Wednesday, March 18, 2009
We made a list of the things we absolutely have to accomplish today and, after a stop at the Field Office and a shop for baskets, we drove back to FIDA, only to find out that there was no electricity - again! Dan spent a little time with Yohannes, showing him (on battery) some of the special features of the MacBook he’ll be getting for the Finance Office. We checked off a few things, shared a delicious lamb kebab lunch then went back to the Field Office for some necessary computer tasks (somewhere with electricity!).
With Anbessu still out of town, we took the boys to school and headed off through the morning traffic to meet Mulu for a morning of shopping. Her husband Ermias had volunteered her services to us because she is an excellent negotiator of prices! We started off near the American Embassy and the weaving factory we had visited several weeks ago. The street is absolutely lined with tiny stands of merchandise on both sides. It was such fun watching Mulu haggle for the best prices and we could see the shopkeepers working just as hard without compromising too much! After buying a few things there, we went to the weaving factory to shop there. Mulu seemed to know everyone! We found out that some of these workers were previous students of hers!
Today’s focus was on tying up the loose ends of our work at FIDA, with only 3 days left in Ethiopia. Dan’s priorities included making sure he showed key people some of the basics involved in the website, as he’ll be working on it from home next week. FIDA employees will, at some point, be uploading articles and managing new information on the website and they need to be a little familiar with it! Janet’s transfer of information about Peachtree features was stalled, due to people who needed the training being committed to other projects today.
Making a list, and checking it twice...
Monday, March 16, 2009
Up early, we enjoyed warm showers and checked out of our hotel to catch breakfast on our way to get the pastors and translator. We were expected for church in the Seven Camp Church, a larger rectangular mud-and-straw building filled with benches. We had seen this church yesterday for a few minutes, but it had been “dressed up” today - the benches had been arranged and fresh grasses had been strewn all over the dirt floor.
We met Getachew right at 6:30AM at the appointed corner near his home and started the 4-5 hour trip driving south. Without rain this time of year (there have been only 2 short overnight rains early in our stay here), the dust and smog are pretty thick. We got to watch the sun rise over a mountain in the haze. Starting early was necessary to avoid some of the large truck traffic. Dan drove until we stopped in a small town for breakfast and coffee. We ate at an outside table on the side and got to watch dozens of butterflies hover and light on the flowering trees nearby! When we were finished, Getachew took the wheel and we continued down the 2-lane road with wide shoulders accommodating LOTS of foot traffic, with donkey carts, cattle crossings, and 3-wheeled motorcycle taxis.
The last few days have been rough - sporadic electricity outages have been hard on Dan’s progress on the website and other computer issues and I’ve had the flu. I spent 3 evenings resting in our room after dinner. And yesterday, I stayed home, sleeping into the morning and eating very little besides Sani’s pasta and vegetable soup twice (“Mom knows how to take care of her children,” she said). Kuku, our nurse student, asks me how I am each time she sees me. This morning, I finally had an appetite for breakfast and no longer feel achy or feverish. I just hope on one else gets this; it was crummy.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Sani was concerned about how I (Janet) was doing this morning; ate only a little breakfast and wished I could just stay in bed today. But we got going in the truck, with Kuku and Hani. Dan dropped us all off at the overpass/bridge to walk across the highway so as not to be late. Kuku catches another bus there to go to here nursing classes, so Hani and I went on the to office, leaving Dan to cope with the “morning commute.”
Sunday was a quiet day. Saturday evening, I (Dan) managed to break my Gateway laptop screen so I have to borrow a spare monitor to use in order to continue working on the FIDA web site. Janet is getting a lot of reading done. Sunday’s service at Central Church (the Nazarene Field Office building) was a good one - the music is beautiful, even if we don’t understand the words. The enthusiasm makes the difference! Another pastor friend translated for us, so we understood what was being preached.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
We recruited Anteneh for his help today in souvenir shopping. We didn’t even plan to buy anything today, just scope out the shops and the prices - with a native! We knew that prices would be higher at the little shops if the shopkeepers saw tourists coming... We met Anteneh at the Field Office and took him for coffee at the corner shop before driving to a good shopping area. There were many beautiful things and we asked the prices on woven goods, rugs, jewelry, baskets, leather and wooden things... until the shops all started to look alike!
Friday, March 6, 2009
Today was my(Dan) day to do the morning devotions at Fayyaa. The challenge was not having something to share, but getting through traffic in time to do it. We left the house early just for this reason with Hani and the boys and the plan was to take the boys to the office and let one to the drivers there take them on to school as was often done. As we moved along the first leg of our daily route it was usually crowded and slow so concern was rising for getting to the office in time to lead devotions. At the end of this first leg is a corner and a opportunity to take a walking bridge across the main highway arriving near the office. I often have been letting Janet and Hani out to take this shortcut while I go with the truck on the only route available which take another 15-30 minutes (due to traffic bottlenecks). Today that was not a workable option...
We’ve been back at FAYYAA since Tuesday. Dan is continuing his work on their web site; he’s on his third (and hopefully, final) software package to do this, but feels that he is finally making good progress. I’m back in the accounting office, updating their financial procedures manual to conform to standards necessary to make contracts with U.S. funding entities. (They’ve hired 2 new gentlemen in this department who are working on inventorying and labeling desks and chairs and computers, according to the funding given to purchase them.) BUT, the electricity was off when we got there... (some refer to this as TIA, This is Africa)
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
It’s already after 10 p.m., but we have to tell about this day full of new things! We did, indeed, organize the store room. We were also able to receive cash from the contributions that were given for our trip from our church and the Waynesville church too. We finished just in time to get going for our lunch plans. We were meeting Ermias and Mulu, and “Mr. Matthew” and Susan Corian, the Indian couple, and their daughter Saumia. Originally, our plan was to have lunch in their home, but there was a water problem since yesterday afternoon, so the lunch moved to the Lucy Restaurant at the National Museum. Over Indian and Chinese and Ethiopian food (and pizza - this place has a great menu!), we got to know each other better.
Yesterday was a relatively quite day. We found out this morning that, because of fighting and conflict in southern Sudan, the various denominations of Sudanese congregations in Addis have decided to fast and pray together today. There may be more than 2,000 gathering and praying about the troubles in their homeland. So our plans have changed, as they often do.