June 8 & 9, Saturday, Sunday – I don’t feel so good…

By Tiffany Abera

First weekend was full of interesting things.  I got to meet the other intern that will be here for a month with me. She will be working at the orphanage with me but on a different assignment.

Saturday Neti and I decided that we were going to venture out in to Bole to find the internet café. Boy did we have a journey! I remembered which taxis to take and as we got in to the last taxi to our destination it took a different route because of the traffic.  I’m pretty good with directions but I have to at least see where I am going once.  Needless to say we got lost and ended up in the completely opposite direction.  But hey it’s a part of the “Ethiopian Experience”! We did eventually get to the café although hot, sweaty and hungry.

There was going to be a celebration at the orphanage with a bonfire, food and singing so we had dressed in our comfortable workout attire so that we wouldn’t dirty our nice clothes.  I kid you not we had people left and right asking if we were athletes. Lol They are very fashion conscious here so naturally they assumed that if we were dressed in yoga pants and running shoes we were going to or coming from the gym.  I even had a German lady at the café ask me where the gym was that we came from and I’m sure that it didn’t help that we were sweaty from the taxi ride.  It was funny to think that they noticed something that seemed so insignificant to me. Everyone wears work-out clothes back home even if they don’t work out. When I put on my clothes that morning I definitely wasn’t expecting to receive that much attention.  I even told Neti to start telling people that I am training with Haile (for those of you who don’t know who he is just Google Haile Gebresalassie).

We finally made our way back to Kotebe to the orphanage for the party and we started thinking that we were going to be late but then I remembered that this is in African Time. In other words the party had just started.  There were, however, two guests that were missing that were present earlier in the day; the goats. Yes, they were now cooking in the pot on top of the fire. I was incredibly glad that I wasn’t around to witness any of that. The party was fun and there was singing and eating and other general party things.  But I began to feel terrible. Real sick.

Sure enough later that night I was beginning to feel the first signs of something. I ended up sweating out a fever and was coughing and sneezing all over the place. Come Sunday I was a mess. I ate breakfast and went straight back to bed for pretty much the entire day.

Also forgot to mention a few things: didn’t get to do much work on the research or the questionnaire and our “guesthouse” referred to by some and a “pension” by others is a hell hole. Granted it did have a hot shower and a functioning toilet, but I could do without the three bars playing music til 3:30 am or the one night occupants staying the night or the foul smell or the bugs or the dirty well everything.  We are leaving on Monday to find a better place. Thank the Lord God above for that!

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