Modern Tales of a Southern Girl in an Ancient Land
2 December 2007
After spending a day of rest in Addis Ababa, we all returned back to Welisso from our respective assignment sites.We got off the bus and walked into the familiar compound of our training center.We entered the building and joyfully greeted our training director and the few language and culture instructors who were working inside.We collected all the mail that had accumulated for us over the course of two weeks without a mail call, and we sat down at the patio tables to commence the traditional mass opening and sharing of our new treasures.We ordered wetet be buna (coffee and milk).After the packing debris had settled, the letters laughed and cried over, and the packages plundered, I walked home down the familiar dirt road to my house.Along the way, I greeted all my neighborhood children, who, after my week-long absence, exuded even more enthusiasm than usual in yelling and running after me to shake my hand.I passed my bashful, grinning little boys next door as they stood in their doorway, the shorter one directly in front to create the visual effect of a gleeful Ethiopian totem pole.As they greeted me by name, I flashed them the broadest smile I could physically muster, trying desperately to match theirs.I opened my gate to see my beautiful little host siblings out in the yard (with new haircuts!I missed so much in just a week!).I entered the house to be embraced warmly by my mama and Rebkah, and I spent the rest of the evening sitting at the dining room table with the family, telling stories about Debremarkos, receiving their familial advice, and hearing soccer updates from Malike.It felt just like coming HOME.
I'm here in Ethiopia for the next couple of years. I'm experiencing new things, encountering new ideas, and generally trying to sort out myself and the world around me. I'm meeting new people, discovering their stories, and opening myself up to be profoundly impacted by them. Hopefully along the way I'll do some good.
The views expressed on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Peace Corps or the governments of Ethiopia or the United States.