Monday, August 19, 2013

Week two in Addis

Since our last post we haven't really escaped our compound or gone on any real adventures. We keep pretty busy with school and the rain limits our explorations. The power outages have been less frequent, but internet connection at home is still hit or miss, when it is a hit we can check e-mail...other activities such as streaming video, Skype, etc. is pretty much a pie in the sky. 

In other news, US Customs had pulled our container off the ship and was searched for weapons of mass destruction; an A-TECT exam (Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team). If customs determines that your cargo needs inspection, the container is contracted to a third-party to be taken to a warehouse a couple of miles from the port. Once at the warehouse the third-party company (Price Transfer Inc.) opens the container and boxes. A-TECT comes in and looks for weapons of mass destruction (yes, that is the real term used). The exam is free but the cost to pull it off the boat and driven a couple of miles amounted to about $1500 (at our expense).   

We were followed by one of the boys during our hike up Mount Entoto...The other guarded our van. 
Daily rain in the school's parking lot.  
There are 2 Bobs and a Rob on campus. Rob hosted a single malt tasting while the other Bob played the hand of Michelangelo's God.   
Q: Where do most of the Canadian's who work at our school live?  
Dance party in Little Canada.  
The band providing the dance tunes.
This is why I carry a Sharpie with me. We decided that our housing complex should be a gang. So I gave everyone Varnero tats. 

Jackie rocking it!
Monica wanted a neck tat. 
Saturday DMV funzies. We are legal to drive. 
The DMV had a cool car museum in it...but no photos allowed.
Ana and the stolen a baby.
Actual size and mean as hell.
Dog day afternoon.
Running track beneath our apartment. The loop is about a quarter km, combine that with the stairs and you have the Varnero mini-gym. Word to the wise: some homies got stuck in the elevator when the power went out the other night-unless you like Russian Roulette, stairs are your best option. If you do get get stuck, scream loud so your friends can come an giggle.  
After the DMV comes car shopping. Fully loaded. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

First week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Q: What are tibs? 
A: Sauteed chunks of strips of Poultry, Lamb, or Beef...think fajitas drenched with ghee (clarified butter). 

If your body isn't accustomed to such delicacies, chances are good that your body will reject it. Let's use Ana for example, back in February during our first visit to Addis she ate a bowl of tibs for lunch and consequences followed. In Egypt we call it Mummy's Tummy, my dad calls it Montezuma's Revenge, other's might refer to it as traveler's tummy. You get the idea. 

We've been in Addis for a week and during that time we've spent the majority of our waking hours with out new cohort. The admin. has been keeping us busy with official and social activities. There has been a lack in downtime, internet, and power. Daily rains, lots of exhaust, and green...a mixed bag for sure.   

The living room of our new digs, got a sweet 3-bedroom apartment. Maybe one day our shipment with our furnishings will arrive-was told this morning that US Customs is holding our container. Great. But that shouldn't keep you from coming to visit us.  
Good news is that there are plenty of beer choices (and cheap), found two that are drinkable. Most are lager-style. At least the labels look cool. 
Tej is an Ethiopian honey wine. Pretty neat that you get a pre-hangover after one glass.
Teacher orientation at our new school has been a blast. There was some sort of dinner event each evening. One of my favorite was the cultural restaurant. Great food, music, and dance show. 
The damage done.
Singing the hits. 
Some of the staff and administration were pulled up on stage to exercise their inner demons. 
Orthodox church. Ethiopia religion breakdown: about 60% Chirsitian, 30% Muslim, 10% into spirits (think paganism).
We thankfully avoided the big downpour during our hike around Mount Entoto. 
Yup, a 4 x 4 is a good idea to explore Ethiopia's hidden gems.
Mount Entoto overlooks Addis Ababa on the way up, but I didn't get any shots that were worth a damn. Here you have green at the top.
The area is densely covered by eucalyptus trees.
We encounter many people and donkeys transporting wood down the mountain.
Looking up.

The boy was triyng to wake up a den of hyenas below. The sound from the whip he cracked echoed through the valley, it sounded like gun shots. 
Almost 12,000 feet above sea level (3700 meters). 
The climb up was literally breathtaking. The 4 km round trip was exhausting being a newbie to the altitude. 
Farms in the valley.
There is not much overgrowth as the livestock in this country do an excellent job of cutting the lawn. 
The supermarket across from where we live. Rumor has it when a donkey, horse, etc. becomes useless to the owner, he will simply let it roam free. 
There is a hill behind our apartment excellent for exploring.

The farmland above where we live. 

Addis continues to grow. 
Several local schools have Teletubbies painted on their walls and doors. What does this mean?  
The path home.
New construction. 
Ryan our neighbor likes to play slug-bug as there are plenty of VW Bugs in Addis. 
Our apartment on a grey and rainy day. 
Pair with: Chinese food, tripe, seafood, and quiche, my kind of boxed wine.
If your drinking a red wine with your omeletts then you might have a slight drinking problem.