Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hinda and Hana Enjoying Macchiatto's

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Hana - Program Direrctor

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Pouring the Coffee

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Asfahah Taking Roasted Coffee Beans Aroma

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Abrehet Roasting Morning Coffee Beans

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Office Entrance

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Hinda at Work

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Our Street and Blue Gate

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Home Sweet Home

Local Shops

Our Patio

Our House

Addis Ababa
April 25, 2012

Hello from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

We arrived here after a long 15 hour flight from Seattle to Dubai, and then an overnight stay in Dubai followed by a 3 ½ flight to Addis where we were met with flowers from Asfaha – our boss and the founder of this organization – African Services Committee..

You have heard the saying:  “All’s well that ends well”.  Hinda left her Kindle on the plane from Dubai to Addis not realizing it was gone until that evening, and we thought – good bye Kindle, but the next morning we went to the airport and Emirates Airline had it locked in their safe waiting for us. Lucky again! 

And luck was with us again, thanks to Hinda searching Craigslist Ethiopia, we moved right in to our new house in a nice part of town.  It is in a compound with another house where the landlord lives with his wife and children. They are very nice people who now provide us with the services of their “househelp”.  They do the cleaning, laundry and cooking 4 nights a week.  Hinda is particularly happy with this arrangement.

Peter is already learning basic Amharic, one of the three major languages spoken in Ethiopia and by the time we leave, he hopes to be able to communicate.  In fact he insists he will!!

This is Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, and it is much cooler that we thought it would be.  Addis is 8,000 feet above sea level, the third highest capital in the world, and the weather is really cool.  At night it is cold, and we need to use a blanket.  The days are a mix of sun and there has been some rain, but not too bad.  Anyway, with us being from Seattle, it is not bad at all.

We are writing this on our third day in the office.  We are working in the Admin Office along with 5 other people.  African Services Committee has 4 medical clinics mostly focused on AIDS.  The main one and largest one is near our office in a very large market from where they draw most of their clients.  We visited it once and found it very clean and well organized.  We will tell you more as time goes by and send photos.  We will also be going to the other 3 clinics starting next week.

Peter is starting to work on helping to make ASC more visible here in Ethiopia, and will also be helping with fundraising.  Hinda will focus more on the clinic management stuff as well as personnel issues.

So far so good. Our colleagues are very nice, friendly, helpful, etc.

This is a very large city and not well laid out – kind of haphazard.  Lots of traffic, lots of street repairs, lots of building going on.  Driving here is as chaotic as all of the other places in Africa and elsewhere we have lived.  We will try to do some short videos  but because of the slooooooooooow internet speed we may not be able to send them.

Today, we needed to cross the street which is being repaired, and there was a big step to jump down.  An old beggar with a cane who wanted some small brr – Ethiopian money.  came over, and gave Hinda the cane and helped her down, and of course Peter then gave him some brr.

Hinda has been having major phone problems with her Blackberry and it is now being fixed by the second repair person – this time an Indian. 

By the way, our mobile numbers are Peter +251 925 480 994 Hinda +251 925 480 993.  We are on Ethiopian time, which is 10 hours ahead of Seattle, so we are usually asleep when you are awake unless you are also in East Africa.

We are doing a lot of waiting – so what else is new.  As our friend Festus always tell Peter, “There is no rush in Africa”, and it is very very true, but it is ok too.  Remember the other saying:  “Americans have watches; Africans have time”.

Ethiopia seems to be a dumping ground for cheap Chinese products which don’t work very well.  We have already bought two extension strips which lasted about an hour each.  Everyone says in one way or the other “Those #@&* Chinese.    Nothing works.

We will be taking a taxi van which holds 12 -15 people for 2.80 brr each way to and from work – about 16 cents.  Not bad huh?

OK for now dear friends and family.  We will attach some photos for you to see and hope enjoy.

Peter and Hinda