Cocktails with Yodit Getachew-Hylton
It's Monday evening and we're enjoying cocktails at the Spanish Court Hotel with the beautiful, always affable, highly accomplished Yodit Getachew-Hylton.
What kind of day are you having?
Very hectic, but productive... I have been working all day at my regular job and attending meetings as required by my recent appointment as honorary consul. I am on my way home now to begin to wind down with my family.
What are you drinking?
You're the honorary consul for Ethiopia, a first-time mum who's married to a senior government minister and you also hold down a full-time job as a manager, Air Navigation Services, Aerodrome and Safety Management System Oversight at JCAA. How do you balance it all?
In spite of all my activities as wife, a mother and a professional, and more recently as official representative of the government of Ethiopia in Jamaica, I manage to juggle all of this through goal setting, prioritising and most definitely time management.
How do you relax?
My daughter Nyle Meserat Hylton is my relaxation. She is a source of joy and laughter as well as my reason to hope, to work hard and to dream of a better future.
Who does your hair?
Chen-Oren salon, Orelia
And your nails?
Perfectly Polish, Denise
LBD or jeans?
Definitely LBD, it is a must-have for my wardrobe.
Flats or stilettos?
Wow! This one is tricky, as both are equally important. However, I would have to pick stilettos because I can dress up or down with it.
Which perfume are you wearing?
J'adore by Dior
What are your handbag essentials?
Laura Mercie Bronzer
Bobby Brown foundation and lipgloss
My PDA phone
How would you describe your style?
Elegant, chic and classy
Your focus is on rewriting, as it were, the negative perception of Ethiopia. What's there to know?
There are so many things to know about Ethiopia:
* Most definitely, Ethiopia is a beautiful country with beautiful people.It is Africa's oldest independent country and the second largest country in terms of population. It has never been colonised.
* It is the last resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.
* One of the oldest records of human existence dated 3.18 million years old
* It is one of the most popular historical and cultural destinations in Africa, filled with interesting historical sites, 83 unique tribes, with over 90 individual languages and ancient history and religion all peacefully co-existing.
* It has a unique cultural heritage, being the home of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Monarchy which ended in 1974.
* Ethiopia is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage sites; to mention a few, Aksum, Rock-Hewn Churches Lalibela and Lower Valley of Omo heritage sites
* Ethiopia served as a symbol of African independence throughout the colonial period and was the founding member of United Nations and African Union (AU) organisation which is based in the capital city of Addis Ababa.
* It is the home of the African Union (AU) consisting of 54 African member states established to achieve greater unity and solidarity between African countries and the peoples of Africa and its diaspora, as well as a home for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. This year in May, the AU celebrates the 50th Golden Jubilee. The celebration will be held under the theme of "Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance".
* There are over 120 embassies in Ethiopia. It is the third largest diplomatic community next to New York and Geneva, with over 300,000 diplomatic communities and UN personnel present in Ethiopia
* It is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with 11 per cent GDP for the last 11 years.
* The relationship between Ethiopia and Jamaica is one that started in the 1920s with the rise of Pan-Africanism. Marcus Garvey's role in building the awareness of Africa in Jamaica, the Caribbean and Latin America is worthy of note. The most recent history has been written by the Rastafarian movement, many of whom repatriated to Shashamane in the '60s. The future will be written by ordinary Jamaican academic and business people seeking to participate in Africa's economic rise.
Where's the best retail therapy in Ethiopia, and why?
I would say the Dembel City Center. For souvenirs, traditional clothing and exquisite native Ethiopian jewellery:18-karat gold and high-quality silver, ceramics and leather work. Most major hotels, such as the Sheraton Addis and Hilton Hotel, Churchill Avenue, as well as Piazza, are also great places for retail therapy.
If you could choose one Ethiopian dish to share, which would it be? And why?
Ethiopian Chicken Doro Wat (stew) is my favourite. It is considered the national dish and most popular traditional food in Ethiopia. It is mostly eaten with Injera, a spongy flat bread made from millet-like grain known as Teff. Doro Wat is made from chicken, Ethiopian spices: onion, ginger, garlic, and spiced butter cooked for many hours and garnished with hard-boiled eggs. It is also my husband's favourite Ethiopian dish.
Finally, what's your credo?
The "Golden Rule": Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Love one another and show appreciation.
Give! And you will get it back in abundance.