Posts Tagged ‘Addis German Christmas Bazaar’

Tis the season for bazaars in Addis. Within the past month I have been to the NGO Bazaar, the German Christmas Bazaar, the Diplomat’s Bazaar and the Artisans’ Bazaar. Whew! The German Christmas bazaar is obviously an annual event and get’s me in the spirit of Christmas. It has a great salad bar and a room full of cakes by local German home bakers. It’s the source of my marzipan stollen that I enjoy with a nice cups of coffee as I recall Christmas past with my German in-laws. Last year I bought a gorgeous red poinsettia that lasted months; this year my tiny house is scented with a juniper wreath, enhanced with decorations I have accumulated over my past 2 Ethiopian Christmases, thanks to packages from home.

christmas decorations wreathYes it’s starting to look a bit like Christmas!

The Diplomat’s Bazaar is a massive annual event where various embassies set up show and tell and sell items from their homelands. Organized by the “wives” (spouses) of diplomats it is very big, crowded, colourful and somewhat bizarre reminder that Addis, being the seat of the African Union has about 100 embassies so there is quite a diplomatic scene here that lowly volunteers rarely glimpse! The Canadian display was pretty disappointing with a lot of paper flags, tiny maple candies for 25 cents each and a few forlorn bags of chocolate “moose droppings” (how embarrassing is that?). I was told they did have 500 liters of maple syrup that sold out in the first hour. I was with Jim, an Irish volunteer; he was sorry there wasn’t an Irish display, so no leprechauns (or perhaps minty green leprechaun droppings) for him. We managed to scarf down some very yummy feta and olives at the Greek table (free!) and we each got a lovely yellow pen from Lufthansa, then decided it was time to move on as the music was WAY TOO LOUD for  anyone over 16!

The Artisan’s Bazaar happens twice a year outdoors at the Tropical Gardens and offers a really wide selection of art and crafts showcasing the talents of local folk. It lasts two days and offers an opportunity to enjoy browsing and snacking in a lovely environment.

But my favourite in the monthly NGO Bazaar. It’s held from 9-12 AM the last Saturday of each month (except in the summer rainy season) on the sprawling grounds and rooms of the Evangelical Church. Here’s a sampling of what you can find there:

wicker furniture

Wicker furniture

courtyard scene

A good place to meet up with friends, enjoy a good coffee and some baking and see a surprising number of ferenji all in one place, speaking a variety of languages!


Get some flowers to perk up the garden or some more unusual vegetables

tej pots

Traditional Ethiopian Tej pots used to drink honey wine – these have nice etching on them

heneyLocal honey is delicious

used books

Always fun to sift though the second hand book selection

flag beads

Plenty of jewelry options

mary and earrings

Mary, an Irish VSO volunteer, set up a small income generation project, making earrings, to raise funds for “old ladies in Sebeta” while she worked at the Sebeta Teachers’ College.

merial and earrings

Mary has gone home now after two years and Meriel, newly arrived this September,  has taken over!


It is hard to choose from so many tempting necklaces

necklace close up

Beads with stories to tell…

angel cushions

Colourful pillows, quilts…great for kids’ rooms


Traditional finely woven baskets

embriodery and basket

Lots of old fashioned hand embroidered tablecloths, napkins and runners




Painted mirrors and wall plaques

zebras and giraffs

Herds of animals, these ones obviously too tired to stand up in the hot sun any longer!

baking and ice creamHome baking, tofu! and even ice cream for sale

banana leaf cards and calendars

Cards and calendars made from banana leaves

scarf seller

Peek-a-boo with a scarf display!


One can never have too many scarves…


Hats made by southern tribes


Locally made wool carpets from the Arat Kilo Carpet NGO near where I work

carpet close up

All  carpets  made with natural colours of sheep wool

Fuelwood carrier NGO sign

All vendors are from NGOs and prices are fixed, fair and the product quality is very good.

women fuelwood carriers

These women are carrying fuel wood in the Entoto Hills above Addis. They are among the poorest women here, earning about $12.00 a month, walking 30 km a day with loads of 35 kg. This project involves them in alternate income (weaving) as well as reforestation. From their brochure, I learned that there are 15,000 women, many single mothers, working in the hills above Addis.

modelling fuelwood scarf

Modelling a scarf made by the fuel workers. One of the reasons I appreciate this NGO Bazaar is I know the funds go back to support such projects. I hope everyone is supporting their local NGOs and non-profits this season…

pottery selection

Plenty of pottery


Flag colours of course are always on offer!

painted boxes

Tote boxes and small furniture

Coffee display

Time to buy my coffee from the “People in Need” NGO and head home a relaxing cup

My Christmas photo

Yes, I have gone slightly bizarre after so many bazaars!

mobile and xmas balls

Merry Christmas 2012 from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!

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