Timkat Parade in RobeI knew that yesterday was a public holiday for Timkat (Epiphany) but I didn’t know what it entailed as nobody told me. Although to be fair, I didn’t make a real effort to find out. Yesterday, as the College was closed, I pottered. I had a really quiet day, enjoyed reading in bed until 9am, did some laundry – I figured it was about time I washed my dressing gown that mum and dad sent out to me. Then in the evening, I hired the DVD of The Notebook, which is based on a book by Nicholas Sparks. I have read the book, seen the film before and still cried! It was such a luxury – watching the film and crying at it while eating veggie mince and onions with potatoes and drinking Gouder (local red wine)! All I needed for perfection was a bucket of popcorn!

Just after lunch today, I went to return the DVD and passed a gathering crowd at the fountain, complete with Ethiopian flags and silk umbrellas. As I was returning home, it appeared that the procession was going to come up past the College, and, of course, I didn’t have my camera with me. Timkat ParadeI figured that I could beat them as the mass was moving slowly, so I nipped up a side street, climbed in a gari (horse and cart), went home, got my camera, and was at the College gates well before the procession. I went back towards the fountain a little way and stopped to wait – soon gathering a crowd of farenji-watchers around me!

The procession stopped in the gateway to the College (but nobody could tell me why) and a mat was produced for the priests to stand on while a group of men danced in front of them. After 15 minutes, the whole procession moved off along the main road towards Goba, presumably going to an Orthodox Church.

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