Bebeka was the place that I passed my early child hood. It is found in the West Southern of Ethiopia. Bebeka is known by its organic forest-coffee, and the place for the founding of coffee.
when I was 7-years old, my father took me to Bebeka to live with him. I love my Dad so much and didn’t hesitate to leave my mom and the rest of my family when he asked me whether I wanted to go with him or not. My mother was living in a town called Bishoftu with some of my brothers and sisters.
I got Bebeka earthly heaven. I have never ever seen such an ever green place in my life so far. Bebeka is very known not only by coffee, but by its fruits and vegetables like, Avocado, Mango, Papaya, Lemon, Orange and the like. Fruits and vegetables were very cheap. For instance, we used to pay only ten cents for a kilo of banana and only 15 cents for a sugar cane .
When I was in grade one, I and the two friends of mine would go to the nearby market not to buy fruits, but to cheat the native marketers called “Bayee“, meaning mother. The Bayee would come to the small market carrying a basket, full of bananas on their back. Then, one of us approaches her as if we are buyers. For example, if Sintayehu is the first boy in the line, he would ask the Bayee how much the cost of the banana and the Bayee might say “num num” meaning 5 cents for three bananas. Then, pointing his point finger, Sintayehu would try to show something on the other side of the open air for the Bayee, and the innocent Bayee would turn her face to look at. At this time, Sintayehu would pass the bunch of banana to me, to the second boy and, I would pass it to the third boy to Michael. Finally, Michael would take the bunch of bananas and would run away. No one was knows our trick.
I was not only beloved by my parents and relatives, but also by everybody else, by neighbors and strangers. (By the way, the word “stranger” is unfamiliar to the society, I was grown up.) Anybody can kiss a child if he/her wants, and no parents could say, “hey don’t touch my child” like the westerns do so. Nobody could feel upset however I speak and whatever I think during my childhood. What a joyful time!
I used never afraid darkness as I do now. I remember I used to go to my dad office in the middle of the night whenever I missed him and my stepmother showed me a long face. However, the place that I was grown up was uncivilized and rural, it was full of cheerful childhood memory. As any rural area, there were many wild animals including elephant and the like. However, I used to see those “wild” animals as if they were my friends nevertheless, I was told grown up they are evil, unfriendly, beast and could attack human beings. But, the story was completely lie because I learned that wild animals never attack people unless they get hungry. I even think that they able to think sometimes like human being do. I know a true story that happened in Ethiopia.
Once Some guys from the rural part of Ethiopia wanted to abduct an innocent woman. She had a new-born baby. Then, they took her forcefully to a nearby forest with her child. Unfortunately, they came across with a group of lions and escaped leaving the baby.
When the police reached to the place, they got the lions while protecting the baby with no hurt. The lion left the place soon after the police arrived. As someone who is professional at animal behavior, the lion didn’t harm the child because they got similarity between the baby’s and their cub’s crying sound.
In Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, and the main seat of AU, there is a museum, full of wild animal fossils. One day I got a chance to visit it with some elementary students. I never forget what the museum man said after he asked the students a wonderful question. He asked them who was the powerful enemy in the planet ever? Some students said lion, tiger, and called the name of some wild animals that they think harmful. However, the museum man took us to a room where there was a big mirror hanging on the wall, and said, “Look at that mirror, what do you looking at?” The students said, “We are looking at our images”. Then the museum man said,” you see that is the power full enemy I have asked you about” and he added “wild animals may be enemy upon us only when they hungry but, we, human beings are their eternal enemy “
How could I rejoice if I could get it back my childhood? Unfortunately, yesterday is like a passed water, that can’t be back where it was before. Yesterday is like a birth given mother who can’t take her child back. There is no undo for yesterday, for my childhood as well.
(C) Dawit Worku