I’ve been in Addis Ababa since this morning. The taxi picked me up at my house at 5:30 AM and I was in the ILRI campus in Addis Ababa at 10. Not bad! I’ll be in Ethiopia for another ten days or so, mainly doing some capacity building of the ILRI Addis web development team on the Linux platform (they currently use Windows as a server platform but want to move some applications to Linux servers). I was in Ethiopia last year, but I didn’t take a bus this time so I am already off to a better start.
I’ve got a great room in the hostel here at the ILRI campus. The campus is much more beautiful than I’m used to (hard to believe if you’ve seen the Nairobi campus). For example, today I was sitting in my office just before dusk and I saw a dik-dik grazing in the grass just outside my window. The working environment here is much different too. After lunch we all went for coffee in the campus bar, then took a walk around the compound. I thought my counterparts just wanted to take a stroll, but looked behind me and saw another twenty people just walking and chatting. It felt like a walk to cure cancer or something, very leisurely and social. We don’t do that at ILRI Nairobi…
The pictures of my Ethiopia trip are finally on my photo gallery. It’s been a while since any of you have seen a picture of me so I know you’re excited. I have about 100 photos in total but it’s not very practical for me to upload them all, and I’m sure you only want to see the best of them, so I only put about 30 online. Here are a few…
You can see the rest in the gallery here.
I have arrived in Nairobi safely. I am now back in Tala. It feels really good to be back. Even though I noticed how different Ethiopia was before, now it’s more clear than ever. I haven’t slept in in over twenty-four hours but I have so much to do around Tala because I haven’t been here in three weeks. I walked to the market to meet up with a colleague and discuss the latest at the college (nothing new); apparently most of the teachers and students haven’t even reported yet. I guess it’s good I didn’t rush back from Ethiopia early.
Hanging out in Ethiopia was a fabulous experience and I will never forget the dramatic difference in culture from other East African countries I’ve visited. Other than a t-shirt and some music I didn’t see anything worth buying (there’s plenty of “tourist” stuff though, like wooden carvings). The t-shirt I bought has an Ethiopian singer on it, Teddy Afro; he sings in Amharic about social and political issues. I’m not sure who made this video, but you can hear the song on Youtube here. I am pretty sure this song is asking Rita Marley to bring Bob Marley’s ashes to the Rastafari village in Shashamane.