Saturday, June 16, 2012

My last day in Addis

For the second half of the day, we broke into groups and explored Addis with our LCFs as guides.  LCFs are language and culture facilitators, they mostly live in Addis but will be in our host family cities with us to teach us language and culture for the next two months.

Exploring Addis just made me more ready to leave the city. It's too busy and dirty and large for me. I knew my way around Wellington after about a week of living there, but I can't do that here. Maybe it's the lack of posted street signs, or large landmarks that can be seen for a ways. I don't think I'll ever be comfortable embarking out into the city on my own.

As a group we saw the Emperor's Palace. While Ethiopia is currently a democracy, it wasn't until 1991. It was a military dictatorship before that, a regime called the Derg, from 1974 - 91.  But for all other times of Ethiopia, which records going back to Ancient Egypt (but are truly solid starting 1150) Ethiopia was a kingdom.

Unfortunately, all we could see of the Palace was the gate. It, and several other compounds in the area, are used by government officials and we weren't even allowed to walk on the same side of the street as them.We also tried to get in to see an Orthodox church, but they wanted an admission price of 50 bir, at which our LCFs balked at.  While it's common here for prices to be higher for ferengi, 50 bir was the local price. 

While I thought this was a seagull, it's probably a dove instead as there's one on either side of the gate to the house the head of the Orthodox church lives in.
Instead, we headed to the national museum. (admission only 10 bir for us ^_^).  It was a small museum, but had a range of stuff. Artifacts from multiple emperors, art work, and the whole basement was dedicated to evolution. 

I think the best part of the day was simply walking around the streets however, seeing the city at the ground level and looking at some of the bazaar stands. I tried a bit of honey wine, which is nothing like the mead of the States. It's got a strange aftertaste, slightly bitter, and is stronger than what I'm used to wine being. 

Tomorrow morning, I'll be getting a taste of a different city. I'll be moving to Eteya, a town 30 km north of Assella to live with my host family. While Eteya does have a post office, it does not have a Internet access. I will however, have a running shower. ^_^


Annalisa Crawford said...

Given the choice between a shower and internet, I know what I'd chose! You've got the right side of the deal :-)

I assume that means no updates?

Gwen Tolios said...

Not regular updates, but Assella has an an Internet cafe that I'll try to get to once in a while.

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