29 March 2008

the edge of your affection broke my skin.

Happy belated Easter! We all rallied in Adama Saturday night at a
guest house owned by a friend of ours, but were kicked out for a last
minute meeting of the Ministry of Police (unannounced for security
reasons). Taking pity on us, they paid for four hotel rooms and
bought us dinner. The following morning, we went to Debre Zeit for
the delicious Mexican food. I may or may not have overdosed on
cheese, but it was worth every bloated minute.

Despite an alarming (but unsurprising) lack of coverage in the
international press, Ethiopia and Eritrea are at it again. Media
access being what it is here, I don't know more than a bus blew up
near the border last week. Speaking from the ground, however, we've
been hearing planes flying over and there's a sudden surplus of
soldiers and police roaming the towns. We haven't quite reached
Israeli levels of automatic weapons on the street, but I suppose I do
live in a podunk mountain town. On the bright side, I'm at least two
days from the border and rumor has it Eritrea doesn't have an air
force that can reach Addis.

If political instability get boring, it appears Ethiopia is headed for
a drought year. Hence the recent inflation across the country and
whispers of another famine in the rural areas. Water cut out across
Assela for a few days this week, and they brought in a water tanker,
which resulted in hours-long lines to fill buckets. The gari
(horsecart) drivers have been making a small fortune since everyone's
dragging twenty-liter cans across town. On top of that, it appears a
great deal of our electrical power comes from hydroelectric sources.
Since there's no water, the electricity has been cutting out for
longer and longer periods. I used to be without for maybe a few hours
each week, that's now becoming several hours per day (or just several
days in a row). Usually in the middle of the day when we'd like to do
something like use the internet or just after sunset, in prime reading
time. Convenient. I'm just glad I shelled out for the propane stove
instead of going the cheap route and trying to rely on electric hot
plates. It's funny how we were all mentally prepared for no
electricity or running water, but since we ended up with it, we
maintained our American indignation about outages and shortages.

Apologies to anyone I ever ridiculed for liking Harry Potter. I read
all 700 pages of book 4 in one night. It's addicting. I understand
now. I still maintain my respect for a woman who can get kids excited
enough to demand their parents take them to a book store at midnight.
In a related development, I've also finished the Lord of the Rings
trilogy. I'm feeling more in touch with pop culture. On the topic of
literature, everyone should go read Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.
It's simply mind-blowing.

I am just nuts for the birds in this country! Seems like every day
there's some new species to amuse me, much to the amusement of the
Ethiopians. The postal service just released a new stamp featuring a
topless woman, so now would be a good time to write me if you want a
semi-risque stamp for your collection.

My shipments of coffee should be arriving soon-ish (some already
have). Let me know if it's good - if not, I'm sorry and you can just
blame it on the Ethiopian post, but if it's good, I'll do it again
sometime.

Nick and Claire, got your mail - you guys are the best!

WIshlist:
-Green, yellow, and red yarn (Ethiopia's flag)
-Cheddar goldfish crackers
-Fritos
-Sour Jelly Bellys
-Those big marshmallow eggs with a thick sugary shell (not Peeps)
-Other rejected post-easter candy
-Twizzlers pull and peel
-Kraft mac and cheese
-Chocolate covered gummi bears
-Gummi anything
-Frosting
-Garlic salt
-Popcorn salt
-Dry pesto seasoning
-***SPF 15 body lotion
-Any other yarn
-Books

1 comment:

Caitlin said...

i'm glad to hear about harry potter! gotta love him:) miss you muchos!!!