|Cien and his Seratana in our new house in Jan Meda. That bag on the left is my Platypus Water Filter...an absolute necessity for visitors with persnickety stomachs.|
Aside from this caveat emptor, feel free to visit! There are so many wonderful things about this city. From the fruit and veggie stands on EVERY CORNER, the uhmaaaazing coffee at nearly every restaurant, to the posh hotels that offer free wi-fi (where I conveniently go to update my blog!)...Addis has a little bit for everybody.
|Cien eating a dessert we mooched on the rooftop deck we couldn't afford to swim in|
|Cien and Tananaya, our Seratana|
|Dinner, Day 1: Two bags of Ramen Noodles and a piece of bread :)|
Cien and I left for Kololo, a small village in the Kambata region of Ethiopia just south of Addis, early Wednesday morning to get a set on the first bus. If you have never been to an African bus yard, you need not rush. It is quite an experience. Imagine 2000 people clamoring for several seats, hundreds of young boys or teens scurrying about trying to match up people with the buses headed to their destination (and earning a Birr or two in the process), random people just looking angrily at you, 50 large buses with 60 seats and 120 passengers in them, and several minibuses crammed with tired looking people and decked out with luggage on the roof of the vehicle. Yea.
Our journey was somehow miraculous, although unbeknownst to me. It apparently is customary to have significant lag times between buses, as well as to be on the bus with about 3 people per seat. We waited for VERY little time, and aside from being stranded in Hidero and having to pay a guy with a pickup truck 300 Birr to drive us the 15 minutes to Kololo, traveling was as smooth as eggs! Cien has often told me since that I am magic. Every trip we have taken has been extremely smooth and easy....apparently he has lived here for two years suffering things I have yet to see from Ethiopian transportation! Cien warned me to wear my shiny new raincoat on the bus and to bring headphones. A raincoat because people here in Ethiopia are not used to traveling in cars and get motion sickness...leading to massive amounts of vomit; and headphones to drown out the many sounds of Amharic radio music and people yelling to each other. No vomit, and the headphones kept me occupied for hours as I listened to Chris Tomlin's new album and Jack Johnson watching the countryside. I should have brought a small pillow for my butt. The roads here are in terrible condition and 14 hours of bump-bump-bump is tough on a skinny man. We went from Addis to Hosaena, to Hidero, to Kololo...a tiny little mountain village set up in a jungle area. It's a 30-45 min walk to any town with a market, and has quite a few hyenas, but it was to be my home for several weeks.
|From Left: Ichigu, Andiso (Village Minister), Andiso's children, Sallomnesh, and Shoa|
As far as cleanliness goes...I'll get to that in a later post. It deserves its own post.
|Cien's bed in Kololo|
Tomorrow was to be my first full day of jungle living! The adventure begins!