Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas from Ethiopia!!

American Christmas here doesn't really feel like Christmas.  I know dressings are just dressings, but I fell like snow and trees and carols from store fronts have been elevated to the Christmas time culture.  Even if the snow if fake.

Not having them here makes it real easy to have the holiday pass me by.  Unless your friend had an amazing package from America that contained this.

It might have been the first time I've slept in a room with a Christmas tree.

While I spent the holiday in Bahir Dar with friends, I was the only who hadn't been to the city before and done the touristy things - namely look at the Blue Nile Falls - so I went by myself.  The Blue Nile Falls is the largest waterfall in Ethiopia and the second largest in Africa.  Though, if that's the case the others on this continent must be really pitiful.

Our guide explained that because there are two dams now that divert water from the Blue Nile before it goes tumbling off a cliff the show is not as spectacular as the display on the back of a one bir note. Apparently the best time to go is rainy season (so, June-Aug) and catch a rare moment when the dams aren't using water for power making.

But really, I think seeing Victoria Falls last year just spoiled me. I'll never see a waterfall as impressive as that.

Dinner was at a local resort, complete with a roaring fireplace in two of four corners.  Just the simple reminder of home set me at ease, and I had a lovely time hanging out with my friends all afternoon and evening.  Here, you get close to people real quick.  It's hard to separate friends from family.  I'll miss them when we're all back in America. But then, I'll be able to call them more often too.

At this point, I have roughly seven months left in country.  It seems a lot shorter on this side than the other.  And as much as I may whine about this place to friends, I do think I'll miss it.

Because even the most random people on the street will shout out 'Happy Christmas' here as you walk by in a way to make you feel welcome.  Or 'Happy New Year' I got that too.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Because you don't see my smiling face enough, I had to give you the option ^_~

1) Me in my house and compound. With a bit of cultural shenanigans for a holiday.  Watch me speak Amharic! Wash dishes! And jump a bonfire!

2) Me making coffee in a traditional setting, complete with costume. I swear, cultural dresses have way to many layers for an African country.

Sorry, Blogger won't let up embedded this one.

Many thanks to Carlin at Ferengi No Habesha for making these two for me.

3) I love the trip to my site, its a great 30-40 minutes down a dirt road with hills and mountains. I don't think this stop motion video does it enough justice, but hey, local music!