So, it’s been a year. That’s 366 days. Or 8784 hours. Or 527,040 minu – oh, you get the point. I’ve been in Ethiopia for a long time.
To be sure, there were times when I thought I wouldn’t make it a month, let alone a full calendar year. But here I am, eating shiro and walking the streets of Bahir Dar.
To celebrate the anniversary, here are a couple of lists — I like lists — best moments and moments to forget. Enjoy.
July 4th at Gary’s (on July 3rd) – Burgers. Beer. Readings of the Declaration of Independence. Renditions of patriotic songs. Lots of gin. Great company. Amazing day.
Sneak attack holiday – Just one of those PC moments.
Swearing-in weekend – Lots of great eating, drinking, and socializing before saying goodbye to friends and heading off to site.
Last night with host family – It was relaxing. A few games of Uno with the family and a great last dinner of my brother’s fantastic missir wat. I still crave it.
Huruta hike with Sofi – Beautiful
Birthday at Kuriftu – Turning 31 wasn’t easy, but doing it at the Kuriftu made it less difficult. The massage and the company helped.
The Good Doctor’s 32nd birthday – A nice time with friends in the small town where Doc lives. Lots of food, drinking and talking.
Djibouti – Not exactly an Ethiopia moment but – Djibouti!
Thanksgiving – Again, eating played a big role. So. Much. Food. And Dottie D.!
First packages from home (at site) – Three boxes from my mother came and I wept like a baby. Jeans! Mac & cheese! My Chucks! Chocolate!
The night the lights went out in Huruta – I forget exactly what the occasion was, but we were having a gathering at my host family’s house when the lights went out (not uncommon). My host siblings and I didn’t mind, and we continued our game of “name the quote’s country of origin” by candlelight. It was one of most entertaining evenings I’ve had in this country.
Cheese sandwiches at Sodere – First taste of actual cheese in Ethiopia. Enough said.
Tej Afternoon – Tej Night didn’t turn out as well, but Tej Afternoon started off auspiciously enough. Calzones + four liters of honey wine between five of us = good times.
Stops at The Spot – Moments of solitude before class during PST. I miss it.
A Very Hammy Easter – Again, food related, but ham and scalloped potatoes! With The Good Doctor!
Ghion bonfire after my little incident – Notable for two reasons: Starfish Chronicles is born, and Kate Boyd passes into legend. (How’d she do that?!)
The time my host mother fell off the chair laughing – Enough said.
Moments to forget
My little incident – Not much to say about this.
The broken nose – Or this.
Trip to site – A really long, depressing day. Had to stay overnight in the grossest hotel in Injibara.
Trip to CBT site (and night before) – Tainted pizza leads to illness leads to diarrhea leads to longest, most painful bus trip ever. I wanted to die.
Bobby off the leash – Bobby, the guard dog at The Good Doctor’s compound, is no joke. His world consists of a doghouse and wherever his two-foot long leash will allow him to roam. I’d be pissed too. As I stood outside Doc’s door one evening, Bobby got off the leash somehow and made a beeline for me. I was terrified, a sitting duck, frozen to the spot. Thankfully, Doc’s landlord was there and grabbed him before he got to me.
Crotch grab #1 – Yeah, that sucked.
Boob grab #43 – Mostly annoying at this point.
February 21 – Just… not a good day.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog Year One. Thank you to everyone for the letters, packages and support. They’ve meant more than you know.
Again if there is a topic you’d like me to blog about, let me know. On tap for Year Two: posts on my house and Ethiopian fashion.