About boiled vegetables, chamomile and a night in prison.

Kry spent a night last month in an Ethiopian prison. To calm her nerves. When she told me over Skype, I suggested to try jasmine tea next time. Or chamomile. It always works with me. She laughed and took another sip of coffee. I asked her how many she already had, she answered: “I am cutting down. I quit smoking too. It’s way too warm here.”

I had dreamed of her expressing strong negative emotions the night before our discussion. So once awake – and because I do not often remember my dreams – I had contacted her.

Kry is a pretty woman, really, when she walks in everybody looks at her. Probably because she’s very tall. And also because she can be very loud – she’s French. She’s intelligent too. She studied economics, she believes in developing empathy to solve the world’s biggest issues and took a flight last year to Ethiopia to start working on it. She’s a hard worker, by the way. She meets important people to draft new regulations.
Also she tried to force me to become vegetarian – or reduce my meat consumption to chicken. Chicken. Don’t get me wrong, I love chicken. But I love meat. Anyway, I’m not eating that much meat anymore. Love tries to force me to become vegetarian too. Kry and he have their mouth full of world responsibility here, systemic visions there, reducing food waste, increasing resources sharing… when craziness surrounds me, I surrender. I am weak. But not yet a vegetarian.

Maybe the lack of protein or iron made her become not fully herself – though some articles say claim that vegetarian diets are good for the mood. Normally this woman gives and shares and laughs and brightens the days of everyone around her. We call her Teddy Bear. She is Canadian French.
Yet Kry spent one night in an Ethiopian prison, to calm her nerves.

Addis Ababa is a wonderful city. Beautiful and harsh. The place to be when you’re willing to change things, as Kry is. Sometimes a horrible place to be, where your values and principles can be challenged on a daily basis.
Last month Kry had gone to a restaurant with a friend visiting. A nice restaurant, the sort of places she does not go to since the first week she arrived, last September. There was sitting a group of foreign businessmen. Eating, joking around. Bragging. About their last night at the brothel. Unfortunately for Kry, she knew the place. She’s working with the girls once a week to help some of them finish school. With a little luck and lot of perseverance, it may work. Primary school is not so hard, is it? Kry stopped eating her boiled vegetables. Of course, she could have stopped listening instead.

That’s true, darling, it is impolite to listen to strangers’ conversations. It is impolite to stand up, turn red, stare at strangers. In a restaurant! It is impolite to call people names, too. And to slap the first one. Completely hysterical. I told her so already. Then I told her how much I miss her. Even with the coffee addiction. But not the cigarettes. if I had quit, she could too. Plus, I rely on her to send me pictures of pretty places where I need to go. She is my friend. Beautiful, intelligent, empathetic. Responsible. Straight in her shoes.

A childcare in Addis Ababa, where past and future meet

Credits: Kry

3 thoughts on “About boiled vegetables, chamomile and a night in prison.

  1. creakingbones says:

    What an interesting individual. There should be more like her. Not only opinionated but prepared to take risks in support of her views and attitudes. You are fortunate indeed to have her as a friend. It would be great to be a fly on the wall when she was in full flight over an issue close to her heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mark Rodgers says:

    She sounds quite a character, the world is black and white, life is driven by strong principles, and she has drive and energy to burn. That combined with the gallic passion is a heady cocktail. An evening in would probably be better. Enjoyed your tale.


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