HeeHoo and I are in the USA for ten days and that amazing holiday called 'Halloween' fell during our stay.
Many people have a love/hate relationship with Halloween but when one has kids it can be a lot of fun. We did not have our Wee Boy with us sadly but we could still enjoy the way the neighbourhood was decorated with giant spiders, black cats, gravestones and pumpkins. Witches on brooms soar across the sky and skeletons wave in the breeze from the branches of trees.
Trick or treat night was great fun in Johns Creek, Its a small neighbourhood of a few hundred homes without Africa's obligatory six foot walls, gates and fences. The Little People, as soon as dusk appeared, ran gleefully from house to house carrying their candy baskets, collecting candy from participatory neighbours. If your lights were on, you were open for visiting, if no lights, you were either out - or sitting in the dark waiting for Halloween to end!!
Our neighbourhood festivities began at the pool where the families gathered to share pizza and soda, and to show off their spooky costumes, always a delightful gathering but this time my heart was sad.
Having lived in Ethiopia for six months, Halloween American style was so far removed from daily life in Addis Abba, the contrast was just too horrific.
I did see some pumpkins in the shops before I left Addis, but there was little else to suggest a fun holiday was around the corner. The Embassy held a delightful Trick or Treat party for the children, where candy and decor abounded and great fun was had by all. My Wee Boy was splendid in a dragon costume ordered on Amazon and his mighty roar could be heard the length and breadth of the Embassy.
Addis itself probably limped through its usual ghoulish existence during Halloween and no one knew or cared that privileged children worldwide were having fun. The beggars wrapped them selves in the rags and hunkered down under the hedges, the stray dogs curled up close to the beggars for warmth, and the millions of people who make up the tapestry of Addis headed home, many to makeshift shanties, mainly on foot, to eat a meagre meal of boiled goat, berbere and injera.