers that come through the area. Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. Ethiopia Ethiopia We awoke early to head out to the coffee producing areas of Hararghe. Harar is the town, Hararghe is the region. There is no coffee or coffee trade in Harar, but there is much in Hararghe. Ethiopia Ethiopia I had never seen Euphorbia that grew to this size. They are also used as living fences around small garden plots. Ethiopia Ethiopia Typical town, built along the road. That makes Ethiopia towns crowded and dangerous in terms of driving. Every business is on the road, people crowd the road, herd animals on the road, children play on the road. Ethiopia Ethiopia In Kersa town, Hararghe region Ethiopia Ethiopia a mix of industrial goods, matresses, smallwares etc. Ethiopia Ethiopia Rasid told me there was always an accident on this stretch of road, a series of curves that catches the unfamiliar trucker off guard. I don’t believe this was fatal. Ethiopia Ethiopia For an Orthodox Ethiopia Catholic church / monastery, that was located just off the road. These national colors are those of the Ethiopia church too. Ethiopia Ethiopia The placid view of the Hararghe terrain. This is not yet into a coffee area, which are a bit steeper in general. Harar is basically a highland of 1400-3000 meters, whereas Dire Dawa is down at around 1220 meters Ethiopia Ethiopia Subsistence agriculture is the game in Hararghe region. Corn, lotsa corn Ethiopia Ethiopia Hirna is a busy trading and agriculture town along the road. This road, that splits from the one to Harar as you leave Dire Dawa, is also the road to Addis Ababa. Ethiopia Ethiopia Here’s one way to become like Rocky Balboa when you live in rural Ethiopia. Fill a vegetable can with cement, add a bar, start pumping iron … er, cement. Ethiopia Ethiopia Oatmeal cans, cement, metal bar – you’re pumped! Ethiopia Ethiopia Rasid and a coffee tree in the patio area at Hirna Ethiopia Ethiopia Still quite comfortable after all these years. I imagine the old man sitting in these … Ethiopia Ethiopia This was the first time I had had golden honey of Ethiopia, made from coffee blossoms, that was so sweet and pure. Ethiopia Ethiopia Not sure if she is related to the Queen of Sheba, but perhaps … or to one of her many cats Ethiopia Ethiopia This is the bronze tip leaves of a Harar coffee plant. Ethiopia Ethiopia Optimistic sentiments from Ogsadey’s seat covers, which might express the hope that they don’t hit a goat, a cow, or a person while cruising the dangerous roads. Ethiopia Ethiopia Cracking down on smoking around the coffee… Ethiopia Ethiopia As mentioned, we were traveling the same road that would eventually take you to Addis from Harar or Dire Dawa, passing through Awash. We were going tho Asebe Tefari, also called Chirro (Cirro, Ciroo) locally, to visit the hospital toilet project we had helped to fund. Ethiopia Ethiopia The Ogsadey’s have contributed to Chiro for years, and Royal Coffee has funded recent surgery equipment, and the new dry toilet project. While Care, USAID and Carter Foundation have funded buildings here, there is a lot to be done. This hospital serves a huge area: it is roughly 230 km to the nearest hospital, either in Dire Dawa or Addis Ababa. Ethiopia Ethiopia Peering across the grounds out the window of inpatient care, at Chiro hospital Ethiopia Ethiopia Chiro is government funded, and free to all. This is where patients are first met and given a place in queue. Ethiopia Ethiopia An odd graphiti at the hospital. There were a few soldiers around, mainly in front of the XRay building. So I am not sure about the safety conditions here. Ethiopia Ethiopia Not a pretty site, the old patient ward at the hospital Ethiopia Ethiopia Blood and urine test room at Chiro hosptial. These are the most important, basic services offered here. Ethiopia Ethiopia The code of the the hospital. They “Respect the Low” you will be glad to know. Ethiopia Ethiopia The hospital was decent enough in some regards, but one wonders about the overall level of care and cleanliness. Ethiopia Ethiopia In the old inpatient ward, a boy alone in a shared room. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia A group of nurses at the hospital. There are 6 doctors here, one surgeon (the director), and a lot of nurses. Ethiopia Ethiopia Many of the nurses are students, and Chiro is their training hospital. Ethiopia Ethiopia Royal Coffee from Emeryville bought this very pricey new anesthesia machine for the hospital. Ethiopia Ethiopia Funded by Royal Coffee, this replaces an antiquated surgical table that I saw stuffed in a corner of an adjacent room. The old one didn’t look so bad, but when the doctor demonstrated it, the gearing barely worked. Ethiopia Ethiopia These boys were outpatients, and wanted to have their picture taken… Ethiopia Ethiopia One of the projects we will help with is to connect the buildings with concrete walkway. Without it, patients cannot move between the