If there is one word that I would use to describe this week it would be JET LAG! Excuse me, my computer just informed me that it is actually 2 words. Suffice it to say that I’ve been exhausted. I don’t remember it hitting me this bad before. I was so tired this evening that I turned out the lights and slid into bed at 7:45. I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow. By 9:30 I was wide awake. According to my body it was just an afternoon nap. So here I sit in front of the computer in the middle of the night processing the exciting week that I’ve had and sharing all the boring details with you.
I won’t bother giving specific days of the week because they’ve been scrambled together in my brain. I didn’t exactly hit the ground running. I allowed myself to sleep day one away, not waking until after 2:00pm. That afternoon I went to the office to greet the staff. My breakfast was fandisha (popcorn) and coffee. After spending some time with the staff and few of the kids Winoshet, the cook, served Nega and I some pasta and wat that was leftover from lunch. Nega had worked through lunch so I figure he deserved it more than me.
Day two was house hunting day. Nega and I spent the day meeting with brokers to look at available houses. Brokers are like real estate agents, but they act like the worst stereotypical used car salesmen that you could imagine. I ended up making my choice based on that old real estate saying “location, location, location.” We saw two houses that were really nice, but they were located on rough muddy streets far off the main road and far away from where we’ll spend most of our time. The house I chose isn’t much to look at. Definitely below the standard of living that we’re used to in America (Those of you who know us know that our standard is pretty low already), but it is in an area that we know and that is convenient for us. The house and the compound are fairly roomy and it is semi-secluded so that we won’t be bombarded when we leave the house. It’s within walking distance of a shopping center and café, a few good restaurants, a grocery store, and the church that we usually attend. It’s also just one taxi ride away from the office and the language school.
Today started kind of rough. I overslept and missed breakfast. I got downstairs just as the kitchen staff was clearing the tables. One of the friends that I’ve met here at the guesthouse noticed my sleepy, bewildered look and invited me to eat a couple of muffins that he had squirreled away. Then it was rush, rush, rush to get out the door to meet to sign the rental agreement for the house. It was a damp and drizzly morning, but we got it all done. Nega was then released from babysitting me and could go back to his real job. I went to find some coffee and run some errands. I went back to the store to try to get my internet working. It took two days to complete the process so I assumed that it was finished. I should know better. There is apparently some mysterious process still ongoing at the telecommunications office. We have to wash away our American mindsets here. You can’t just go about checking tasks off of a list and you certainly can’t let the completion of those tasks define the value of the day.
In the afternoon I rode back out, just because I didn’t feel like being cooped up in the guesthouse. I went to buy a few little odds and ends. On the way back the car broke down. Once again I was the helpless ferengi (that’s what they call white people here) waiting to be rescued by Nega. I sat on the side of the busy road and just waited. Finally, when Nega arrived the engine had cooled enough to start. We filled the radiator with water and took it to the garage. It seems that the water pump went out. It also seems that I’ll be getting reacquainted with the taxi buses sooner than I’d hoped.
The only other thing to mention is the friends that I’ve met here at the guesthouse. Yesterday morning I sat down to breakfast with a family of seven from Australia. The dad is an Anglican minister on a break from work, well sort of. He’ll actually spend six weeks teaching at a church in Bahir Dar. They invited me to go to church with them on Sunday. I happily accepted. Last night I met Trent (the guy who shared his muffins), his wife and their two kids. They are here to work with street kids also. As we talked Trent realized that he had met Joe last year on the plane while they were both traveling to Ethiopia. They are just starting out on a five year stay. Since we had a lot in common we talked on for quite a while. It’s nice to stay at this guesthouse because there always seems to be families here. Getting to merge in to one of these families even if it’s just for a brief meal helps to ease the pain of separation from my own family.
There you have it. All in all things a moving along nicely and I’m doing well. I hope to be able to move into the house next week. We also have a group from Memphis coming later in the week. Part of the group will be doing a medical and dental ministry and part of the group will be doing discipleship training.