So, we're coming up on three months in Addis Ababa. Here's a recap of recent events:
- We finally got the last of our household effects and our consumables shipments on Nov. 9. So all our stuff is here!
- Well, not our car. Thanks to screw-ups by no fewer than three parties involved in the shipping of our vehicle, it didn't even make it to the continent of Africa until a few weeks ago, and is "supposed" to reach Addis the very weekend I am typing this. Then, only 3-4 weeks to get cleared and registered before we *might* see it.
- D-What and I attended the Marine Ball. My tux, last worn at the Marine Ball in Seoul in 2003, still fits!
- D-What made a quick work trip to Harar, and I took a day trip outside of Addis to the Blue Nile gorge and Debre Libanos (photos on Flickr, link at right). Much like in China, I think the key to an enjoyable assignment is to get out of the city frequently.
I think we're fully into the routine of life here. Some "new" observations since my last entry:
- Chicken breasts and chicken eggs frequently seem to be in short supply.
- Our household staff (and I believe Ethiopians in general) use an insane amount of sugar in their coffee - and that is coming from yours truly, a bona fide sugar fiend.
- The average Ethiopian's day seems to consist of a lot of standing around - whether they are tending their livestock in the field, hanging out on the sidewalk (or more likely in the road), or working construction (building *or* road).
- Relatedly, we have heard that the construction on Bole road, the nearest main road to our house that we would use extensively if it were open, might be finished in two years - just in time for us to leave.
And, a few things we / I have been adjusting to here:
- Starting to finally be "comfortable" at the altitude here. I still tire faster than usual with exertion (lifting/moving furniture, doing lots of stairs, etc.) but it's better than before.
- Limited supplies of foods - we've to to snatch up certain things if they're in stock because they might not be there next time.
- Being awakened multiple times a night (almost every night) by roaming packs of dogs. Usually I am a proponent of animal protection, humane societies, that sort of thing - but this dog situation is ridiculous and I am a hair's breadth away from requesting that the poisoned meat be put out (something they do here to control the dog population).
- Since we couldn't ship pressurized or liquid products, I had to look for alternatives to the shaving cream I had been accustomed to using. Before we left the U.S. I settled on "old timey" shaving soap and a badger hair brush. Still trying to figure out a good technique for getting a good lather - if anyone knows about this sort of thing I'm open to advice.