Saturday, November 14, 2009

Land of the Burnt Faces

That’s what “Ethiopia” means…and this country was named by the Greeks. Thanks Lonely Planet book – you’re full of great information. I’m currently winding down my productive vacation/ site visit, which has overall been a very pleasant experience. Northern Ethiopia is vastly different from where I’ve been living this past month, and I think the only that could be different is if there were more trees and greenery. But it’s really pretty in a different kind of way up here – kind of arid and desert-ish.

Before coming to Tigray, we had a workshop in Addis Ababa, where we met our counterparts and did a few team building exercising. Being in Addis was a welcomed change, and my counterpart seems great. During my week at site, he took me all around town and introduced me to different organizations in my town, as well as local authority figures. He also help me set up a PO Box and a bank account!
Highlights: I saw a camel and 2 pigs in my town. I know pork isn’t widely accepted/consumed here, so I was really surprised (and excited) to see the oinkers. I took a picture, and of course, my counterpart thought I was pretty strange.

So my future “house” is a large room with a private bathroom attached. I feel very lucky by the fact that I have a flushing toilet (with 2 flushing options – little and big) and a shower at my permanent site… The shower is, of course, cold, but hey! It’s running water nonetheless  I look forward to making it my home in 5 weeks time. I purchased a mattress and indoor camped on my floor during my time there. I bought a kilo of bananas, oranges, some cookies, bottled water and called it a feast. Luckily, my landlady fed me a few meals, and my counterpart had me over for dinner every night. The “air conditioning” (aka weather) is nice up in Tigray – hot during the day, but very cool at night and comfortable in the morning.

I survived a grueling 2 day bus journey back to Addis, where I will spend the night/have one last delicious meal before heading back to my small town to wrap up training. I’m actually looking forward to the Tigrigna lessons, although it has been nice having this past week and a half off from language all day every day. I can’t believe it’s already November 14th – I’ll be moving to site before I know it. Hope all is well with everyone out there – stay tuned for future updates.


  1. Got a letter, an email, talked to you on the phone and a read a post! What a day! It sounds like everything is happening for you! And it sounds as though you will have a good assignment! As always, I look forward to hearing more about your life - I love you, mommy

  2. Hmm, so much for a delicious meal! I guess you will not have to be doing your colon cleanse for awhile! I do hope you are feeling better. Not like I can do anything for you. But do take care to stay hydrated and call the doctor if you need to!
    Love, Mommy