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A city worthy of its name

Dear Editor,

One month has passed since my arrival in Addis Ababa. Before I arrived, I did not know that Addis Ababa is blessed with so many flowers. This is a new discovery of mine. Irises bloom in early June in Japan, while here I can see them blooming now.  Likewise, amaryllises bloom in early spring at my previous posting, but here they are blooming in October and November.

I have experienced the beauty of jacaranda in Africa before, but seeing the purple color once again with my own eyes gives me a sweet and tender feeling. They drop their purple petals so generously on the pavement, so the sidewalks here look as if they had been dyed purple.  This is very similar to Japanese cherry blossoms.  They also drop their petals so generously that Japanese sidewalks are tainted with shades of pink.

I am now growing rhubarbs in my garden.  They were a gift from a diplomatic colleague.  My ambition is to turn them into delicious jam one day.  I cannot wait for that day.  Growing flowers and vegetables is so much fun and extremely relaxing.  It is a great way to spend your free time.  If you are stressed out, why not try a little gardening?  

I recently learned that the name of the capital “Addis Ababa” means “New Flower.”  No wonder we are able to enjoy so many varieties of flowers in this city.  My fellow expatriates, enjoy Ethiopian flowers while you can. My Ethiopian friends, please remember how lucky you are to be blessed with so many beautiful flowers.

Sincerely,

Daisuke Matsunaga,

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ethiopia