Another Month, first tiny excursion outside Addis and project launching!

Addis Ababa Travel Blog

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Wicked Children... just wanting an empty bottle - Megenagne Hill

October 1-2-3-4-5


A new month, it is now my birthday month that starts and my last days at 28.

Guinea Equatorial Road at Dusk
I am slowly approaching 30, which I am not fully happy with.

 

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.

Fiche Maryam Road busy time
So that weekend, Colin was going back to Merkato to buy a new phone. We were also receiving our first guests (from CouchSurfing) from England. They arrived by midday and we all went to Merkato together so that they had the chance to experience it. They stayed with us for 2-3 nights before going forward to travel up north.

 

 

October 6-7-8-9-10

 

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.

Overview on Addis from Megenagna Mountain
So I watched it late at night. On the 8th in the morning, we got our second guest coming, Paco from France. She was to stay with us awaiting her Canadian boyfriend to come over joining her overland from Yemen.

 

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.

 

 

October 11-12-13-14-15-16

So It was Thanksgiving and I received a text to go for dinner but I finally didn’t take part of it.

Crop Field in Megenagna Mtn
I didn’t feel like it and especially didn’t feel like being around with the people I see too often. That was organised for Monday evening, although I was still a bit bitter from having spent tons of money the previous Sunday, despite it at last made me move out of the house.

 

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.

Yeka Mikael Church
The frustration especially relies on the fact that we didn’t have to pay, we didn’t need an escort to go up on public trail and I am pretty sure it was not dangerous at all.

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.

Lovely Snack in Piassa

 

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.

Me at Ghion Hotel Compound - Addis Ababa

So I was busy with work then.

 

------------------

October 17-18-19

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.

Firework on Meskal Square - Meskal Day
Colin kept still on filling up the sink with dirty dishes which meant you could not use the water pipe anymore unless you removed yesterday’s dirty stuff from it. And even if I would do dishes and put it to dry, I seemed to always be the only one to stack it (same for the garbage bin, it seemed to me that the concept of putting a full bin outside to be collected was not his – or to bring it back in the kitchen with a new bag in it when it was standing outside still and had been collected. I really can not understand that way of thinking) I even once had to pick the rubbish that was either thrown directly on the bin, because someone had been lazy to not put a new bag in it or on the floor because it was either overflowing or had missed it.

 

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.

Meskal Day Celebrations
My bedroom is located behind the house and right across the backhouse alleyway is the home family house (the service house). My walls and windows are not the best to keep the noise, so I end up hearing everything, the cooking and the talk. So at 6am I got fully awoken by the noise of the cat which did not stop, not a single second from 6 till way after 10. Then when it finally stopped I felt asleep again and didn’t wake up before late afternoon. Just because of that cat I lost my entire Saturday because I lacked sleep.

 

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.

Overview on Social Housing Condominium (near Pushkin)
I still had half a day to do something and felt that now it was maybe time to go out and move around to avoid staying in the house and change my mind and mood.

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 greatest experience.

Ghion Hotel Compound
I learned now that a bus rides for several hours would be awful since you are packed one over another. When I was back it was tv time with Colin and Paco, ate at home (cooking with Paco) and after a while I pointed out the cleaning list. I could easily say that it was not well received by Colin and we had some shouting about it. (Comments like: I will do the dishes, clean whenever I feel to and not be told to, and finally; you are always in the kitchen and cooking, it must be yours). (This last comment stroke quite clearly to stop making more than my single portion when I was cooking, as I was obviously be used by both on cooking time and food buying. So it is also time to split the food into his and mine).

 

October 20-21-22-23-24

 

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.

Cliche- Bowling Alley
It might have been rough from me, but I really had enough of being in a dirty surrounding. I feel he never had much of chance to live in shared accommodation and does not fully care about those issues and especially doesn’t really care in term of respect to others living in.

 

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.

Street Painting
(In any other cases, being in Ethiopia was not something I had looked upon, so being here with too much free time and nothing to do was far from being joyful).

 

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.

Fiche Maryam Road Cliche
It was a good and educative day.

 

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.

 

October 25-26-27-28-29-30

 

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 online too.

Funny bird on Ghion Hotel Compound
My anti-virus seems to be dying and refuse to upgrade so I am spending with this to try to sort it out.

