Addis Ababa- where burger is a pleasure
Posted by Cris on February 19, 2007
So we made it. Twenty hours of flying went by fairly quickly, and we arrived in Addis tired but still functioning. We waited behind two large groups to get our visas, zipped through customs, and found all three of our bags had made it. Yes! Then we went outside to meet Trevor, the mysterious man weve been corresponding with for the last year or so. Alas, Mr. Trevor was not there. We asked a man to try to call the only # we had for him, which turned out to be the office phone. No answer. So we decided to start looking for a place to stay, figuring we would call the next day. Then our angel from the Sheraton (where he worked) miraculously came over with him phone hand extended- he had somehow found Trevor’s mobile # and contacted him. Trevor thought we were coming next week. Trevor also turned out to be an englishman, which consoled some of our worries (for better or worse). We stayed the last 2 nights at Trevor’s house- he and his lovely ethiopian wife Rahel gave up their own room and bed for us. They are super nice and very helpful, and have 3 cuuute kids.
We moved today to a hotel, where we will stay tonight and tomorrow. Then we are going to take a 6 day trip up north to Bindir Har and Gondor, to see some sights. We werent planning on doing this, but since Trevor didnt think we were coming til the 21st, and didnt put us on the schedule until the 28th we have some time to burn. We are leaving Wednesday, and used today and will use tomorrow to take care of some admin stuff, i.e. going to register at the embassy, looking at some housing options, getting to know the city a bit more.
The city is great so far. My lungs are near saturation point with diesel fumes, my eyes feel like they need filters from the dust, and my cheeks are a rosy burnt pink. There are tons of birds and flowers around, and most “wild” places are vibrant shades of green. Amy and I feel pretty at ease- day #2 and we have eaten at a restaurant (the menu was all in amharic, so we just smiled and shrugged at the lady. We got a good ethiopian meal, all vegetarian, and drinks for 3 dollars.), taken mini buses, walked around quite a bit, and started to recognize things. We are slowly learning a bit of amharic as well- the word for dog is pronounced “woosha”, “come here” is said “nay”, and the word for OK is “ichi”. The taxis are blue. There are a lot of landrovers and other SUV’s that youd expect to see on safari. We feel more anonymous here so far than we did in Dakar. The people are nice. We will probably buy a cell phone soon- so keep posted for the number. OH- and the beer is super cheap, like a bit over a dollar in the expensive places, and there is a rumor of a brewery where a pint is about 30 cents.
All in all we are feeling at pretty ease and happy, less overwhelmed and tired than yesterday and looking forward to tomorrow.
Helen and Ray- we are ok. Stop worrying!
Love and miss you all.
P.S. The “where burger is a pleasure” part is from a sign for a restaurant.