Monday, February 14, 2011

Ethiopia: Nazret, Day 6 at the English Alive Academy

Really hard to get up and at 'em this morning. Maybe because no coffee. More likely because I'm kind of fish out of water when it comes to teaching young kids.

I decided I needed to get on the ball with taking photos of the kids at school. These will be key to help people outside Ethiopia make a personal connection with the little ones who could use their help in staying in a good school.

I asked Mekdes, the KG campus director, for permission to take the photos, and she OK'd it. I let her know that when I get home to the U.S., I'll send the prints to the school for distribution to the parents.

Uh, oh. In pulling out my camera, I again generated havoc. There were times when I was literally covered in children, each eager to pose for a pictures. I got many, many good photos. I didn't get any of the nursery kids, though, so I'll do that on Wednesday.

Azeb returned from Addis this morning, and when I came home for lunch, she had prepared the best tibs I'd had anywhere in the country. And, as usual, she prepared coffee in the traditional way, grinding the coffee beans, roasting them, brewing them, and serving the coffee from the traditional jabena.

I was tired, so took a small nap before heading to the Grade 1-4 campus around 2:00 p.m. Azeb also took a nap.

I've become quite the pro at taking the minibus taxis, which run up and down the main thoroughfare. When I take the bus to the Grade 1-4 campus, I call out "WAH-dahch!" when we approach the corner by the Adama Mekonnen Hotel. WAH-dahch means, roughly, "here's my stop!" The bus assistant bangs on the side of the bus outside his window to alert the driver to stop.

At this intersection, there are generally several garis (GAH-rees), which are the horse-and-buggy taxis. They and the little blue tuktuks (bajaj) are only allowed to ply Nazret's side streets.

It cost one birr and 20 cents to ride the blue minibuses. In dollars, this works out to about 13 cents.

I presented an English class to the Grade 1-4 teachers. Then one of the 4th graders, Nahomi, escorted me to Ruth's beauty salon (Adenech's daughter's place) for a hair washing. Nice.

For dessert tonight, Azeb had bought a mango for us to share. Interesting about mangoes: the mango juice I've had in Ethiopia has been delectable - thick and luscious. When I've tried mango in the U.S. a couple of times, I found the texture and flavor completely distasteful. The mango Azeb bought - wow. Had a hint of coconut in the flavor plus the slightest sense of a gritty pear texture, with a soft sweetness in the balance. Azeb said there are several different types of mangoes, and this was number 4. Not sure I understood completely what she was saying. Regardless, this was a hellava mango.

[Here is a beautiful essay on mangoes, at Cock and Bull Stories, written by a Kenyan expat working in Addis.]

Started a book by Kathy Reichs (the Bones TV show catalyst), Deja Dead. Good brain candy.

No school tomorrow, as it's a Muslim holiday celebrating Mohammed's death. Or birth? Yikes, I forget. I'll use the day to upload the kids' photos and get caught up on my trip log emails.

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