It has been several weeks since my last post, so I will catch you up a bit.
The week before Christmas, took me to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, for a Peace Corps In-Service training. On my way to Addis, I hit a bit of a travel snag. I arrived at my bus station in Deneba at about 7am, as the last bus to my desired destination was leaving without me. My town is in between two main stops. So, once all of their busses have left, the only bus to catch is one passing through that may or may not have a few seats available. I waited for about two hours. Finally the correct bus arrived but by that time, there were approximately 60 people surrounding the bus station, all wanting to go to the same place. As the bus approached the bus station, the crowd rushed the bus door and it was absolute chaos! I fought along side them, shoving and pushing like the best. I still felt like there was no hope to get on this one bus. I was in the middle of the crowd and only a few people had gotten off the already full bus. The driver even had to close the bus doors twice to fight off the crowd. I almost thought he would drive off without taking any new passengers. However, a young boy, about 12 or so, grabbed me by the wrist (common practice in Ethiopia) and pulled me to the front of the mob. He kept yelling to the driver, “Let the teacher on! Let the teacher on!” Thanks to this young boy, the teacher got on that bus and headed on her way.
The In-Service Training in Addis, marked out 3 months of Peace Corps Service. It was a very packed and busy week, considering I am now used to working about 2 hours a day. A week filled with 8:00am-5:30pm programs, lectures, and trainings kept us all very busy during the day. However, now that we are all a little more familiar with Addis and navigating the hectic city, we had a lot of fun visiting our favorite restaurants and even a movie! I saw the new Hobbit movie, in 3D, in Ethiopia! Pretty amazing.
The week of Christmas brought me back to my small town of Deneba, to be greeted and welcomed back to my school after my week-long absence. It felt nice to be back to my normal routine. But as soon as I got back and started to get back to it, I came down with a pretty miserable cold. I was forcing myself to go to classes but as soon as I would get back home, I would take some decongestant and go right back to sleep. I slept a lot of Christmas week. I did make myself go to the post office in order to have packages to open on Christmas. Christmas Day, I went to school and then went back home. After a very great drug-induced nap, I woke up and opened my presents under my little lit Christmas tree. I received many fun-filled packages from several loved ones and my church family.
I then had the next Monday and Tuesday off of school due to teacher meetings, so I continued my recuperation. Although my holiday was filled with tissues, hot soup(from a care package), and lots of hot chocolate(from a care package)…I was comforted by watching Girlmore Girls, marathon style.
New Years was nothing special. Many teachers realized that it was New Years for me so they wished my a Happy New Year and we talked a bit about American customs for both Christmas and New Years. I was definitely asleep before 2015 began.
However, I do look forward to the Ethiopian Christmas, this coming Wednesday. I have seen lots of livestock being purchased and chickens are making their noises every morning. I look forward to some yummy food and all the festivities this week.
My 2015 New Years resolution is to celebrate my 2016 New Years Day in Ethiopia. I only have to tough out one more holiday season and I will be home for my birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2016. See you all then!
Until next time,