24 February 2012

Rest, Food and Cultural Awareness

I crashed right after lunch today. It was about 1:30pm this time...just couldn't keep my eyes open. We spent the morning {after the flight and the unsuccessful monkey hunt} acquainting ourselves with our guest rooms and each other. The weather is just perfect. Cool with a breeze in the shade. Sometimes I get a whiff of a familiar smell -- it's a smell I remember from years ago in the Philippines. So lovely.

So. For lunch I shared a pizza with my fabulous roommate and enjoyed every bite. Then it was nap time and I slept hard. Two hours later -- time for a group meeting. *rub sleepy eyes and put game face on*

We talked culture -- how to provide aid that doesn't create dependency -- how hard it can be to change the mentality of certain villages -- how we plan to meet the needs of the poorest in this country by teaching self-sustainability -- then there was the story of the cobra bite -- and training on basic words in Amharic like "thank you" and "hey you". Lots to assimilate.

So far, I'm happy to report that Ethiopians are extremely friendly and considerate. They have really gone out of their way to help us feel welcome and cared for. And the teenager boy and girl walking down the street holding hands and talking to each other -- so sweet. The little boys hold hands and put their arms around each other...and look at our group of white ladies and smile big. Adorable.

I sat next to a gentleman on today's flight who told me about his new wife of four months and how he missed her so much while away in Addis for a two month workshop. He wanted to know whether we had cold weather and snow where I was from. And wondered why I hadn't brought my kids with me. :)

Tomorrow we get more rural...we've been told it's a long dusty ride all friendly together in the back of the truck. Team building experiences. And the opportunity to see what GHNI is doing to help in long-lasting, significant ways here in Ethiopia.

So, until tomorrow -- ciao.

Want to see some more street scenes?