Deniall



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First taste of Injera(Back)

This week's main activity has again been settling in, and I am beginning to feel at home here. Deciding to stay on compound does seem to be the right decision, as there is so much going on here, and its a great opportunity to get to know all the other staff, on wed night, one of the other IT teachers, Phil Griffin, had his 50th birthday so we all had a surprise birthday party for him. Whether he knew or not is hard to say, but it was good fun.

Yesterday I had my first sample of teaching, as one of the teachers had to go and sort out a new driving licence so she asked me to cover her classes. They all had exams which she had given, so there wasn't much for me to do, and these kids are so well behaved, it was a case of saying "Quiet, the test is started" and there wasn't another sound till the class was over. The big question on thursday was whether or not we were going to have a holiday today; the Muslim Ramadan fast has been on, and at the end there is a public holiday in Ethiopia. However, the end of Ramadan is decided after the 29th day, and depends on someone being able to see the moon in Mecca, if they see it, then the end of Ramadan is the next day, otherwise; one more day of fasting takes place. Thus, the public holiday would fall on friday or Saturday. All of the school, teachers and students, were hoping that the moon could be seen in Mecca. Anyway, that was the case, and we had today off. All of the boarding kids (only about 8 or 9 kids actually live on campus, the rest live in Addis) decided to have a party to celebrate, we played some stupid games, and I taught some silly games I've learned from various places. A good night, and an opportunity to get to know the kids better, they are a great bunch of kids.

So today was fairly relaxed, some of us went for a walk around the market place near to campus, and then we decided to head down town to a little cafe called The Lime Tree, where there is free wireless internet, we arrived, ordered some chips and a few drinks, and tried in vain to get on the internet. It was the most white people I have seen in one place other than the Bingham compound since I arrived in Addis. Clearly its where all the foreigners go, all with their laptops. However, noone was able to get online, so we had to make do without. Its something to get used to here, things only work part of the time, be it electricity, internet, water, whatever. If you wake up in the morning and really want a shower, you may just have to wait.

This evening, I headed off with some of the other staff who had friends visiting, we went to the Sheraton Hotel, a very fancy place, to watch the dancing fountain display that occurs every friday night. I've seen the fountain display in Barcelona, but I found this one a lot more enjoyable because, although its a much smaller scale, the display seemed to be much more in time with the music, sometimes remarkably so, and the music was much more familiar.
After the display was over we headed to a traditional Ethiopian restaurant, to sample some of the Ethiopian speciality, injera. Its a kind of pancake, which is made from flour and water that is left to ferment for a few days so it has a sour taste. The restaurant staff bring a large flat dish, covered in a huge pancake of this, onto which various spicy meat and vegetable dishes are spread. Then they bring round a kettle filled with warm water, and a large dish with soap and the waiters go around everyone at the table, pouring water for you to wash your hands in. There is no cutlery in sight, and everyone starts in, tearing off a piece of the injera and using it to scoop up some of the meat/vegetable dishes in the middle, its a tasty dish, though I made sure that I had plenty of saucy things in every mouthful; the injera itself is not so nice on its own. The entertaining thing in the restaurant was the music, as traditional live musicians were playing in the background of all this. There were various types of traditional stringed and woodwind instruments, as well as a guy playing away on animal skin drums. It was great music, very lively. Throughout the course of the night, there were various singers and dancers who performed with the musicians, some of the female dancers were swinging their heads around so violently, it seemed as if their heads would fly off, or at least have a fairly stiff neck the next day!!! Next week the school is off for half term and most of the staff are heading away, so I managed to join in with some of the others on a trip to a place about 2 hours away. I haven't actually started driving yet, as I was unable to take the SIM drivinq test this week, though I'm booked in for next week after I come back. After the break, I'll start into teaching; the first time I've actually had to formally teach a class, so remember this in prayer!

Anyway, thats all for now. Thanks for the comments, its nice to hear from you all back home!!!
Niall

Posted at 12 October, 2007, 12:00pm


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