rooms and the examination areas without tracking mud and dirt, and during the rainy season the whole area is swampy. Ethiopia Ethiopia This is the new ward at Chiro hospital, in the building that Mohamed Ogsadey built. Ethiopia Ethiopia You can see there is a mix of faiths among the nurses and nurse students at the hospital. Ethiopia Ethiopia As part of the beautification, coffee trees have been planted around the inpatient rooms. It is suitable, since the coffee trade built the building, i.e. MAO coffee exporters. Ethiopia Ethiopia The typical way the Oromo people carry children, but usually the limbs are more contained. Ethiopia Ethiopia Poor nutrition is still a factor in this and other areas, and it was evident in the hospital. This is a sensitive subject, politically and personally. It there were many other children here, and it was too overwhelming for me. I just kept thinking about Ben, our 18 month old, and it’s hard to be a parent and not feel emotional about this. I had to leave the ward and have a time out after this. Ethiopia Ethiopia This boy was attacked while he slept – many of the dwellings are fragile enough that a hyena might penetrate the wall. Periodically, they become a danger, taking very young children, and disappearing. This boy was big enough to fight back but his wounds were incredibly severe. 2 weeks earlier they took a baby in the same area, near Mesela (where we went later that day). Ethiopia Ethiopia Another image – he was cheerful and wanted pictures taken… Ethiopia Ethiopia Again, the cild’s ward had malnutrition cases, and the only problem I had taking pictures here was with this doctor, who said I didn’t ask permission. I usually do, but my hosts told me it was unnecessary. In fact, it’s because of politics. This is a government hospital, and the government does not want media to take images of malnutrition in Ethiopia. Ethiopia Ethiopia The initial excavation for the new dry toilet to serve the new ward was underway. Royal Coffee and a group of roasters (us among others) are funding this project. It’s great to find such projects that have direct, tangible benefits … because without sanitary conditions the treatments at the clinic are not going to be very effective. Ethiopia Ethiopia Mohammed Ogsadey financed this new building, which improved the crowded conditions and allowed for more treatments. The hospital treats 200 outpatients and 170 inpatients per day. Ethiopia Ethiopia The new dry toilet we contibuted toward will make these obsolete. It will also pay for concrete walkways between the buildings so patients can move between areas without tracking mud and dirt into the rooms. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Yet another case where I got to show them their picture, and they were really happy to see it. I wish I could leave them with a print somehow. Ethiopia Ethiopia Dr. Mohammed Yousef is the head of Chiro hospital, and the only surgeon there. It is a teaching hospital with 6 general practitioners, and many nurse-students. Ethiopia Ethiopia Dr. Mohammed is the head of Chiro hospital, and the only surgeon there. It is a teaching hospital with 6 general practitioners, and many nurse-students. Ethiopia Ethiopia Buildings at the site have been donated by USAID, The Carter Foundation, and Care, among others. Ethiopia Ethiopia At Chiro Hospital, Asebe Tefari, Ethiopia. Ethiopia Ethiopia At Chiro Hospital, Asebe Tefari, Ethiopia. The library does not have a ton of books, but it is well used. Ethiopia Ethiopia It might not look great, but this is a dry toilet like the one we will build, and it improves sanitary conditions greatly. Ethiopia Ethiopia At Chiro Hospital, Asebe Tefari, Ethiopia. Ethiopia Ethiopia While we were at the hospital, a woman died. She had a been brought in by a group of 12 villagers, and was probably far too late even when she arrived. It was very sad, the husband and relatives were wailing, and even moreso because she was pregnant. They immediately carried her out to return the village for a traditional Oromo burial. I did not take any pictures out of respect, and because I was very affected by this, but took this one as we left, so I could tell the story. There’s a lot of life and a lot of death in this place, more than I am used to for sure. Ethiopia Ethiopia At the stand, there were a lot of flies, and they seemed to really like this poor little girl… Ethiopia Ethiopia We stopped to buy onions at a place that is famous for them. Anywhere you go, there are special types of agricultural goods, and a particular zone where you buy potatoes, or onions, or chat, etc. Ethiopia Ethiopia All kids love to play in the dirt. I guess the difference in Hararghe is that’s all they do. It makes sense why the roadway becomes the most exciting (and dangerous) place in town. Ethiopia Ethiopia Her older sister was nearby too … I wish I had something for them, but I didn’t. All soccer balls were commited. We bought onions and left. Ethiopia