The boy and I have been in Addis Ababa for a little over 2 weeks and here are some of the reflections I’ve gathered so far:
1. I absolutely LOVE my place of work. (The jury is still on out on my actual position, as the chiren aren’t here yet. And I haven’t yet assessed the level of crazy with the coworkers either) But the passion admin has and the action they take to ensure we are well taken care of, are taking care of ourselves, and are working collaboratively with one another for the good of these kids is beyond anything I’ve seen in all my years of working in education.
I also love that it’s the schools “way” to first take care of ourselves, then take care of each other and finally take care of our community. I’m hoping to be able to teach them how to effectively do the first two and that I’m allowed to do this for myself as well.
2. This altitude is making me extremely tired. I have gotten used to walking with all that I did in Japan, but it’s exhausting to do so here. And all I want to do is sleep. Yawning as I write this now.
3. The inconvenience of things makes me not want to leave my apartment. I know it will pass, but it’s just an adjustment and it’s making me a tad frustrated.
I anticipate this and honestly I’m okay. It’s just that being tired all the time doesn’t really give me the motivation to make more of an effort to do my own grocery shopping or explore my surroundings just yet. I am hoping to build up enough stamina to be able to have our weekend adventures soon.
4. I have a housekeeper now and it is a little challenging. I’ve never had anyone “work” for me. It’s frustrating to not really know what you want enough to articulate it to someone else, especially when there is a language barrier is irritating. She’s cool, but I need her to have more initiative…but I know I need to give her more direction so she will. This is a serious learning curve.
Side note: This has taught me a lot about how I manage Raising Vagabonds as well. Changes will be made soon enough.
5. We like it here so far. The boy seems to be settling in well so far. We are getting a long a little better and that is always a positive. But we’re waiting for our stuff to arrive from Japan so that this apartment can begin to feel like home. Right now it just feels like we’re in a bare ass Airbnb with no TV.
6. I found someone to do my hair this past weekend. It was just okay, but it’s nice to not have to do my own hair and the price is very reasonable.
The place is in a spa and it feels like I’m being pampered. She gave me this scalp massage was enough to have me coming back for that alone. I can also order a glass of wine while I’m sitting under the dryer, but I’m not sure that is such a good idea. I might pass out from dehydration and intoxication.
Can you get heat stroke from sitting under a dryer?
7. I’m learning how to create boundaries early. Especially since I’m basically living in a teacher dorm. People are really different here and I’m not used to living around so many people with whom I work. Plus I don’t like people (kidding….sorta).
I am sensitive to who I have around me and I’m really having to draw the line at people who don’t say “please” and “thank you” to the service staff here. Or to me. That’s just basic human decency.
8. My kid seems happier. I’m a bit happier too. Japan was depressing both of us to be honest.
9. There is a gang of fruit, not a lot of fresh vegetables that I’m having access to. My housekeeper found lettuce at the grocer and I got excited when I got home and she washed it, chopped it up and put it in a bowl. Never thought that would happen in my adulthood, me getting excited at vegetables.
You have to wash the produce in this solution that smells like a swimming pool. It’s a new thing, but I’m getting the hang of it. I think I’m terrified of getting a stomach thing so I’m washing them longer than I need to. This might be a problem, but I don’t care. No trots for me!
Oh, and bananas and avocados are always in season. However the latter is rarely ever ripe.
10. I’m excited. Not first day of school what am I gonna wear excited. But kinda like someone hinted that I’m going to get a surprise or something and now I’m just waiting for it in anticipation. That kind of excited. Not sure for what, but I’m ready.