 

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.

Bowling Alley - Office night out
They moved to a hotel to be together (which after weeks apart is understanding, I would want the privacy too!).

 

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.



October 31

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.
Nobody Fucks with the Jesus - Dude
.. on my own all by myself and me as a resources. Ok that is a huge task and a big responsibility. It also means I have to change my mindset which was quiet and low as I sometimes don't really know what is going to happen with it. I will have to manage budget, manage personnel and all other resources
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.
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Wicked Children... just wanting an…
Wicked Children... just wanting a…
Guinea Equatorial Road at Dusk
Guinea Equatorial Road at Dusk
Fiche Maryam Road busy time
Fiche Maryam Road busy time
Overview on Addis from Megenagna M…
Overview on Addis from Megenagna …
Crop Field in Megenagna Mtn
Crop Field in Megenagna Mtn
Yeka Mikael Church
Yeka Mikael Church
Lovely Snack in Piassa
Lovely Snack in Piassa
Me at Ghion Hotel Compound - Addis…
Me at Ghion Hotel Compound - Addi…
Firework on Meskal Square - Meskal…
Firework on Meskal Square - Meska…
Meskal Day Celebrations
Meskal Day Celebrations
Overview on Social Housing Condomi…
Overview on Social Housing Condom…
Ghion Hotel Compound
Ghion Hotel Compound
Cliche- Bowling Alley
Cliche- Bowling Alley
Street Painting
Street Painting
Fiche Maryam Road Cliche
Fiche Maryam Road Cliche
Funny bird on Ghion Hotel Compound
Funny bird on Ghion Hotel Compound
Bowling Alley - Office night out
Bowling Alley - Office night out
Nobody Fucks with the Jesus - Dude
Nobody Fucks with the Jesus - Dude
Bowling Night - Office Team
Bowling Night - Office Team
Colin is working hard at the office
Colin is working hard at the office
Scaffholding - Confusion Square Ro…
Scaffholding - Confusion Square R…
Donkey lost in construction site o…
Donkey lost in construction site …
DeGaulle Square - Piassa
DeGaulle Square - Piassa
View toward the Condominium projec…
View toward the Condominium proje…
Rifle ready to Fire
Rifle ready to Fire
Mud Chika house in Megenagna Hil…
Mud 'Chika' house in Megenagna Hi…
Paco at the guard house (to wushe …
Paco at the guard house (to wushe…
Djibouti - Addis Railroad (South o…
Djibouti - Addis Railroad (South …
Fire at will - shooting Hyenas (jo…
Fire at will - shooting Hyenas (j…
Its a monkey! - Maganagna Hill
It's a monkey! - Maganagna Hill
Overview of Addis Ababa from Magan…
Overview of Addis Ababa from Maga…
Paco preparing the coffee at the W…
Paco preparing the coffee at the …
Dark Cliché in a country side kit…
Dark Cliché in a country side ki…
Preparing the Coffee - Guard Hut i…
Preparing the Coffee - Guard Hut …
Colins the Rifleman - Maganagna H…
Colin's the Rifleman - Maganagna …
Walking the Cattle - Maganagna Hill
Walking the Cattle - Maganagna Hill
Thoughtful me - Guard House in Mag…
Thoughtful me - Guard House in Ma…
Funky tree near Wusha Mikael Churc…
Funky tree near Wusha Mikael Chur…
Preparing the Coffee (guard house …
Preparing the Coffee (guard house…
Coffee Ceremony in order (guard to…
Coffee Ceremony in order (guard t…
A view of the Derg Monument
A view of the Derg Monument
Bird On Lake Hora - Debre Zeyt
Bird On Lake Hora - Debre Zeyt
Bird Overview - Lake Hora - Debre …
Bird Overview - Lake Hora - Debre…
Pelican On Lake Hora - Debre Zeyt
Pelican On Lake Hora - Debre Zeyt
A rickshaw ride in Debre Zeyt
A rickshaw ride in Debre Zeyt
Lake Hora - Debre Zeyt
Lake Hora - Debre Zeyt
Overview Lake Hora - Debre Zeyt
Overview Lake Hora - Debre Zeyt
Volcanic Stone Pavement - Debre Ze…
Volcanic Stone Pavement - Debre Z…
Addis Ababa
photo by: musicdan