Ethiopia I know this doesn’t look good … and it can’t be that good to have flies on your face. But having just come from the children’s ward at Chiro hospital, and seen malnutrition, what I saw here was a healthy girl, well-fed, and flies. It’s not clean, but she is not in danger from them either. Ethiopia Ethiopia The round, thatched roof Oromo huts are all around. Often, people will have both the traditional round hut and more modern buildings with wattle and daub or clay brick (adobe) type structure walls. Ethiopia Ethiopia We were headed to the very high-altitude town of Mesela later, but would come back to pick up this road at a different point. Ethiopia Ethiopia In Hirna town, there is a small soccer team, so I made sure to get a ball to them. This is a sister of one of the players. Ethiopia Ethiopia MAO has a warehouse and mill in Hirna, although they don’t really mill coffee here very often. Ethiopia Ethiopia Oromo houses, coffee, corn, chat. Ethiopia Ethiopia One picture shows the three most important crops of Hararghe. The tiny shrub in the foreground is chat (called qat in Yemen) the slightly narcotic leaf that is chewed by tradition. Corn is used to make grains and for family consumption. Coffee (top) is a cash crop to sell for money. The dried skins from the fruit are saved to make tea (called qishr, or kesher, or gesher). Ethiopia Ethiopia Not a great picture, but these crazy shiney bluebirds don’t stay still for long. Ethiopia Ethiopia Traditional thatch roof, round house of the Oromo people Ethiopia Ethiopia The Oromo use a variety of items to tie the crest of the roof together. I saw quite a few with these worn metal enamelware bowls, but this one added the classy soda bottle. Ethiopia Ethiopia Any farmer can come get free coffee plants from the government nursery. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Any farmer can come get free coffee plants from the government nursery. Ethiopia Ethiopia at the Government coffee nursery near Messla Ethiopia Ethiopia Any farmer can come get free coffee plants from the government nursery. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Unripe green coffee cherries of Harar Longberry Typica, on the road to Messla, Ethiopia Sept 2008 Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Not sure which ehtnic group this coffee farming family belonged to… Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia An odd image of an Oromo woman in Hararghe region, by way of the rear view mirror. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Health clinic in Mesala. Since spelling is phonetic, you end up with a lot of differing versions of the same word. Ethiopia Ethiopia This is the typical way male friends hold hands in Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia This honey was fantastic, and the fact it had honeycomb in it did not detract at all. It was Ramadan, so I was the only one eating during the day. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia The main drag of (Mesela or Masalaa or Messla) Ethiopia Ethiopia In Eastern Hararghe, the coffees are milled by pounding them in a mortar/pestle type Ethiopia Ethiopia To separate the husks and parchment pieces from the green seed, the coffee must then be winnowed using baskets. Ethiopia Ethiopia In east harar, where perhaps the better cofefes come from, they mill the coffee out of the dried outer layers by pounding the crap out of it. It can damage the coffee, and results in a lot of broken pieces that must be removed later. But they have done this for centuries … Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Mr Mohammed Ismael holding the winnowing basket Ethiopia Ethiopia Coffee is sold by farmers to millers/exporters in 17 kg amounts called a Ferasula or Feresula. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Mesela, Hararghe region in Eastern Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Mesela, Hararghe region in Eastern Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Mesela, Hararghe region in Eastern Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Mesela, Hararghe region in Eastern Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Mesela, Hararghe region in Eastern Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Mesela, Hararghe region in Eastern Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Mesela, Hararghe region in Eastern Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Mesela, Hararghe region in Eastern Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia We followed a valley with the Galeti river at the bottom, with coffee produced on both sides up to around 2200 meters. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Oroma traditional house Ethiopia Ethiopia Cooking time, and the entire valley fills with smoke from wood stoves. