Wednesday, November 28, 2012

House Tour and IST catch-up

Right, so as I mention in the first video, I made these before I left for IST. Which was the middle of November. But, I thought we were staying at a hotel with wi-fi for two weeks (we weren't) and during the time I did have wi-fi in Addis, the connection was terrible because so many people were on it at the same time. Skype conversations with the family kept cutting in and out, uploading a video, let along two, wasn't gonna work.

IST (in service training) was nice though, I love seeing friends and I did another long hike. Around a crater lake this time. The walk was supposed to take us through hot springs, but the spring weren't hot when ever I stuck my hand in the water. It was a pretty hike though, and at times very puzzle like jumping over mini streams and avoiding mud. All of us couldn't avoid the mud completely yet. Except for Dan O, the Education program manager. Habasha have this magical power to never get muddy, even in the height of rainy/muddy season.

Keep your fingers crossed, at IST they announced a co-coordinator position for the national ICWC (International Creative Writing Contest) and I'm going for it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


(Heads up, I apologize for the lack of pictures. I'm in Addis at the moment, and the internet at Kings Hotel has never really been able to support uploads.)

 I've done quite a bit of walking recently, it's amazing the views right outside my door.

For example, in 10 minutes, I can go from my house to a waterfall.

I've done a couple of walks around Huruta with the PCTs in town - I'm hesitant to explore the rural areas on my own being female and white, but I love being able to go for walks. 

There supposed to be a holy spring nearby, but we haven't found it yet. But on one of our hikes we did venture into cactus eating. The flesh, not the fruit. I have to say, not bad. Twas like a salted cucumber, but more slimy.

But really is exciting is the hike I did on Saturday. Dera, a nearby town, has a national park. The PCV there set up a hike from Dera to Sodere, a 20 km treck. I'm surprised by how many animals we saw: camels, baboons, an antelope creature called chookou (if I remember that right). And hyenas.

Holy cow I saw hyenas. We were supposed to go down and up jib valley (jib is amharic for hyena) but then saw probably about 7 of them up and moving. It was cool and nervous at once. I've had it as a kind of goal for my two years here, to see them and not just hear them at night, so that was cool. But I also hiked for a bit with rocks in my hand (we took a different path to get to the overlook, but twas still near the valley).

After we left the park, there was a bit of walking through rural areas and then we hit the Awash river. It's a cool place, and important for irrigation in the area. We walked along the irrigation channels, crossed the river on a boat pulled across by a habasha, and then made our way to the resort where we found a bus going to Adama.

I really enjoyed it. It only took about 4 1/2 hours, and it was awesome how the ecosystems changed from the beginning of the park to the back half to the river valley. I don't know if I'll be able to do it again, the PCV who got it together and guided us is COSing (closing his service, aka done) at the end of the month, so I'm glad I got this opportunity.

Even if I do have a sunburn.