The area on the plateau, at AnKober, a village of 3,000 inhabitants in a municipality of 80,000 inhabitants.
Africa is rural, life is pastoral, we are often so used to seeing the African community in situations of great poverty This is definitely a village on the edge of poverty but it has a dignified activity, facing difficulties with great force, like water that comes through well in the centre of the village, crops with a few working tools, lack of health care, and almost nonexistent hygiene standards, but nevertheless they manage to live by continuing their traditions and their identity.
A noble people, the Ethiopian Ankober, friendly, simple and religions live together in harmony, both Muslim and Christian Orthodox, their faces express pride, happiness, suffering, and evoke ancient primordial values. In recent years projects have activated social and health services offered by an association from Perugia “IPO” that has been on the territory for five years and has given life to the cultivation of medical herbs including daisies, helping people with health care especially dermatology.
Many women actually have the face and body disfigured by skin diseases that are sometimes-incurable
My journey went through some phases of their daily lives: the market once a week where local shepherds and farmers meet, it is the social time of the community ,people come from all over the plateau by donkeys or courier , the houses where the farmer offers everything he has, beer , homemade bread, the typical Engera, etc., the cultivation of herbs….
The market is the meeting point of both the population of the plateau and of the low plane, the shepherds meet, they exchange commodities, bought spices, the boys meet, they talk, some fall in love, children play pinball In fact, there is a pinball table for adults and another one for kids.
The women collect water, together with the girls, participants carry yellow green blue barrels on their shoulders.
Everything is immersed in an flourishing atmosphere , eucalyptus leaves, daisies, trees yellow, green flourishing mountains, everything is simple, all give identities and expressions to the faces of these people.
Women have intense faces, deep insights, warm and sometimes malicious smiles .
Men seem tired but full of dignity, some friendly tellers others observers.
They invite me into their huts ,they offer me bread,” Engera”, spicy meat, spices , ginger.
The speeches are long, slow, silence and smiles, sometimes laughter, the evening continues, there are more families in the village who come to dinner.
In the houses a nice group of people meet, they continue conversation, the women are closed, they laugh and eat “engera” and other Ethiopian dishes with their hands. Father cuts bread and the youngest girls pour coffee, the hostess wears a festival dress upon the usual dress, the photo of her graduated son is on the wall, surrounded by painted planets airplanes , the graphics is a little chic .
I go across the fields I am invited by other farmers who have their own garden, many plants grow, also a banana tree they offer us a drink, there’s a guy ,his wife and the livestock, they sleep all together, I watch the peasants who look after the cattle. Some children welcome me by saying” money money” running through the corn and cows. Ankober is an ancient world that still exists, that makes a difference in a world that increasingly tends to urban poverty, waste and new gears of globalization and development like the example of “Dubai”.
Thy ask me to do photos, they are ready and still ,no expression on their faces, no smile, only a three years female baby with eyes like a cat smiles…