Sunday, July 15, 2012

Huruta - First Impressions

I have to say, I really liked the town. Apparently, even when people are successful and move, they still invest in the town.  As such, Huruta is very pretty and feels somewhat resourtish at times.

While the main road is unpaved, it's separated by a median of trees. And those trees are surrounded by iron fences that are shaped into designs and painted. Plus, there are street lights, statues, lots of cafes and restaurants, and at night you can hear music blasting from several places. Which did get in the way of me sleeping a little bit.

There's a lot more amenities than I expected here, a full size soccer field with chalked lines, a public library, a flour factory, a juice bet.  I checked out the schools in town too – the high school has a full computer lab and is putting the finishing touches on a new administration building, and has a basketball, handball, and soccer field.  My school has a garden, a museum, several clubs, a tea room, three sports fields, a library, a science lab, and a special needs class.

It's in the foot hills of the mountains, and despite being only 14 km from Eteya is so much prettier. And slightly warmer. And not as rainy. The soccer stadium is on the edge of town on the side of the hill, and so from the top of the small bank around it you can see for miles all the rolling baby mountains covered in trees and farmland.  There's a river nearby, with a gorge and a waterfall, but I didn't get around to seeing it.

Most of my days involved visiting places/people, break, lunch, break, afternoon visiting depending on when lunch finished, and then dinner. I liked the down time, I allowed me to spread out all my tasks and it was nice to have time to rest. I always felt weird during dinner however, and some lunches. Frequently, my counterparts didn't eat but rather just sat there with me as I did, there just to show me good restaurants and help with ordering and paying.

I felt like a foreign dignitary, meeting all the people I did in the government and school offices. And when I showed up at my school's closing ceremony, just to check it out, I was placed at the table of region education officials to stare at (and be stared at by) the students, teachers, and parents as well as was introduced. But as I also got a PO Box (note new address in one the support page) and opened a bank account, I also feel a bit like a resident.   

Visiting the site, I came up with so many project ideas of my own and based on what people told me they would like to see. Girl Scouts, English clubs, summer sports camp, organize a library, help out at one of the three private English schools, actually teach, try to do something PTA related to get parents involved in the school.  And while I was qualified for getting into Peace Corps, doing some of this stuff actually scares me a little because I don't know how much I'll be able to do and honestly for some of them I have no knowledge at all.  If anyone has any electronic resources on any of those subjects, or teaching in general, I'd love it if you could e-mail them to me.

I also got a peak at what will most likely be my home for the next to years. It's really close to the school, library, mayor's office, and police station, so the location is great. The compound is a bit small, but my actually 'apartment' is wonderful. I'll have a small hallway that dead ends in a shower (completely covered in tiles and with a shelf for shampoo) and off that hallway are two rooms, both of with might be twice the size of what I have now. Unlike my school apartment, I'll have to furnish it myself. And there's no IKEA here. I have to order it and then it'll be made. And I'll have to get kitchen stuff. Not just plates and cups and pans, but a stove. And gas. Grills don't exist here, but I wonder if I could improvise one...

I really liked Huruta (the quarter day travel from Addis is nice too, some people had a 2-3 day travel to get to their sites) and I'm looking forward to moving there so I can set up my house and start on projects. There isn't much recreation wise (aside from the juice bet) and so I think keeping busy will help me stay sane, happy, and not go through all my movies and shows in the first few months. Especially since the cell network isn't stable and there's no such thing as wi-fi or Ethernet.


Liwi said...

That sounds so awesome!!! Happy you're liking it :)

David said...

Hey Jenny! Here's a link I found that I've been using to brush up on some basics:
It's probably not ALL that you're looking for, but it should help a little! I'll keep searching!

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