What about Africa?

I’m sorry for the short absence of reports from this side of the planet. Mom sent me an article about how to write successful posts, one of the key points was regularly updating. Maybe she’s hinting at something, I don’t know.

Anyway tonight gave me lots of thoughts I couldn’t resist sharing with anyone willing to read about them.

The reason you haven’t been hearing form the past few days is I’ve been a little consumed with evaluation week at school, a thousand things to do all at once. Today there was no school for the students, and all day we sat around evaluating the social emotional skills of 90 kids. Almost two pages of evaluations for each kid, took from around 9 till 5. Still have piles of evaluations comments etc to go. In fact, my utter boredom at moments inspired a few art projects, including making a Frenchman out of a toilet paper role.

Anyway I headed out to see a movie with Toby (Zelalem’s younger brother) tonight. Toby’s an awesome guy, very funny. I met him a the Sol Canada café where I had gone in hopes of finding a big mug of really weak coffee, also known as ‘Canadian coffee’. I got the big mug, with the big Maple Leaf on it, but they missed the whole weak part of cultural Canadian coffee. We don’t have weak coffee your thinking, but you have no idea! Let me explain how Ethiopians primarily drink their coffee. In Canada lots of people put cream in their coffee… In Ethiopia, they put coffee in their cream. You think that’s real funny don’t you? I’m dead serious! They poor you a big cup of boiled milk and fill it up pretty much to the brim and then add a splash of coffee so small it barely even changes the colour. They call it Macchiato. I actually don’t mind them, but then I remembered being told to drink warm milk to help me sleep, and realized that’s pretty much what I was drinking. Perhaps that is on of the many factors contributing to my regular bouts of extreme exhaustion.

Anyway digression, it probably says something about not digressing in that how to blog article, good thing I didn’t read it all the way through.

After Toby met me at Sol Canada we headed across the street to what I suspect is the only theatre in the country, Edna Mall. We climbed up and up the stairs and finally with a crowd of people moved into the huge theatre and found our assigned seats, that was after getting frisked at the door of course. A video of a Dave Mathews concert was playing on the screen as we entered and sat down. We were seeing 2012.

So it ended up being a pretty entertaining movie, regardless of how epically corny it was at moments. Maybe it was the enthusiastic Ethiopian crowd that applauded all the exceptionally corny moments that made it all the more entertaining. Anyway for those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s pretty much about the world ending and all the rich powerful people trying to save humanity, or rather save themselves. It was a pretty global movie, covering all parts of the world, well most. All the countries were working together to build shuttles to save the human race, well some. Part way through Toby looked over and said:

“Where’s Canada?”
“Where’s Africa??” I replied.
“Oh my God, where is Africa???”

And where was Africa? I feel like someone needs to head over to Hollywood bang on the front door and go “hey guys, just wanted to remind you about that little island in the middle of the ocean, well, it’s really actually not that little, and now that I come to think of it, its really not that much of and Island either, I guess its more of a CONTINENT. But you know what don’t even worry about it, it’s not like a vast amount of the world’s heritage, culture, and population live there.

The rest of the movie went on in a bit of a state of dismay as to why Africa hadn’t even been mentioned. I mean come on! At least acknowledge it’s existence. They did have a black president though; I guess we can’t ask for too much all at once. Canada did end up getting on the American shuttle, or a few Canadians, but Africa wasn’t even thought about until the last few minutes before the credits rolled, and when Africa was the only land above water in the newly formed world. Whether the African people had been drowned and wiped out by volcanoes and earthquakes already, we don’t know as it was neglected in the action of the movie. All we knew is that the rest of the world now had a selfish use for the continent they had completely ignored in their struggle to ‘save the human race’.

I’m interested to know if anyone who has already seen it noticed the absence of Africa. It’s really sad to think about.
Anyway we left laughing in disbelieve at the whole African ordeal, but still enjoying the movie. There were lots of fascinating things to talk about.

So remember that whole Y2K year 2000 scare that the world was going to end? Have I mentioned its only 2002 here on the Ethiopian calendar? It’s great; I’m only 11 here! Anyway apparently, and I laughed out loud when I heard this, tons of white people flocked to Ethiopia for the Y2K new years, because it was still 1993 here! Can you believe it? The Ethiopians naturally weren’t concerned until two years ago when the real Y2K hit for them.

One more fascinating tid bit of information, I’m sure most of you have heard of or know all about the Rastafarians. I had no idea besides the great reggae they make, as to the history, or even the fact it is a religion. Maybe you all know this already, but it’s new to me.

In the late 1920’s there was a severe drought in Jamaica. Haile Selassie I (also known as Ras Tafari) the famous Emperor of Ethiopia from 1916 to 1974 made a trip to Jamaica around this time, why nobody can explain to me. Anyway, at the same moment his plane touched down it started to rain and rain and rain. He was puzzled when the Jamaicans began to worship him as a God. Ever since they have continued to worship him, and thus they have become known as Rastafarians. A bizarre story.
Although I miss home a lot, much more intensely some days than others, I love Africa and it is so fascinating being here and learning so much that I would never be able to learn from books.

After walking through the streets and talking for a while I climbed into a taxi (a 12 person van with 19 people in it, 18 Ethiopians and me, the white kid in town) and sat thinking while we barreled through the darkness. Getting out somewhere near our apartments I walked through the long dark and deserted rocky road home. And here I am, getting tired and ready to fall asleep.

The pictures: today we headed over to an NGO bazaar on the other side of town. It was pretty awesome, all kinds of cool hand made things. It would have been your heaven mom. Anyway I ended up buying a bamboo shelf and a wool rug, so there are some pictures of the remodeling of my room. On Friday they trimmed the Mulberry tree at school, and they trimmed quite a bit as you can see in the pictures. The pictures are of the staff feasting on the berries. They also found two bird nests.

[flagallery gid=16 name=”Gallery”]