So the first week of living off compound has passed, and I’m really enjoying it so far and am really glad I made the move. Getting to school in the morning is an early start, but the journey is not difficult, and takes roughly 30 minutes. The taxi journey on the way costs 1 birr 10 cents, (roughly 5p) and on the way home it costs 65 cents, (about 2.5p) because the journey to Bingham is all uphill, so downhill on the way home is cheaper. It is really simple to do, jump on at the bottom of the hill, and say “Waraj Alle” when you want to get off. The taxis themselves are quite funny, I was in quite a fancy one the other day: the speedometer actually worked.
Some more pictures of Brian’s compound:
Beyonce and Brian’s new goat, Billy.
The Ikabait (translated literally “House of Stuff”)
I finished my first week of teaching with my new schedule, and it went fairly well, i do have to do a fair bit of preparation but I have a lot more time to spend it the workroom now that I don’t have an apartment on compound. So I’m getting used to a higher workload slowly.
This weekend Brian, his friend Laura, Baby and I went to one of the swimming pools here in Addis for the day. Its at a hotel called the Ghion, and cost 20 birr (£1) for the day. The pool is in a really nice grassy area and its easy to forget that you are in Addis. I’m sure we’ll go back. The pool was a quite a cold temperature and was really refreshing, though you know you are in Africa, the facilities are limited. There are no changing rooms, simply a couple of metal sheets that you stand behind to get changed. I’m not sure how females do it. They have a set of diving boards, a couple of smaller boards and a few high dives, one at 7 or 8 metres. As Brian says, jumping off the highest board isn’t as scary as the actual climb up to them; they have simply a vertical metal ladder. Climbing up a vertical wet metal ladder 7 metres up is quite an experience. I made sure to keep looking up. The lower diving boards are equally funny;one is about 2 metres up, and simply a plank of wood that is covered in plastic. As it is a spring board, you have to walk along a wobbly plank, covered in wet plastic over the concrete before you are over the water.
Today (Sunday) was the traditional Ethiopian celebration of Temket, which is celebrating the ark of the covenant, which the Ethiopians believe they have. So the Orthadox church beside us had quite a celebration on our road, some pictures follow:
They thankfully haven’t started to make noise tonight yet, hopefully I can get to sleep before they do.
Brian and Laura decided to make a video to send back to Brian’s school, of him “training” in Ethiopia, Goat wrestling. This is really an excuse for Brian to dress up in some of the many costumes he has brought from home and fool around on camera. Its funny to see none the less, and the goat wrestling was a real laugh.
Greetings from Addis,