Time flies and memories fade

Time flies and memories fade. Only scattered images are remain. On Sunday we attended a Devotional gathering on the other side of Addis. On the trip there I was hot and sweaty from walking fast hot in pursuit of a contract taxi. When I went to role down the window in an attempt to escape from the stifling heat of the car I realized reluctantly that there was not longer a handle to role the window down with, but a mere rusted stub. I sat for a while in submission. Then I remembered earlier from our student evaluation forms that successful learners are willing to take risks. In one swift heroic move I brought my elbow hard against the glass of the window, feeling it crack under the unexpected strain I swung again and the glass shattered neatly out of the door. The driver began yelling in Amharic and beating me with an empty glass coke bottle… Blogs would be a lot more fun it they were simply ‘based’ on a true story. In reality I found some pliers in the open door-less glove compartment and clamped them onto the rusted stump. Slowly, but surely, I rolled opened the window with the pliers; the driver did not even so much as look at me.
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The devotional was at the house of a Canadian couple. It was the most white people I have seen at once since getting off the plane from Germany. Although the house was decorated with traditional African decor, it was arranged in such a way that had a surprisingly comforting Canadian feel to it. As it is Thanksgiving in Canada the theme was Thanksgiving. Around twenty people gathered round in the living room, various races and ethnic backgrounds. Writings were handed out from various faiths; Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Native American tradition, and of course Baha’i. Every few readings were accompanied by a related piece of music, ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach to a Boston Baha’i soul group. The Canadian lady who lived there is an ex teacher. We asked for some advice in disciplining primary students. She has been regularly sending us emails over the last few days with advice and inspiration. She had world map on the wall with all the places she had lived for over a year marked by little red apples, it was covered in an abundant scattering of apples all over the world.
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After climbing into the taxi ready for our trip back I realized that there were four other taxi drivers behind the car in the dark pushing us forward. They pushed us off down the hill and the car fired up faithfully. It reminded me of having to get out of the bus on the way up Mt. Washington and push the huge greyhound, mother of all buses.
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Today I was lining up the grade one class to go outside for PE when one of the kids towards the front of the line threw up what I was pretty sure was everything that could fit in his little stomach. I took him outside to sit on the bench and was proved wrong when an equal amount came belching forth, all the while twenty grade ones looked on in awe and mild disgust. I faintly remember one of the girls in my class throwing up on the carpet after spending too much time on the tire swing, and being quite confused.
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Kyle and I made a pretty gourmet dinner last night that consisted of sliced potatoes fried with onion and garlic and topped with various cheeses (two), and a side of cous cous.
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I washed my clothes by hand for the first time on Sunday. First I soaked them with soap for an hour in a large basin, and then rinsed them in another basin. Soon the clean water basin became another soapy water basin. I tried to save water by washing the rest in the shower, later I moved to the sink, then back to the basin, then back to the shower, then back to the sink. I hung all the wet clothes outside, but soon it began to rain and I was forced to bring them back in. I definitely feel like I’m in a third world country when I look outside to see clothes hanging outside of every apartment. It felt good to be the white guy washing his clothes, while most of the Ethiopians have someone doing it for them.
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I’m pretty sure that if I decide to become a teacher I want to be a Waldorf teacher. Each day I begin to appreciate the absolute creativity of it all more and more, and see how that is lacking in the regular school system. (We are primarily using the Virginia public school curriculum.)
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Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. As can be expected, there are many people on the streets with very little. As a Baha’i I cannot give money to beggars, however I can give food. I hate walking by them, so I’ve begun carrying bread with that I can pass on to anyone who looked like they need it. For some reason I do not get a whole lot of satisfaction out of it, but I now it is a meal that is much needed by them.

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