Happy Month-ish-a-versary!!

Emphasis on the “ish”. It’s officially been 43 days since I flew out of PHL with two suitcases, a duffel, a backpack and a colony of butterflies in my stomach.

It’s been a month(ish) of living out of suitcases, eating new foods and meeting new people who are crazy in the same way as me. It’s been a fantastic rollercoaster.

In honor of this anniversary-ish, here are a list of superlatives, and random facts.

And some fun pictures.

The compound rooster, with his legs loosely tied together to stop him from flying over the fence into the neighbor’s yard.

What do I miss most? My dog, Luciano. Sorry everyone.

Person I miss most? Danielle. (Duh.)

Food I miss most? Tough, but I’ve got to go with prosciutto. Salty Italian meats, oh how I love and miss you.

Text that has made me laugh the hardest? Lisa and Joe – your response to my shower in Addis. 💗💗💗😁  I’m telling people here that story and sharing the laughs. I love you both.

Best communication method? Surprisingly? Email. Letters take about a month. Text is tough for anything lengthy.

(Feel free to email me, if You’ve got my address. Feel free to ask someone if you don’t.)

Most painful thing I’ve seen? The way animals are treated here. Hands down. The US has a HUGE problems with the way animals are treated – livestock and labs (—> cosmetics testing), but here it’s blatantly in the open. And it’s painful.

Most beautiful thing I’ve seen? Lake Langano. Mostly because I was able to swim in it last week. It was miraculous.

Best thing I’ve eaten here? Freshly fried samosas. Called “sambusas”, they’re fantastic. And cheap.

Best coincidence I’ve encountered? My sister and I are 7 years apart and share a birthday. My host sisters are 5 years apart and share a birthday! Way cool.

A monkey seen on a friend’s roof.

andom Facts:Of the 32 days I’ve been in Butajira, it’s rained at least 25 of them. The rainy season ends in September, so until then, I’m going to keep congratulating myself on bringing my rain boots.

  • The tops of glasses and mugs are just suggestions here. Water tension is tested on the daily. If it’s not about to spill, the glass isn’t full enough.
  • An invitation to someone’s house for coffee, even casually as you’re waking home, isn’t actually a coffee invite. It’s an invite for a full meal.
  • Salt is though of as slightly unnecessary. Nothing here is salty enough for me. But red pepper (berbère) is in almost everything.
  • There is a wide array of technology here in Butajira – even flat screen TVs! But electricity is super spotty.
  • The Ethiopian New Year is coming up! Ironically it’s on September 11th. Also, they follow a different calendar year as well, so it’s going to turn 2010 here. I get to see that happen again!
Lake Langano! Because it’s silty, certain bacteria can’t grow, and therefore it’s safe to swim in! 😁

Peace Corps Ethiopia:

Well, this section is more accurately “About Peace Corps Ethiopia G17”. I don’t know enough yet to give an overview of the program(s) here.

  • We are a group of 40. We’ve been split into a group of 10 that went north to Tigray and 30 that are here in the south. The 30 of us down south are split between three towns – Kela, Bu’i and Butajira.
  • We are called “G17” because we’re the 17th group serving in Ethiopia since the country opened back up to the Peace Corps in the 2007.
  • We’re all going to be teaching HS.  – the odd numbered groups are education, the even number groups are health and agriculture sector volunteers.
  • The health and ag volunteers come to Ethiopia in January. Education comes in June so we can start the school year in September.
  • Our classrooms will probably have 60-100 students. Maybe more. Probably not less.

I’ve had some tough days recently – there’s nothing like getting sick to make you rethink anything, but today was good.

We started teaching a 3-week English camp, creating lesson plans from the text book for whatever grade we’re teaching. (I’m with 10th.)

The first day was anxiety inducing. But I’ve been able to draw out and connect with quite a few of my students; and despite the names being really foreign to my tongue, I’m figuring them out. And laughing along the way.

Friday’s class was excellent. I felt super comfortable, despite the fact I’m getting over being sick. Today I feel like I can do this thing.

And tomorrow is Sunday – I get to sleep in!!!!!

So. Excited.


*about the title – there are so many meals a day. Breakfast, mid morning “shai buna”, lunch, pre-dinner snack, dinner, and post-dinner coffee.

How many days look. Our local “buna” (coffee) place.

9 thoughts on “Living the Hobbit Life*

  1. Mari — I entered a comment, but I don’t think it was sent. Anyway I am glad that your Friday class in English camp went well. I was also happy over the fact that you could sleep in on Sunday recently. It is one of my own personal favorites. I, too, find myself very excited in anticipation of it whenever it occurs. xo Mary

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad the Friday class of your English camp went well.

    I was especially excited that on Sunday you could SLEEP IN. That’s one of my own favorite personal experiences!!! xo Mary

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mari – I love reading your ramblings! What amazing experiences you are having. Of course not all is going to be easy, but it seems like you are making the most of this opportunity, and everyone there is lucky to have you! School will start back here in September, and I will make sure to share your posts with the ESL class!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So interesting – thanks for all the great information. What an experience for you! I like that you have found some crazies like you!! Ha! I surely miss you! Keep up the great work. I know you will get all you can out of it and you will give so much – it is a blessing! Love you, Sara P.S. Not surprising you got sick, after all you are eating differently!!

    Liked by 1 person

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