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Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Awasa
June 25th 2009
Published: June 25th 2009
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Let’s see… It is one o’ clock on a Tuesday or Wednesday. I am at my house being completely lost at the fact I have had electricity for some part of the day since Saturday. I had power all day Saturday and Sunday, which never happens. I am just waiting for the power to get cut off for a good three or four days in a row. I am stocked on candles so that won’t be a problem. Chris Woodling or Biker as some people know him came out for a week and we had a great time. I won’t talk about that week because I plan on letting him do it with it being his first week in Africa. I am sure he will have some amazing observations and it will give you a break from my aimless narrations.

Work - Related

So with my resource mapping project, I totally nailed it as far as why it got passed so quickly. HAPCO (Ethiopia’s HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office) sat down with the organization I have been volunteering at and when asked what information would you like to find out, all that was responded was funding sources. They are going to spend $20,000USD to train nearly 100 people to go out and conduct this survey while paying per diem for 25 days and all they would like to find out is how organizations are getting funding. What can you do? It will at least give our organization a lot of room to work with and get some good data.
I got elected to be on the PAC, Project Activities Committee. That pretty much means that three times a year I got to Addis and meet with my bosses and go over everyone’s project reporting forms. Then we discuss what is working and what is not. Then, ideally, draw up a Project Database with possible partners, and possible projects. Hey, I am all about it.

So from Addis we had 15 people come down to the South of which only 9 live here. One night we slept seven people in my house. I t was so much fun. Luckily I had just got my couch so we pulled all the cushions off and used my bed and yoga mat, and slept 7 people comfortably. I love my Peace Corps Family. Then after they all left and I put Biker on a bus to Addis, I kind of felt like a mother who had sent all her children to college. It was just me. The worst part of that was I got my phone stolen or lost it. Either way, I don’t have it anymore. So I couldn’t call anyone. It was a pretty rough week. I would say now I have gotten back into my rhythm.
I have a new goal for the next three months. On my floor next to my arts & crafts table is a stack of 22 books. I plan on reading all of these in the next three months. I started this goal about 10 days ago. Since then I have read Catch 22, two David Sedaris books (He is absolutely hilarious), Hemmingway - Green Hills of Africa, and this other book called Contrary to Popular Belief. Last night, I started Lord of the Flies. I wonder if I will be able to finish it (I didn't). To make things move according to plan, I am doing one book that may be a struggle for me and then a book that is fun.
I have decided that I am probably going to start saving up for a refrigerator. I know I am getting a lot of mean looks from everyone reading this. I have just gotten so tired of making meals for one person and if I make too much, I have to feed it to the dogs or throw it away. Also, it wouldn’t be like it would always work anyway. I think I am going to have other people in the South to buy shares of $20-$30USD and in turn, I will provide cold beer whenever they come into town. That is almost worth it in itself. The problem with anything that wasn’t made in this country is sold at fair market price. So while I can get a kilo of Bananas for less than 2 dimes in US currency, a refrigerator is still around $200 USD. I should be able to get it in August. The refrigerator will also allow me to make big meals and reheat them. AHHHH!!! I am so excited.
My candy supply has completely run dry, which is mildly saddening. I don’t get the intense cravings for candy I used to. Now I get cravings of things I rarely eat. The other day I was at a restaurant and eating some food and the smoke from the trash fire down the street flew in my nose as I had a mouthful of food. All at once, my entire body started screaming UTZ Crab Chips. I really can’t explain. I have to say that Dark Chocolate never gets old though.
One other thing that I have found I like are Crosswords. My friend, Sarah, in Minnesota sent me a week’s worth in her package. I did the Monday in like an hour or two during my coffee time without cheating. I felt I was on a roll so I tried the Tuesday and after a while I had to put it down because apparently the difficulty curve is exponential for crosswords. Oh well, I guess if they were easy they would call them Sudokus.
So I have been getting these weird intestinal cramps, almost like indigestion. I called my medical officer and he said I need to be more careful eating food where the national flavor is spicy. My malaria medicine is also partly to blame so they said if it continues, I am going to get put on some special malaria medicine. This will be my third malaria medicine, if I am switched. I was hoping I was going to have something cool like amoebas or some other stomach parasite but nope just indigestion. Oh, well.

I feel I do a lot of complaining on here and I want to apologize. It is just easier to remember things you are sore about as opposed to those which went according to plan. It’s back to second grade, I only pick on this country because I like it so much.

Anyways, I am still having a blast. I am learning new skills everyday. I think tonight I am going to do this really amazing dolphin paint by numbers. I don’t know, I like to keep my options open. For those of you, who make my weeks with your phone calls, I will have a new phone card in a few days. I am just going around Peace Corps so I can get something to talk on. Until next time…


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