June 16, Sunday – GOALL in the Rift Valley.

By Tiffany Abera

My favorite sport is soccer or football in the rest of the world. Today was the World Cup qualifying match for Ethiopia v. South Africa.  A little background information about Ethiopian soccer…they don’t exactly suck they just never had the opportunity to really play internationally.  South African soccer is fantastic. So imagine this game as the story of David and Goliath.  Little David would be the Ethiopian football team standing up against the Goliath of South Africa.  The archbishop said that they would win, but would win politely. And win politely they certainly did! The whole city was buzzing with excitement and pride.  The weather was unusually perfect which could have only been a sign from God that this game was blessed! 😀 There were flags everywhere on cars, hanging outside of buildings and office windows, everyone was wearing their jersey and the stores shut down (except for the restaurants and bars) so that all could watch or listen to the game.

Unfortunately I was in the car on my way to Nazret, a small town two hours south of Addis in the Rift Valley, to begin my field research for KVI.   I was stuck with the radio that was only in Amharic and the reception grew weaker the more we continued to drive.  As we drove along the countryside everytime there was a goal all cars on the road would honk like crazy!  By the time that we had driven into the hotel at Nazret the game was over and the town was on fire! Literally and figuratively. Only small fires though and nothing large enough to burn down the town. Children, women, men, dogs, and everything else that had legs swarmed in to the streets yelling, screaming and jumping for joy.  They stood on top of vans, trucks or cars and drove around the town proclaiming the good news. It was surely a sight to see. I could only imagine what it was like in Addis if the little town of Nazret was this crowded and busy.

We ate dinner, I was attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes and we headed back to the hotel.  However, upon further investigation of my room I had some extra visitors. A lot of extra visitors.  It seemed that there were hundreds of cockroaches crawling and falling from the walls, curtains, chairs and on the floor.  I lost it. I was hysterically crying at the thought that I would be staying here for a month.  I did what I normally wouldn’t have done and called my husband.  He thought I was in danger and when I told him the cockroaches were coming to get me he laughed, but in a loving I have a silly wife.  Luckily, his uncle was close by and he said that he would fix it tomorrow.  I slept under the mosquito net with the lights and TV on the whole night. Actually, I didn’t really sleep I just laid there cringing at the thought of roaches crawling under the sheets.  I hate roaches.

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