"You mean to tell us," upper management howled with the same indignation that had them frothing when they found out that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church will not amend huhadE to sanction venison as the new Tsom mgb - "You mean to tell us we have been slaving away at this SELEDA thing for three years without getting a raise? Without so much as a few token dollars to go have a decent meal? What…kind… of… animals…are… you… people… anyway!!? Abiyotu lemin ayfeneda??? Bezbajj hula! Dem meTach hula!"
Actually, we pointed out to them, upper management has pretty much always been in charge of all monies at SELEDA, and, according to the expense reports we have seen, it has been spending freely on pretty much everything "upper management related." And ever since the comptroller was fired for pointing out some… inconsistencies….
"Sdebun! Sdebun inji lEla mn taregu! This we get for adding comptrollers to our job description after ya menqara mnqrqr left? deb’nen quCH bal’n? Iyesus… tayaleh? Iyayeh new?…"
Well, we interrupted their spiraling logic. Well, we gently reminded them, "You kinda fired the comptroller…."
"Tadiya!… isu s’ram aydel? sntun," they said, their voice shaking with anguish. "sntun serten inchalew…?"
We’re not sure what the exact psychological term is, but 25 minutes later we had our arms thrown around them "iyE yE"ing like a well-paid sefer alqash. Yes… yes… bedel dersobachihwal, we wailed in contrition. Of course, of course we are aremenEs.
(How do you say "hamotebisoch" in psychiatrist-iNa?)
We were in the throes of tearing our skin off and qliTTTT yale "U U Uta" that made the marble pillars of the board room quiver, when we got the gentle tapping on our shoulders. "Hate to interrupt," said upper management. "Would have loved to stay and play, but yoga is in 10 minutes. We have to… intin… go. We’ll talk about this later."
"Really?" we whimpered, feeling a little … unfulfilled by this leqsoitus-interruptus.
"Really. Now go warm up the car."
And so, off they jettisoned to … well, they don’t exactly inform us where to they jettison… but something tells us it was not to get us a "Happy Anniversary" card.
And so, another year at SELEDA.
Dehna snetebetachiuln SELEDAwiyan?
Three years ago, mechEs aylafilin, we were up to the same no good cyber madwelweling. And here we are today, pretty much an environmental hazard on the virtual community. Mn teshale?
But, goodness us, it has been one fun, healing, invigorating ibdEt of a ride! And you still let us go on about this anja granja like we have every right… and man, do we owe you! We are indebted to our readers and our supporters, our contributors and our critics for allowing us to carve this little space in the Katanga section of cyberspace. We always said it, but we have never meant it more… we are humbled. We are humbled by the level of almost zealous CHewinet you extend us even when you vehemently disagree with what you may have read on theses pages… we are humbled by all of you who took your time to write to us to tell us that you are, indeed, out there, and that you’ve found a little respite. Most of all, we are humbled by those of you who have put ink to paper, fingers to keyboard and poured out stories that have made us think, laugh and "weiche-gud-ye–sew-negre"ed. Thank you, ye hagerachin lijoch, for letting us have a voice.
Ere beqa! Tnish qomTeT…qonTeT yasfeligal! Ok.. ok.. Happy birthday to us. Send presents. Mnew itE!
Welcome to the Ethiopia Issue!
There are, is the only conclusion we have come to, entirely too many of you who write like imiyE Mariam errrrraaaasuwann! Case in point… we did not know what to expect when we announced the Ethiopia Issue, but we are, once again, blown away by the level of pure "bessssmeeeab"inet out there. Thank you to our Ethiopia Issue contributors who have made our anniversary issue so very, very special.
