Ok, maybe not daily life but my daily (hotel living) life in a few pictures
Everyday I get picked up (they insist) and we brave the crazy streets of Addis. Two traffic lights in the whole of the city, people just making a turn across traffic that hasn’t yielded, pedestrians weaving between roadwork, goats and cars – that is commuting in Addis.
Three times a day the best espresso outside of Italy is served. OK, this may not be the best in the city but it’s pretty good. I don’t drink coffee in Seattle but I have an espresso twice a day. The macchiatos here are the best – better than what I’ve had in Italy.
This is a pretty traditional rug in Ethiopia. It doesn’t go with out house at all but I really want one. Very 1960’s. Don’t worry, I won’t be bringing one back with me.
This is the view from our office – it’s 5 stories up and there is no elevator. Addis is about 7,500 ft up which makes climbing to my desk feel like a slow death (I have asthma).
This is the inside of a taxi. All taxi’s here are blue and white Russian Ladas. I’m pretty sure you can’t find this make of Lada anywhere in Moscow or St. Petersburg but there are thousands of them in Addis. As you can see, drivers like to decorate. This was one of the best interiors I’ve ever seen.
I’ve been to Addis three times before so I feel like I don’t really need souvenirs. I say that but then I picked up this silver bracelet and these necklace (which I will restring).
I know what you are thinking, what is this. It’s Genfo. Genfo is a barley flour mixture that’s cooked and filled with clarified butter and red pepper paste. Expectant mothers are fed genfo right before the birth to give them strength. When you visit the newborn, you are served genfo. One of the guys in the office just had a baby and the entire staff went to visit him and the new baby. They insisted I come. It was really nice and I was glad to be included. So, genfo. It has the texture of raw dough and kind of resembles a tangy polenta. It was OK. I could have done with just a quarter of my serving. It left me really full and kind of sick later in the evening. I think it was really having to consume a quarter cup of clarified butter that did it to me. That said, I think it was worth it to get to be part of real Ethiopian life.
So far, the trip has been really good. I’ve been productive and the work environment has been amazing. I don’t always have the luxury of saying that. The city has really changed in 3 years for the better and for the worse but isn’t that always the case? This Thursday I’m hoping to go out and observe a few activities at a health post outside the city and this weekend I’m headed to Lalibela!