Adios Addis

Well, it’s been nearly a week since I left Canada.  It took what seemed forever to arrive in Africa – a two-hour delay for my flight to Washington, an overnight layover in Dulles airport (that makes 4 airports that I’ve slept in) and then a nearly 14 hour flight to Addis, getting in around 8 am on August 2.

Addis takes some adjustment.  It’s much like the wild west – loud, unruly, dirty and makeshift.  It seems that slums will pop up wherever there is room for a tin roof.  Exhaust fumes fill the air as cars zip in and out of intersections, following some logic and right-of-way that I’m not, nor do I think I ever will be, privy too.  Driving in Addis is not for the faint of heart.  (Add no seat belts, traffic lights or stop signs to this system, and it should be a recipe for disaster.)

I managed to have just about every experience of Addis that one can have – mobbed by children singing, mobbed by children begging, mobbed by children trying to touch a faranji (foreigner), sitting in a restaurant waiting for dinner when the lights go out, massive rain and hail storms, being driven at a hell-for-leather pace through the crowded streets….they only thing that didn’t happen was a mugging or pick-pocketing.  (Although a girl I met up with did have her necklace yanked off her neck.)

So here am I am now in Moshi, having a rest day in preparation of Kilimanjaro tomorrow.  I’ve met with the trek company, and I’ve packed my bags.  Here we go!

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