Another Month, first tiny excursion outside Addis and project launching!
Addis Ababa Travel Blog› entry 6 of 23 › view all entries
A new month, it is now my birthday month that
starts and my last days at 28.
It is also another month gone and less before Megan comes in December. This is something I am eagerly looking forward.
The luck so far is that the rainy season
finally ended officially. We have had hard sun for the past week at least and
no rain. So the mud on the ground starts to dry and that makes it very
pleasant. One bad thing happened at the end of this week, a guy just walked in
the office while I was the only one in at lunchtime and started to just make
non-sense gibberish talk about meeting our manager. He sat down while I was
continuing my work and things went on. When Colin came back, it happened that
this guy stole his phone on his desk. I never noticed anything and it was a
shit time as Colin and me were not in good term.
Our guests finally left to stay at a hotel on
their last night before they would catch a bus to Bahir Dar. They left their
overweight of bags with us in the meantime. The days at work went by and I was
more concerned with the coming election than anything else, so I followed a bit
off it and even managed to notice lately that the chief Debate (French version)
was broadcasted on TV5.
She managed to come quite near enough the house and we went to pick her on Ethio-China and brought her home before we headed to work. The following days were more about cooking, relaxing and walking around or being busy with work while she did visit around on her own.
So It was Thanksgiving and I received a text to
go for dinner but I finally didn’t take part of it.
We, all three, went to find the Wusha Mikael Church, which according to the Lonely Planet is a church similar to those in Lalibela, a Rock-Hewn Church which didn’t really tell me a lot.
So we walked all the way toward the mountain
side and Magenagna and found the bottom church and then of course we got people
coming over all wanting money to bring us there, but once at the church, the
guards were charging us to bringing us up the mountain to that church. The
first price was a lot and we haggled it down.
So anyway, the damage was done we hiked up and got some fresh air at least… being out of the dust and smog of Addis and once we reached the top I even saw some monkeys on the trees. That was great.
So of course, reaching the church you needed to pay to access to the site. The funniest thing was that the numbers are the same for us to read but the amharic version was showing 500% cheaper than the English version. I didn’t want to pay again to get in but finally Colin did pay and I ended up just paying more back at the bottom for the guards (despite that only one was walking up with us, all 3 guards were receiving a stipend… in the most Mafiosi way there is).
So I saw what a Rock-Hewn church is, basically
a church carved right off the rock. That one was pretty destroyed, which seemed
to have been during WWII.
The guard that walked us up was living nearby and brought us to his home for a coffee ceremony and all such. So we could relax and see a typical mud walled house from the inside. A two rooms house with some fireplace in the outside for extra cooking space. That is definitely a poverty dwelling. But it was located out in the wild surrounded by fields and greenness, so I suppose that can compensate.
During the week, I managed to get a meeting
with Teferra and received some feedback on what I had been doing so far. So
basically I got some more indication and was able to then continue as I managed
to get new ideas and see it from a different angle. I also received some pretty
general time schedule, which showed me that, my project on the verge of kicking
in… at last after 3 months of tergiversation.
So I was busy with work then.
By this week end I had enough, I was tired and I looked at the flat it was really really looking like a pig house. I felt I was the only cleaning up behind and slowed down on it… the thing being that Colin then didn’t take any part on this task unless it was a just in a while sweeping the floor. So the kitchen ended up witnessing the return of a cockroach, which is not a good sign.
I was really mad at that, the kitchen holds
stayed dirty in the corner, or never stacked back on the shelf and made the
whole counter with no space.
I just sometimes wonder if people from Toronto are all that dirty.
On Saturday, the home family got a kitten… but
who brings a kitten at bloody 6am on a Saturday and the bloody kitten was a
non-stop miauwling thing.
On Sunday, it was the same thing again, so I
was up early. Colin and Paco left early (Colin probably going to church, as it
was Sunday (scary for me to imagine, which youngsters goes to church in the
2000s… It makes me quite fearful because religious people have horrible
values). So I was left alone on a Sunday with a dirty flat, enough is enough I
cleaned it all, doing the whole monthly meant wash-up of the kitchen and
bathroom. I finished by noon and also did a cleaning list, which I put on the
wall, and put each other’s name on the calendar to force us (him) to do a
decent quality and reliable cleaning.
