Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Host Family

So, I’ve been with my host family a week and it’s still tough going. Communication is a huge problem, especially when my host dad isn’t home, but they’re all good people.

H is my host dad. He works at a college in Assella teaching Civics so he’s only home in Eteya a few nights a week. He’s very into helping me integrate, having me learn bits of the culture and practicing my Amharic.  But he gets that it’s slow. When the food is two spicy for me, he’ll wipe off a piece of duro (chicken) before handing it to me. He wants to have one of the unfinished rooms in the compound be a library and I think that’s wonderful. 

My host mom Y is super kind. She also makes the best eggs I have ever had. She taught me how to wash my clothes yesterday, and just like a Greek lady insists on over feeding me. I swear, she gives me a portion twice the size of what she gives the twins. She also has a job as a tax collector, which is rare in Ethiopia as it usually the man who works (though teachers are paid really, really low so maybe she needed to work). She also manages the family store.

The Twins

M and D are 10, and just finished up the third grade.  I’m surprised at how western they are, wearing pants and playing soccer with the boys in the open field just outside our compound. They can read really well, though their conversational English is rough, and they have a strange fascination with my hair. I can’t tell if its cuz it’s curly or finer than theirs.  Their own room was finished just last night, and they had to show it off this morning by having me eat breakfast in there.

Little B is the child of the house at 3.  He gets into everything and likes to disrupt our games. He’s also very, very spoiled. One of the differences I notice the most between here and home is how he’s treated. If he falls down during soccer, he won’t get up by himself though he’s capable. One of the twins puts him back on his feet and brushes him off. And if he tries to hit one of the girls or his dad, they don’t tell him hitting is wrong, just try to avoid the blows by moving. He has learned “yes”, it’s one of three English words he knows and he says it all the time. I like asking silly questions like ‘are you a dog’ and ‘am I a boy’ and having him say yes.


C.M.Brown said...

I have just been looking through your posts Gwen, sounds like you are doing it tough! Makes you appreciate the things we take for granted over here! Keep well!

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