Monday, 30 September 2013

Addis housing plan

 In some areas of Addis there are many condos like these - and plenty more on the way due to a new Government scheme. These type of dwellings are where the middle class might live in Addis, being in between big houses that some wealthy Ethiopians live in and the shack type housing that many poor Ethiopians live in. Tthe condos photographed are where a friend of ours lived until recently.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

my bucket list just got longer

A new thing on my list of 'things I really must do one day' is to travel in one of these three wheeled taxis - there are not really many around our part of town, but plenty not too far away that I should be able to tick this one off one day not long from now!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

water again

Our water situation has probably improved from what it has been - some days we do have water for some of the day in addition to the evening, but we still have a significant amount of most days without running water.

Previously we were using the water tanks (pictured) as our back up supply when the city water was off for some reason, but we have had problems with the tanks and the water system in Bingham in general the past few months, with multiple leaks in the system.

These really do cause our team big headaches as some of the leaks have been very difficult to locate as they are underground and therefore not at all obvious, please be praying for our water to be sorted out soon.

Friday, 27 September 2013

meskel and (hopefully) the end of the rains

Today is a public holiday called Meskel to mark the 'discovery of the true cross'. We celebrated at Bingham again this year, with a bonfire and desserts party outside last night.

 The Ethiopians say that Meskel is when rainy season ends, and having been here for the entire rainy season that is truly something to celebrate and seems a wonderful reason to have a day off school (although last year we do remember that was not entirely true)!

We have cleaned the mud off the wellies/rain-boots ready to pack them away and I have just ordered a picnic table for our garden to celebrate the next 9 or 10 months of sunshine. Bring it on!

[We blogged last year about Meskel which you can read here to learn a little more about what it is all about.]

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

giant ants

Dear Friends in the UK,

In case you need something to be grateful for today, you can be thankful that you do not have army ants. They bite and hang on for dear life when you try and brush them off and make you look like a crazy person doing some kind of weird dance to remove them once you reach your destination.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

house (extremely loud) fun

This week saw another house t'shirt wearing day and some house fun. It is amazing at times to think that we have been here for a year already - but with New Year happening AGAIN and then the house spirit rally happening AGAIN, it would seem that it is true and there is something actually quite settling about that :-)
 The kids (and teachers) are in three houses - please be cheering loudly from wherever you are for Carey (yellow).

Saturday, 14 September 2013

out of the city to Destemender

About 20km from Bingham is Destemender - a little spot of peaceful tranquility away from the city which we visited during the rainy season break with Mark.

There is a small farm managed by women who have been unable to be helped successfully by the fistula hospital and do not wish to or can not return to their homes.

Friday, 13 September 2013

five residents - finally!

We finally got Lily's residence ID through a week or so ago. It took them so long to process that they requested updated photos of her - as she looked too young in the original ones!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

dirty nappies

The laundry has been a problem here for weeks now. And today I just lost it with Joshua - he'd put a dirty t'shirt in his desk and I happened to discover it. I have no idea really why it was easier for him to put it there rather than the washing basket, but there you go. Maybe it was to avoid the groaning from his mum every time she sees more washing appearing that is nearly impossible to get done! I didn't really mean to be THAT cross about a dirty t'shirt and I did apologise to him afterwards, but I think it reflects the stress of doing laundry here.

Really it is not about a dirty t'shirt in the wrong place, it is knowing that I am about to run out of clean nappies and that there is no chance of washing the t'shirt. I washed the nappies about 48 hours ago. Except the water stopped and so the washing machine stopped. Then when the water returned I tried again, and the power went off. Then I tried again when the power returned. Eventually the washing machine finally completed the wash the night before last after about 8 hours and about 6 trips to re-set the machine.

rain while fruit shopping

On the way home from the grocery store we thought we'd stop quickly at the fruit and veg man. As we reached the street the rain started and as we left this is what the street looked like - up and down the road from where we were. This is crazy rain - all the road was flooded in both directions all within a few minutes!!

The rain was so heavy we didn't want to get out of the car - my friend's solution was to ask for a kilo of everything from inside the car ;-)

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Melkom Addis Amet!

Happy (Ethiopian) New Year!

Ethiopia has now entered 2006. Today is a public holiday so we are enjoying a mid-week day off school. Ethiopian families will celebrate together, my house-help friend said that they will be eating the traditional doro wat (chicken in sauce), but I'm thinking lots of people will be eating that cow that was my neighbour for the last 48 hours! The boys enjoyed watching it be butchered yesterday, quite an interesting life for them at times!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

you know there's a holiday coming up when...

...there are animals in surprising places... a cow on the school field.

To explain - Ethiopian New Year is tomorrow and whenever there is a holiday the Ethiopian workers bring a cow or a couple of sheep to the school, butcher it and then share out the meat to take for their families!

Monday, 2 September 2013

a little bit of culture at Yod

 While Mark was here we went to watch a little bit of Ethiopian music and dancing. The dancers changed outfits for each different dance, which seemed to be possibly telling some kind of story?

There was one dance where you worried that the ladies heads might actually fall off and another where they all seemed to be doing some kind of chicken impression - you should really come and visit us and see this for yourself!! I am not sure how it compares with other places as it was the first dancing I'd seen here, but was fun for a change!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

our ten pin bowling experience

We recently discovered that there is a place not far from us where we can go ten pin bowling so we gave it a try.

This is like ten pin bowling elsewhere in that there are balls that you bowl at the pins down the alley. But there are a few differences:

  • You get given not only shoes but also socks - on a one size fits all basis
  • The alley is not quite flat, so even if you are amazing at bowling you might find that the ball doesn't go exactly where you are expecting
  • The electronic score board doesn't work - so a man comes and sits with you to keep the score for you (and disappears every now and then!)
  • Sometimes the balls get stuck and the man runs off and tries to get them out again
  • Sometimes the skittles fall down by themselves and you may or may not get the point for the ones that fell down depending on how the man feels!
But it was still fun and I'm sure we'll be back again one day!