I can't really give gifts this year, I thought maybe a local tale but honestly, I'm a little burned out after NaNo and December is surprisingly travel heavy. But, I figured I'd give you guys the gift of a games. Here's a game I played with my host sisters in Eteya. I don't know what the name is, but I fondly call it Ethiopian Go Fish.
Preparing for play:
Shuffle the cards. Or if you're a small Ethiopian child, give it to the local foreigner so you can stare at them while they bridge shuffle. Next, make a circle with the cards face down. All the cards. None are dealt out.
Usually dealer goes first, but hey you can change that up. Player picks a card at random from the circle and compares it to the cards in the center. If there is no matching card, the card in placed in the center face up. This means that it's automatic that the first drawn card makes it way to the center. And probably the next four or five cards too.
Players are looking for a match, just like in normal Go Fish, with an added twist – you can add. Example: if you flip a nine from the circle, and the center contains a seven and a two, you can add them to equal nine and take all three cards.
It is also possible to steal cards. Lets say the player before you snagged a pair of jacks. And then you flip over a jack. Those two jacks the guy before just added to their pile? They're yours now. Yes, you now have three and the fourth jack no longer has a pair. It doesn't matter. This is Ethiopian Go Fish. Things just happen and you have to go with it. Explanations are rare.
Due to the stealing and addition nature of the game, it's inevitable that there will be left over cards. The last player to flip a card over gets lucky and gets to add them all to their pile of pairs. Regardless of the leftovers not matching.
Selecting a winner:
After all the cards in the circle are flipped and the left overs are given to the last to go, players count cards. The winner is the one with the most.