Ethiopia: Day 4…Ah, The Weekend

A few people went shopping again. Another group went to some place with monkeys and hot springs. What did my sweet husband sign us up for? Work, of course. Ten years of marriage, so I should expect nothing less. Still, it’s Saturday for crying out loud!

Our labor site: Acacia Village, a foster home/soon-to-be everything else, run by our agency Christian World Adoption. Our labor: planting trees in the Ethiopian sun. Awesome.

When we arrived, I kindly asked if there was any task I could complete indoors so that my delicate skin could escape a scorching burn. So, while Keith planted trees, I sorted and folded at least a couple thousand pieces of children’s clothing in a stuffy room upstairs. I’m not complaining. I’ll take a lungful of dust any day over the pain of a sunburn that would likely hospitalize me. My only regret is that I left my ipod back in the room. We are so spoiled.

By the time our chores were completed, it was lunchtime. I had heard we would be served a traditional Ethiopian cuisine. Gulp. So I told them I wasn’t hungry. Turns out pasta is a staple here, and today it was spaghetti. The sauce looked iffy, so I went the safe route: dry noodles and bread.

Our driver was supposed to pick us up at 3, so Keith called to request he come at 2 since we finished early. Cars are a luxury here. People walk everywhere or take public transportation…blue and white vans, cars or 3-wheeled vehicles. They are the vast majority on the road. On the driving here, people are so friendly. If someone pulls out in front of you, it’s because he needs to cross that particular road, and you politely let him by slowing down or stopping your vehicle. Same for you. A line of traffic a mile long blocking you? That’s okay. Just go. They’ll stop. Pedestrians walk mere centimeters from speeding vehicles and never get hit. Well, I won’t say never, but I didn’t witness any. Also, no traffic lights or signs of any kind, including speed limits. What? But, no one gets road rage. They just go with the flow, literally. They’d never make it in the U.S.

We have drivers hired by our guest home or agency. Either way, communication is always run through a 3rd, 4th or 5th party to make arrangements. And, time is all but meaningless here, so we weren’t really surprised that our van didn’t show up until 4. That’s right, 2 hours late.

Luckily we made it back for a dinner of cabbage and tiny, very chewy beef tip stir-fry plus rolls that should really be saved for a game of golf. I ate 2 and a half granola bars.

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