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Acacia tree and a dove. Scenes from the Harar region (Hararghe) Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Hello Kitty is everywhere … Scenes from the Harar region (Hararghe) Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia One of my favorite pictures, and an interesting pose this old woman struck for the camera. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Scenes from the Harar region (Hararghe) Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Scenes from the Harar region (Hararghe) Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Hirna, Harar region (Hararghe) Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Hirna, Harar region (Hararghe) Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Coffee mill family in Hirna, Harar region (Hararghe) Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Hirna, Harar region (Hararghe) Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Nearing the end of the daily Ramadan fast, everyone starts cooking and the entire valley fills with smoke. Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar region (Hararghe) Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Cooking time, Harar region (Hararghe) Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia We stopped on a break after sunset and some kids were trying to figure out ways to get me to take their picture … Ethiopia Ethiopia It’s Ramadan so at sunset, there is a lot of excitement to get some food. We were headed back to Dire Dawa from a full day on dirt roads of Hararghe, when the time came. We pulled over and Rasid and Abdullai didn’t waste any time … Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia On the wall of a school in Dire Dawa – not sure why, or its accuracy. Ethiopia Ethiopia Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Great Hair Salon Photo #177: Klassy, very klassy. Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Great Hair Salon Photo #189: in Ahmaric. Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Musk? Nido? Ethiopia Ethiopia Dogs of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar is a bit of a cul de sac; not as picturesque as Sana’a Yemen, not as tranquil and safe as Dire Dawa, and there’s really no coffee trade here at all, nor coffee farming. Coffee is located in the greater Hararghe region, but not in or anywhere near the city itself. Still, they make some alright beer (especially the draft.) There’s a market in Oakland that sells it too. Ethiopia Ethiopia Not … people sure like to use Google’s name in Africa Ethiopia Ethiopia Camels at work, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Every little girl wants their Lem Lem Ethiopia Ethiopia Ogsadey family sponsors many things, including this youth team Ethiopia Ethiopia Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Kids of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia With mirror cozies… Ethiopia Ethiopia Desert climate around Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. On this route to Harar you pass through the “Chat Capital of Ethiopia: Awaday” Nearby is a famous agriculture university, Haramaya, that Texas A&M and Oklahoma State have programs with. Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar beer, a brewery in the heart of the most Muslim area of Ethiopia, proves there is diversity here. Ethiopia Ethiopia On the way to Harar Ethiopia from Dire Dawa Ethiopia Ethiopia Cows on the main road as we try to get through to Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia There’s also the green and gold of YBP, not BP, British Petroleum Ethiopia Ethiopia On the way to Harar town Ethiopia Ethiopia Sound advice on a billboard in Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Basically, a welcome sign for Harar, far outside the actual old city. Ethiopia Ethiopia Yes, even in Harar you can build and enjoy this bland architecture. Ethiopia Ethiopia A new gate added to allow the road to enter the Jogol (old Harar) Ethiopia Ethiopia One of the 5 old gates, but rebuilt by the Italians. I was surprised to meet Ed Price and his wife here, who I had just seen In Rwanda. He runs the Norman Borlaug Institute for Agriculture. He was working with nearby Haramaya University. Ethiopia Ethiopia All kinds of nice produce are offered, carefully piled up on the street/walkways of Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Girl is a brand of cooking oil. In this picture, Girl is used as a scoop for qishr, the dry skins of the coffee cherry used to make the tea beverage. Harar marketplace, Ethiopia. Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Busy paths through the Jogol Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Not to be confused with other WOW companies, and this is exportable too! Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia abides by the Ge’ez calendar, based on the Alexandiran calaendar, not the Julian Calender the rest of us use. So it is the year 2000 in my visit, almost 2001, even though it is Sept 2008 on my iphone. It’s also 6 hours earlier in the day. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia In the marketplace, every nut and bold is stripped and resold. Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia The soft spongey bread, Enjira, is used making this combination of grains and spices. Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia I am not sure what they sold, maybe paint itself. But this is one of my favorite commerical business-front paintings in recent trips. Harar old town (Jogol), Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Local Museum, Harar Ethiopia Ethiopia This was built by Indians, who worked in Harar area before the Imams took over. Ethiopia Ethiopia Carved by Indian craftsman, the doorway of Museum house in Harar Ethiopia Ethiopia Traditional wooden shoes Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia In the Harar museum, antique “pillows” Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Second story of Rimbaud’s house. Ethiopia Ethiopia Arthur Rimbaud gave up poetry at 21 and became a traveler and trader, settling in Harar. Rimbaud’s commercial dealings notably included coffee and weapons. In this period, Rimbaud struck up a very close friendship with the Governor of Harar, Ras Makonnen, father of future Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie Ethiopia Ethiopia Glass Windows in Rimaud’s house, Harar Ethiopia Ethiopia Glass Windows in Rimaud’s house, Harar Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Glass Windows in Rimaud’s house, Harar Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia This is a map of Hararghe, with Harar city painted in white. Ethiopia Ethiopia A roaster in Harar Ethiopia Ethiopia At Nure Coffee, some very low quality coffees roasted to different levels. Not sure what this demostrates, but the jars look like they have been there a long, long time. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia It was actually clean and looked well-maintained! Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia This too was carved by the same Indian craftsman that did Rimbaud’s house. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia In the improbable Catholic Mission in Harar Ethiopia, a traditional version of the Ethiopia cross. This is not the orthodox Ethiopia Catholic church, this mission is Roman Catholic (which is a tiny community of 800 or so in the greater Harar area). But they share some details, such as this cross. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Left out in the street, supposedly the Hyenas come through at night and clean up. Ethiopia Ethiopia Left out in the street, supposedly the Hyenas come through at night and clean up. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia It’s that Taking Heads / David Byrne big suit look, or is it just a small-headed model. Harar, like many Ethiopia cities, has tailor districts loaded with skilled seamsters (seemed to be men, mostly) with non-electric operated sewing machines. Ethiopia Ethiopia … you just didn’t know you would find it in Harar, Ethiopia. Ethiopia Ethiopia Great Hair Salon Photo #265: Who is the bigger poser? Ethiopia Ethiopia The good things in life … tobacco, margerine, cooking oil. It’s a one stop shop in Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Looking awfuly Jesus-like, and in falshy gold silkscreen, the political leader and demi-god on an unlikely plastic model (what’s the red-haired kid from Breakfast Club, Anthony Michael Hall? … looks familiar). Ethiopia Ethiopia In Harar, a Classic Peugot 404 with original paint. File under: Sweet Rides of Ethiopia. Didn’t see any Citreons here, but did see one in Rwanda! Ethiopia Ethiopia The store didn’t have anything to do with honey, buy Abdul told me it was a sign for a political party, not an advertisement. Ethiopia Ethiopia There are these queer little coffee rooms that you can sit in on the main drag outside the walls of the old city, oddly gaudy, like a traveling circus interpretation of rennaisance tents, with plexiglas details. It could be fun … but not for a faranji flying solo like me. Ethiopia Ethiopia This is probably the most experienced guide for Harar. If you are like me and you prefer to wander than be guided, fight the urge and hire this guy for a couple hours. Then you can do your wandering. Everybody knows him, and he is recommended in Lonely Planet too, he said. Mention his name to the clerk at the Ras and they’ll call him. