Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ethiopia: Housekeeping in Awassa, Day 6, Saturday

Awakened at 7:00-ish feeling much better than I did last night.

I was almost ready to go out for breakfast-reading-writing when my electricity went out. Oh, well. Hopefully, it'll be back on this afternoon, as I have a date with Oprah. I must know what happened between her and Iyanla something-or-another!

One agenda item for Awassa is to rent a boat to go out and see hippos in the lake! Another agenda item for today is to get more cash.
Dashen Bank ATM in Awassa piazza. Photo credit: "Abnet" at skyscrapercity

I did conduct a little banking via email yesterday. I'm very happy that, before I left the U.S., I stopped by my credit union, where a teller and I worked out an arrangement where I can email her (and a fall-back staffer) and ask her to conduct some transactions for me. All I need to offer is some key info that we agreed on. This means I do not have to risk accessing my account online in an insecure environment. In yesterday's case, I was able to facilitate the payment of a bill.

As far as tools go, the hands-down most useful item I brought with me was my flashlight. I used it on the flight to Ethiopia and almost every day since to:

  1. Illuminate dark rooms in historic buildings and a cave
  2. Provide me with security when I walk "home" at night
  3. Expose the diverse bone breakers, such as gigantic, yawning openings in pavement (usually into a storm drainage system), unexpected upward or downward ramps, narrow and shallow drainage trenches that are inside many businesses, and sudden curbs
  4. Read in bed
  5. Provide light when the power goes out (a frequent occurrence, regardless of where I've been in Ethiopia)
  6. Read menus in dark restaurant lighting
  7. Look for the correct bus at 5:00 in the morning

I know the headband lights are popular, but I'm just as happy with the tiny, one-battery, hand-held light I brought.

The things I most wish I brought are:

  • Bandana (for the dusty, dusty, dusty side streets)
  • Beverage heater (immersion coil)

I did finally get some cash today, but took several abortive visits to the bank, as the ATM was experiencing technical difficulties. Plus I guess it ran out of cash at some point.

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