I woke Robel up and he prepared himself so that by early afternoon, we walked down the street to confusion square and a minibus passed shouting a ride to Debre Zeyt for 7 Birr (we both didn’t know where we were heading to and 7Birr was well enough in our short tiny budget since I had only 30Birr on me).
So for the first time I went outside Addis
Ababa, at last!! My first steps in Oromiya, the sun was shining and it was
relaxing to be in a small town. Some of the nice elements there are the lakes
and we went to sit by one of them. The landscape was really different and
great; the lakes were definitely showing trace of having been created through
volcanic settings. We walked there and I had the chance to see pelicans and
many other birds. On our way back we took the normal bus that was an ok but not
This Monday the cat woke me up at 6am again,
and that made me on a shit mood, I also got another dishes related brawl with
Colin, which relate to the previous day.
The cat would finally be doing his day noise every day in the morning for more than a week. Ok some times I will have open the door to quite throw it somewhere else.
The rest of the week was work related, my
project started to move from Neutral – nothing happening – into some more
concrete views. So basically work just started for me. It took me 3 months in
Ethiopia, being frustrated, to actually receive some works and duties. Despite
not always fully knowing about the objectives and if it was going fine, that
did help my mood as I finally had a purpose on being here.
Finally, I also received a first meeting for my work and got some orientation in that regard. I will have to employ staffs and manage budget. That was a very surprising element, which seems to give me a lot of responsibilities in regard to the status I am holding (as an intern) for this NGO. So it will still be really great for experience building and so on but also very stressful and exhausting.
One of those days, I met with Anteneh for the
first time. Anteneh is a planner who studied with a friend (BrendanCarlos from
HC) in the Netherlands and through whom I got in touch with. He came to the
office and we went through the project and the next day he brought me some more
paper, his thesis and useful books and we went on the field to analyse the
condominium project and see some other slum related development in Addis.
Besides that and being left on my own with my work, I spent some time cooking and talking with Paco (our CS guest) and the days went on some more in Addis.
The last week of October!! Soon one month before December and Megan is here. Which is something I await!!! I wish it were the end of November already!
Work wise, things went slower and I spent time
at the UN again so that I could make more research with their library and chat
I got some other meetings regarding work and had to produce some paper by this week deadline. I spent some really happy time online with Megan and on my birthday week I was looking forward to it. She made me laugh a few times and I just wished we were together right away, or that time was going slow while we were online instead of me being in the late night.
At the beginning of this week though, Denis
finally arrived and Paco was fully happy with that! Hehe! He has had such a
story, trying to cross the Red Sea Straight with tiny boat but ending up in
Somaliland first and being denied entry to finally just try again to Djibouti.
This is when I got the first phone call. Then he made it over here and they
were together by the weekend.
I toured them a bit the city at night and around the slums on their first night in, besides that they prepared us a dinner night on Wednesday which was pretty tasty and great! Rice with Coconut milk!
On Thursday, I got a message that there was a conference going on in town and went to it. It was the Green Forum for Ethiopia. It was interesting and I had some great meal during lunchtime at Ghion Hotel (by the conference). I was amazed how beautiful Ghion Hotel compound looks alike such a great green area and so relaxing.
Happy B'day to me, thanks for my family and friends for the greetings! It was greatly appreciated
Today was a busy day for me, I woke up wondering why I hadn't received any news from my guest coming today (finally once at the office I noticed he wrote me he would arrive tomorrow on Saturday!) Then was just on time for my meeting with my manager which went well and I got some surprising elements for the project, I will completely be leading it.
So I now have to create a budget for it, ask for the money and manage the money, recruit and train local interviewer and continue with my methodology and all analysis.
I started on that and spent some times on the Internet and I had the lovely chance to speak a long part of the day with Megan and I loved it...
The weather wasn't bad but still cold, soon I will head home, take time relaxing with the tv, eat something and maybe work on this past month blog! (offline).
Then tomorrow is a new month, new entry (?) and 40 days until Megan arrives here!
I'm in love!
Also about photos, sorry, it is too hard with this connection to add more, so I will wait until I am back home.