So I’ve been a little rude. I wrote my entire first blog post from Ethiopia without really introducing you to the folks who are essentially being paid to be my best friends, bodyguards, tour guides, eating buddies, and walking wikipedias while I’m here. Cute huh? You should probably drown them in compliments in the comments so that I’m in a little bit less trouble in the morning for posting the ‘after’ shot from our four-hour walking excursion in the midday African sun. Also, I suspect a lot more ‘don’t blog about this’ regulations to come into effect after this post so enjoy it while it lasts! Also also, all the local guys keep giving me the ‘awwww yeah’ nod on the street because they think I’m dating both of them which is about as awesome as our failed attempts to convince schoolkids that I am in fact internationally treasured vocal talent and cultural icon Justin Bieber.
Emma (on the left) and I synced up in Toronto and somehow managed to survive an eight-hour flight to Frankfurt, a five-hour layover, and an eight-hour flight to Addis without causing each other bodily or emotional harm. This is her first trip overseas for War Child but she’s spent plenty of time in South Africa and has been involved with the organization since high school. She was the first dedicated fundraiser hired for War Child Canada (I’m 98% certain that’s true and if it isn’t, I’ll have an internet source that says otherwise momentarily when I hit publish), had a mad crush on Lester B. Pearson, freely admits to watching Teen Mom, and has no hesitations about running up to attractive European men for directions when it is loosely suggested that she should take one for the team. She’s legit. As are cute European travelers.
Linda (on the right, but you already knew that because clearly I haven’t gone all Castaway and started naming bottles of vinegar…yet) was ever so kind to meet us at the airport when we landed so that Emma and I wouldn’t just give up on life and set up camp in the arrivals section for two weeks. She’s a program manager for War Child which basically means she spends time in several countries to assist the local partner organizations in managing their administration, finances, partnerships, and building the skills needed within these teams to make sure the communities get access to new training and skills throughout the program. Linda flew up to meet us here fresh off two weeks in the Congo. She has worked in development in well over 40 countries around the world, she answers most of my questions and makes up entertaining lies whenever she’s in doubt, her original career aspirations were to become Indiana Jones (I’d say she’s done alright there), she takes on all the hard jobs like haggling and warding off pickpockets, and gets pretty serious about her Yahtzee.
Blog friends? Emma and Linda.
Emma and Linda? Blog friends.
We already have our little family routines because we’re super adorable. Cereal, yogurt and boiled eggs in the morning, fruit smoothies in the afternoon, wat and injera for dinner, some other activities that don’t involve eating from time to time, and consistently making fun of me for recognizing terrible pop songs that play in random places. Today’s selection was headlined by Next’s Too Close. Oh yes, not even in Ethiopia can you escape their smooth vocals about getting erections on the dance floor.
We spent most of today hoofing it all over old town in search of cheap silver jewelry and fantastic Ethiopian espresso beans, posing rather inappropriately with historical treasure Lucy the Skeleton, getting really angry about Ethiopian directions that sent us an hour and a half in the wrong direction in search of the Holy Trinity Cathedral only to find it and realize we couldn’t go in because it was in session, and almost dying several times in a cab but found peace in knowing that our death would be cushioned by pink fur which is apparently a suitable replacement for seat belts.
Tomorrow we hit the largest market in Africa and visit the kids at their theatre rehearsal which I am far too excited about. But for now, check out some of the pics from today’s adventures.