Published: March 31st 2012March 31st 2012
Its now week three, almost four of living in Addis Ababa and every day I learn something new. I started my first Amharic tutoring session this week so I will hopefully be able to communicate a little more with the kids at Onesimus and Ethiopians in general very soon. Amharic has its own alphabet which I know very little about, but it looks immensely complicated. I’ve found it is the most important to be literate when you have to get a minibus during rush hour, transportation here is kind of an art, it is quite simple in a way (and absolutely not in other ways). There are contract taxi’s which are regular taxis and the real adventure, are mini-buses or some people call them taxis which I find constantly confusing. Also available are ambasa buses, the biggest and usually the most stuffed with people. Higer buses are a step down and seem slightly more comfortable.
There isn’t an abundance of street signs so with the mini-bus you must know the name of the neighborhood you are going to or a well known landmark near your destination. Mini buses are usually pretty ancient Toyota Hiace’s.
Contract taxis which are equally as old are often Leda’s or some similar model of small car. Both Ambasa(which means lion, the symbol of ancient Abyssina) and Higer buses are newer vehicles, but I have no idea of the model, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter to you in the least.
The best way to describe the traffic here is like a fascinating chaotic ballet. The drivers are dancers who work together to make what seems like an impossible system work… except for when it doesn’t, which I witnessed my second day here. A large truck pushed a small car into the railing separating the road of a roundabout from the sidewalk. Immediately passersby flocked to the scene to make sure the driver was ok. This is something I’ve been told and witnessed many times; Ethiopians are in general very friendly and helpful.
My experience here so far has definitely been more positive and colorful because of the people I’ve met, especially the wonderful staff at Onesimus! These past two weeks I have been helping out by counseling, teaching English and playing with the kids, they especially love it when I bring out
my camera. It seems that my name is a little difficult for them, so I am usually called Alexa, but sometimes also Elsa or Awassa. Alexa, picture picture! One more! I hope to help the organization increase their internet presence so there will be quite a few of my own photo additions as well as from others connected with the organization up soon on their website and facebook page.
Until next time!
Alyssa/Alexa/Elsa/Awassa or whatever else sounds similar…
PS If you'd like to see the Onesimus facebook page and wordpress site, here are the links:http://onesimuscda.wordpress.com/
There are more photos below