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia This was such odd behavior, where they momentarily form a line, as if the hyena pack are one multi-headed creature, as the carefully come forward for food from the Hyena Man. Ethiopia Ethiopia The pack in Harar has been fed for 50 years by the Hyena Man (2 generations of Hyena Men, to be correct). They also come into town through “Hyena Hole”, a gap in the wall surrounding the Jogol, the old town. While they are dangerous and wild, they are pack animals, and highly adaptable. So the feeding of them seems partcularily tame. Ethiopia Ethiopia Hyena man of Harar Ethiopia Ethiopia With the Hyena man of Harar Ethiopia Ethiopia With the Hyena man of Harar Ethiopia Ethiopia Hyena pack of Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia It wasn’t that scarey, since this Harar pack has been so conditioned and behaves much like dogs. Yet, in the back of your mind, you wonder what would happen if something changed … and it was definitely a little less comfortable when the meat was gone, and they began to disperse. Ethiopia Ethiopia The visiting sister to the catholic mission in Harar was terrified of the Hyena, but wanted to get a picture of herself doing this. So her wish was fulfilled. Ethiopia Ethiopia The pack in Harar has been fed for 50 years by the Hyena Man (2 generations of Hyena Men, to be correct). They also come into town through “Hyena Hole”, a gap in the wall surrounding the Jogol, the old town. While they are dangerous and wild, they are pack animals, and highly adaptable. So the feeding of them seems partcularily tame. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Hyena pack of Harar, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Hyena pack of Harar Ethiopia Ethiopia What’s not so clear is that outside of these hours there is NO water in your room, not the sink, not the toilet. Ethiopia Ethiopia Unidentified Fried Egg, a UFE. This at the Ras government hotel in Harar, Ethiopia. Ethiopia Ethiopia I wanted to stay in the old city of Harar (called the Jogol), within the walls. But once I saw the racket of the markets, compounded by the nocturnal habits of those practicing Ramadan, The Ras made a lot of sense. It’s in the main boulevard area the Italians built and is a short walk to the old city. Ethiopia Ethiopia Right on the site of the Ras hotel in Harar is this great sign for the Salon, with the odd, tree-like afterthought of an E added (welcome is often spelled as 2 words), and the very approriate J. I don’t know, gorgeous looks better that way… Ethiopia Ethiopia Great Hair Salon Photo #347: The swank and sexy side… Ethiopia Ethiopia There is still a threat from malaria, and this ad tries to heighten the fear. I didn’t know mosquitos were female. Ethiopia Ethiopia The rooms aren’t so great but the restaurant and the front porch are nice. This is a great place to have a beer and relax at night. Just remember, limited water hours. Ethiopia Ethiopia Huge shell casings from the war for indepence from the Italians now make nice ashtrays in the hotel Ethiopia Ethiopia Between Dire Dawa and Harar is one of the most famous chat (qat) markets in Ethiopia. The chat here is supposed to be the best. Ethiopia Ethiopia The sedans are used as taxis in this area, as well as these 505 station wagons. Ethiopia Ethiopia Camels are more common in the lowlands, the Somali areas nearer to Jijiga. But you see a few around Harar too. Ethiopia Ethiopia A roadside scene between Dire Dawa and Harar, as you climb from lower desert to green, high desert (formerly forest). Ethiopia Ethiopia Oil jugs turned into water jugs, transported along the road between Dire Dawa and Harar in a fully loaded 505 Peugot wagon; a broken down Toyota truck in the background. Ethiopia Ethiopia Adorning the outside of the Dire Dawa Ras hotel, a big beer. This Ras is now privately owned, the Harar one is still a government Ras hotel, but they say it will be sold in a few months. I am not clear if this will make it better or worse. Ethiopia Ethiopia Under the Ras hotel is a butcher, i mean, barber. I asked if he could cut Faranji hair (foreigner) and he said sure. What a lie! I was hacked. Oh well, it cost $1.50. This image doesn’t show it, but I had an “Alfalfa” clup of hair sticking up at my crown because he cut it too short – luckily I had a hat to wear afterward. Ethiopia Ethiopia You don’t see too many old vw in Ethiopia any more, so I was happy to see this survivor. Ethiopia Ethiopia Dogs of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Is it green, or is it gold … make up your mind. A coffee roaster in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. The coffee sucked. Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Dogs of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia I had spotted monkies around, or monkey-like creatures, but never got a picture. Finally while waiting for the connector flight to Addis I saw one. The flight was late (they usually are) and I barely made the connection to Washington DC via Rome. Ethiopia Airlines … groan. Use them as a last resort … Ethiopia Ethiopia So the Harar hair cut was such a butchery, I had to get a repair job in Dire Dawa, and besides making me look like a CIA agent, he did a damn fine job. Ethiopia Ethiopia This picture doesn’t show how shaggy i was – the hair was flopping in my face while cupping. As is my tradition, rather than bring home postcards, I bring home a genuine imported haircut. It’s kinda fun to see what you end up with, and I am not so vain as to care too much …But things didn’t go to well… Ethiopia Ethiopia