Some of my favorite things I've brought home from Ethiopia have been a cross that was used in religious ceremonies and processions, a drum with real animal skin and a handcarved, handpainted Oware game.
|similar to the cross we have hanging on our wall|
|similar to our drum|
My favorite places to shop are around Churchill Street, near the post office. Make sure you walk up the hill (towards the Piassa) for some shops that are real gems. If you're walking up the hill, you'll see my favorite secrets on the right. You'll also pass Selasse Jewelry if it's back open again. Last time I was visiting, they were renovating and expanding so they weren't open. The ALERT Hospital has a handicraft shop where you can usually meet some of the craftsmen and women who have been affected by leprosy and who benefit from your purchases.
There's also a bazaar I really like that is at the International Evangelical Church near the old airport. I believe it's held every month except during the rainy season. All of the vendors there are selling goods to benefit nonprofit efforts. There are some great things and a great variety there. If haggling prices isn't your thing but you don't want to be completely taken advantage of, this is the place for you.
What about you? Did you buy anything while you were in your child's birth country? Any other places you love to shop or secrets you'd share with the rest of us heading to Africa soon?