The Spirit of Ethiopia

17 Jun

Ever since we arrived in Addis Ababa, my eyes, ears and nose can’t enough of the spirit of Ethiopia.  First, the traffic here is pretty insane. From what I can tell, there are no traffic laws.  Our driver Tesfy, said that driving here is a “negotiation,” and Tesfy usually wins.  If you are turning left, you go ahead and pull your car out into oncoming traffic.  They will stop for you (by necessity.)  And then you just honk your horn whenever you want to pass someone or if someone starts swerving toward your car.  People also just cross the street wherever they want.  Tight squeezes are the name of the game here.  I have closed my eyes on several occasions.  But today, I told Tesfy that I thought he was the best driver ever.  And that was the truth.  He says there aren’t a lot of car crashes here, and that seems to be the case.  Every driver is well aware of their surroundings…I don’t think they have a choice.

The landscape here is breathtaking.  The city is surrounded by mountains, and colorful houses speckle the hillside.  There are street vendors throughout the neighborhoods selling everything from shoes to butchered oxen (freshly cut for each customer) to bright yellow bananas and grilled corn (which smell amazing.)  The streets are so busy that it is almost overwhelming at times.

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And, all the pretty people!  I have never in my life seen such striking beauty.  There are children dressed in school uniforms running through the streets with book bags bouncing side to side.  Women carry their babies on their backs and hold the hands of the young children as they cross the street.  It is not uncommon for a man to put his arm around another man’s shoulders as they stroll down the road.  Bo keeps commenting at how everyone seems so happy here.

It has rained two out of the four days we have been here.  Which, of course, I love.  We go up on the roof and watch the storms roll in.  Yesterday afternoon, it seemed like the whole city was watching the “football” game between Ethiopia and South Africa.  Each time the ball would get close to the goal, there were squeals from every direction.  Ethiopia won, 2-1!  This means they qualify for the World Cup.  It is the first time in 30 years!  Everyone was so excited.  People were running through the streets in soccer uniforms and waving the Ethiopian flag!  It was so fun to see.

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Needless to say, we feel blessed to experience this beautiful country and its people.  So excited for the next few days!

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6 Responses to “The Spirit of Ethiopia”

  1. Becky Dietz June 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    I know you’re taking in each moment—which is leading up to the BIG moment! I can promise…you will always have a love for this country!

  2. Amy (Dietz) Wright June 17, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    I am aching to be there. What a beautiful country with beautiful people. What is the name of your guest house?

    • shelbyneichoy June 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

      I think it is Al-Ancha??? I am not really sure! We are the only ones staying here right now, and it basically feels like we are in someone’s house. I will check with them tomorrow and let you know! What guest house did ya’ll stay in? Did you enjoy it?

      • Amy (Dietz) Wright June 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

        We stayed at Grace Guest House, only because that is where Hadassah was staying. (The agency’s transition house ran out of room and they put 5 babies in a guest house with nannies.) The owners are very nice, but we felt pretty “stuck” since it was tucked back and away from everything.

      • shelbyneichoy June 18, 2013 at 4:36 am #

        I checked, and it is Al-Ancha. I understand about feeling stuck! Bo and I must really, really love each other, because we spend the majority of the day just the two of us in a small room :).

  3. sittigoldston June 17, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Hello, angels, I am so thankful everything is going good. I miss you so much and cling to every word you write. The pics are amazing and so was the precious way you made you dad’s Fathers Day. I love you bunches!! Give BG a kiss from Sitti.

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