Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Where did all the Ethiopia go?

Took a look at a calendar today, and Dave and I have been away for almost eight weeks. It will be officially eight weeks come this Friday morning. So, we have been here for more than half of our placement already. It's gone so fast that we will be back on Canadian soil before we even know it has approached.

It's been an interesting few days since I've posted last. Several members of the NSAC faculty have been here, and Dave and I have been helping them with whatever they need. So we do prep work, attend their lectures, drew a few things for lab, photocopy papers and take attendance. It's been really great to spend some time with people with similar humour, and sharing the culture. I didn't realize how important it is to interact with people who have the same culture, but you really don't notice it until you're completely removed from your comfort zone. It's great to be a part of subtle jokes, as the jokes that we are accustomed to here are funny but just a different way of humour. I can't really describe it, but the faculty from NSAC have kept us laughing. It's been really nice.

We've had to say goodbye to several good friends who are leaving for Europe, which is tough. They were here on a medical project at the hospital, in the last week we've said goodbye to two (Ben and Charlotte). We had to say goodbye to another friend (Linda) about two weeks ago. Anyway, several more are here for a few more months. So we still have some other farenjis (foreigners) who are going through the same sort of changes we are dealing with to hang out with every once in a while.

A few neat things that I have done recently.

Last Sunday, we travelled to Gibe Falls in Seka for the second time. Heavy rains had really swollen the river, and the current was very strong. Solomon wouldn't let us get within three feet of the water as a few students in the past have drowned by swimming underneath the water falls. It was a really nice time with the Canadians, and we stopped to buy some oranges from some sweet little kids on the drive back.

On Monday, I went for a little tour of a local school ABFM Academy. The kids were very pleasant and sang us many songs to welcome us, as well as the national and regional anthems. I have a couple of videos, but I can't get them up due to technical difficulties. Photos have stopped working periodically too, so I'll try that later on today.

The kids aged 3-14 speak three languages at school; Oromic, Amharic and English. All students write exams, even the three year olds in kindergarten. I have an invitation to visit whenever I like, so I'm really excited to go back.

We're still waiting for avocados to be ready so we can do some drop height experimentation on microorganism growth rates. Hopefully they are ready in about a week or so, because I am getting really anxious to get going with it. I've been thinking about it all the time for the past three or four weeks.

I've been watching a fair amount of the world cup, I sort of pick and choose the games I want to see. It's super exciting to watch here, because everyone is really into it. Everyone seems to know each player who plays in the premiership, there are Chelsea, Manchester and Arsenal stickers/flags/keychains/shirts absolutely everywhere.

I'll get the photos up later once things start to function a little better.

See you in 50 days Canada.


Charlotte and I with kids at ABFM

View from the Roof of Honeyland

A wattled ibis flies at night. I was trying to get close and ending up getting this creepy shot.

This is such a nice colour combination. Unsure of the flower name though.

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