Monday, May 11, 2009

Back in Ethiopia.

Made it safely back to Mekele, Ethiopia, with a pocketful of Birr (willingly exchanged for dollars at the going rate from my colleague back in New York before I left) and a brand new 2 year business visa...  It was so nice not to wait in any lines at all at the airport.  Although there were some signs posted around the airport with the title "Save our country from the Swine Flu!!", I didn't have to fill out any more paperwork, because my flight was not direct from JFK - due to the stopover in Dubai.  Although I did write JFK on my immigration card, no one asked me about it.  Hopefully my "legacy" in Ethiopia will not be as the person who brought them Swine Flu.
Right now, I'm sitting in the best internet cafe in town, which actually has been upgraded since my last visit 2 months ago.  Still dialup, but it seems to be a much faster version somehow.  In the hour since I've been here, a couple of guys have ridden past on a wooden cart drawn by a team of donkeys, a very old Tigrinyan woman came in to exchange her handful of coins she earned begging, and a sheep nosed its way in the door, only to be scolded fiercely by its master.  Still, I found time to check my fantasy baseball team, and update my facebook status.
There's a lot to learn and a lot to do, but the more time I spend here in Ethiopia, the more I realize that it might be me that's going to end up doing most of the learning.