My first visit to Chicago involved collaborating with Saba and his entire team on a project. We made two trips to Chicago, one during the peak of summer and another towards the end of the project. The most significant difference between these trips was that Squeak was no longer with us during the second visit.
I had met Squeak during my initial trip when he was part of the 'Stop That' cover shoot, positioned at the top left. As the day unfolded, someone mentioned Ethiopian food, and Squeak expressed his curiosity about it. I shared with him how it's one of the most delightful cuisines and suggested that he should try it someday since there were excellent Ethiopian restaurants in the area. That's how our conversation concluded, with his eagerness to explore Ethiopian cuisine.
The second trip was focused on capturing behind-the-scenes photos for the film. It felt unusual because Squeak wasn’t there. I distinctly recall the first day of shooting when I needed to be on set by midday. I decided to order Ethiopian food for lunch and take an Uber to the cemetery where Squeak rests. My plan was to sit by his burial site and enjoy the Ethiopian meal while we conversed. However, several unexpected events unfolded.
Initially, the food delivery took longer than expected, so I had to skip waiting and head straight to the cemetery since time was limited. When I arrived there, I found myself disoriented. A friend had provided me with vague directions, but I took the wrong turns within the cemetery. After spending 30 minutes there, I was lost and couldn't figure out how to exit. I remember pleading with Squeak to help me find my way out, and after another 20 minutes, I finally located the entrance.
While I didn't get to share Ethiopian food with Squeak that day, we did have a unique and memorable moment. As for the Ethiopian food, I had asked a friend to pick it up and bring it to the film set, but he mistakenly only took the leftover drinks left at our door and missed the package containing the food. So, neither Squeak nor I got to enjoy Ethiopian cuisine that day, but I'm determined that one day we will.
- Creative Director: C.T. Robert
- Photography: Dawit N.M.
- Graphic Designer: Ruben Rodriguez