So, things have come full circle as we try to examine Ethiopia and our Ethiopianess in this issue from exile lenses. Oh, yes… we could wax poetic all we want, but there are simpler ways to put things in perspective about being Diasporized and grasping to understand ItyoPitawinet. … Like the story of a certain qess striding down 18th Street, a cell phone, pager and a PDA strapped around his waist like little grenades with which to tackle the "mn ytaweqal"s of urban living… a fancy book bag hanging around his shoulders making himm look like a mnisher yanegetu wetader. Wow, we said… This is the new Ethiopia. Abba’s pager went off and with furrowed brows he paused to press some buttons on it. He scrolled down the pager with a look of "I told them not to call me here," clouding his face. "AndE," Abba motioned to an Ethiopian passerby who had paused in front of him to mesalem his mesqel. Abba flipped open his cell phone and pressed the "On" button with the casualness of a seasoned urbanite. "OK,… celphonE eski gl sew lasalm," he said to no one in particular as he fished inside his robes for his cross, the biggest of all grenades, especially in DC. A) Ye passerbyu mesqelun agelabTo messam as if this scene was in Debre Tabor, b) ye Abbaa hurryingly moving along while speed dialing who knows who…..! Tell us this is not Diasporization at its sweetest!
We hope you enjoy this Issue.
So… what’s new at SELEDA?
Actually, we would like to start off with an apology to our readers. It may not show, but we try to publish SELEDA on the first of each month. Lately, however, we have been… well, we have not been. We hope you know this is not out of man alebiNinet. We really, really do try hard to make the 1st of the month deadline. Unfortunately,… well we won’t bore you with excuse. Suffice it to say that we owe you profound apologies. We promise to try our best to revert back to our "SELEDA inna ye Lideta demmoz be a’aand" motto. At the very least, we owe you that.
Well, as we brace to take on another year, we hope you will consider contributing to the brand spanking new themes we have lined up to last us through the summer. May 2002 will be our Family Feud Issue. Oooh… ooooh… teacher.. innE..innE… techeriyEEEE innnE! …Ehem. No, we at SELEDA don’t consider each other family so we have to turn the podium over to you. Oh them family feuds, as fabulous as they are… fabulous. Remember ‘TiyE Amakelech’s and ‘TiyE Zuriyashwerq’s ("U U tE! demmo yetiNaw zuriyawa new werq… indihm argo!" Wzro. Amakelu, 1982) verbal qariya Tffis about their mother’s coveted Tej recipe? beqa. You get the point. Write about it!
June will be our "M’Ts" Issue. Everything you ever wanted to know about that one word we Ethiopians know to have exactly 10,201 meanings. Platitudes? We got it by the kuntal. The Ethiopian way to claim the Fifth? "Senator… on the advice of counsel I .. m’Ts." Share your stories.
The July/August Issue will examine Modernity. Zemanai, zemenainet…etc. You know the whole "ferenj honesh moteshal" syndrome. Who knows what our grandmothers take back home after spending their vacation here alone in an apartment watching soap operas all day? Let’s hear your side.
Remember, we could not have come so far without you, and…
Oopsi. We gotta go. We have limited Internet access now that severe cuts had to be mandated to accommodate our bosses’ new demoz CHmari. We asked them if, possibly we could have a menaNa cost of living adjustment considering the nature of the economy these days.
Upper management: "What is the nature of the economy these days?"
Us: "Well, the country is in recession."
Upper management: "Oh. We better tell everybody then. Do we have to do everything around here? Ok… so who’s in charge of making the recession thingy happen?"
Us: "Actually you don’t want the recession, er, thingy to happen…"
Upper management : "Right. We’ll work on not making it happen. Must we be everything to everybody? Do we get paid enough for this? Hey, comptroller boy…"
By the way, SELEDA now has a new comptroller, although none of us has seen him/her yet. Only his/her signature on the memo announcing upper management’s big "Third Anniversary Raise" for their "dkam, lfat and all that stuff
we they do. Signed," …actually, it wasn’t a signature exactly… more like a thumbprint. Actually, not exactly a thumbprint either… more like an oval with tiny specks drawn on it.
These comptrollers are so weird!
Doro matta, doro matta, doro matta…
Check up on us, will you?
The Humble Editors