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…
I’ve been at my new job for almost a month. I’ve been pretty busy and the work is challenging. I’m a consultant, so the pressure is on to deliver results consistent with my terms of reference. I was lonely at first, but I’m slowly making friends now. For instance: I am investigating joining the running club. They go running at lunch time a few days a week. In related news, I’ve discovered there’s a gym at my apartment complex (complete with a sauna). I’ve been going after work lately to work out, but it’s pretty lonely by myself, and you know I’m ADHD — it’d be great if I had people to work out with! I ran five kilometers tonight but I only have a pair of Converse, so it was far from optimal running conditions. I’ll look into buying a pair of running shoes this week.
I used to sit at this desk in the library, alone in a cubicle in the corner. I’ve since moved to a new desk which is in a warmer room. It was a good move, though I’m farther away from the server room, and that place was too cold anyways. I joined the coffee club at the old office for like five bucks for the month of August, but they only ever brought me tea. I would say I was swindled, but I kinda had a hunch it was too good to be true when they told me it was only 300 shillings per month. I am still trying to find a coffee pot for my house so I can drink coffee at home. My roommate has a coffee machine but the pot is broken, and Walmart hasn’t arrived in Kenya yet so spare pots are hard to come by. I guess that’s a lame excuse, because I could just put a cup under and push the spring, but then I’d need to buy coffee filters. Ugh!