Friday, June 15, 2012

Addis Training

Here in Addis, our days look like something like this: breakfast, morning panel A, tea break, morning panel B, morning panel C, lunch, afternoon panel A, afternoon panel B, tea break, afternoon panel C, afternoon D, dinner.

It's a lot of eating and sitting. We're all gonna get fat.  Which equally has to do with the type of food that's eaten here. Lots of bread, rice, meat, and sugar.  Our drink options at main meals are pretty much only soda and water (which you get bored of) and when you order tea/coffee it's common for it to come with at least two heaping spoons of sugar.  I get it for the coffee, it's super strong here, but tea? Apparently consuming sugar and meat is a sign of wealth, and because people want to impress ferengi we get feed that a lot -_-

Not all of our sessions are useful.  The history of Ethiopia was boring, we went all the way back to Ancient Egypt.  And some partner organization had people come in to talk to us, but compared to PCVs are telling us they're detached and not quite understanding of what goes on on the ground.

While technical training doesn't truly start, today was certainly an improvement. But I also pin a lot of that on the presenters too.  Today was a lot about the PC processes; what the three goals of edu volunteers are (linkage and mentoring of school and teachers, bringing English outside of the classroom, building the capacity of OVCs [orphans and vulnerable aka female children]), what development is, the six practices of PC development, and roles volunteers will perform.

What's also nice, and apparently new to the program, is PCV talking about their experience on site.  We had a panel on perceptions and harassment in our sites.  As Americans, we'll lie on the border - not oppressed but not privileged either. We might get some benefits, like being served first at the bank, and but we also get hassled a lot by name calling and unwanted advances (females more so than males, obviously).

It's nice to get an understanding of what to expect, and how to diffuse some situations.

I did get some practical experience in today - doing laundry!

I have been kinda stock piling, thinking I'd just have room service take care of it for me, but I must have heard the village price instead of the Addis price because there is no way I'm having them wash all my clothes. 15 bir for a pair of pants?! Sure, that's less than a dollar, but when your allowance 600 bir till the end of the month, you become slightly stingy. So -

What I Learned From Doing Laundry in the Sink
  1. You have to find your own plug for the drain (a sock works well, but water still drains)
  2. Don't leave the sink running when you search for the Woolite
  3. The front of the sink may be lower than the drain hole in the back
  4. If your camping rope seemed a bit stretched to reach across the bathroom, it will snap off one of the walls and dump your wet, clean clothes on the wet, dirty floor.
  5. Socks takes up more drying space than you would expect.
  6. You'll need more soap than you would expect.
  7. It's a lot quicker to use a machine.  I hate to think of the drying time. I miss the Western world already. 


LindaK said...

Hi Gwen. I'm full of admiration for what you're doing :-) Thanks for reading my blog - it was good to hear from you. Haven't been keeping up to date with blogs (due to de-stressing) but will be following yours closely. Best wishes x

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