Work: getting moved out of the Ras Hotel and moving into a large studio apt on Bole Rd took up much of last week. We had a mtg on Friday afternoon to discuss some of what I might be helping the IES with. My real work will start on Mon visiting the 4 areas of the IES and seeing what they are like, reviewing the coll dev policy, etc. Later, I might try and identify titles for the IES to look into for purchase. Internet did not work for the first four days last week but now seems okay.
I go to work in a minibus -actually take two of them. They are easily flagged down major streets in Addis. It is a communal taxi and is efficient but more costly than the crowded buses. Usually, I eat lunch in the Staff Lounge and there are a couple of other restaurants on campus.
Other: Apt. needed to be cleaned and of course many items to be purchased. There are some things that need to be fixed as only one electric socket works. My apt has a large "French" door with glass leading to a patio, fridge, gas & electric stove, kitchen sink, sofa, two chairs, a bed, coffee table, small dressing area with a bookcase (useful for storage), a wardrobe, a bathroom with shower and hot water heater. I made lots of small purchases and need to still get some curtains. There are some crazy dogs that enter the building fromt time to time and bark their heads off at times at night.
I hired a cleaner that worked for me some years ago. She plans to work on Mon and Thurs mornings since it is a small place-mostly to do laundry.
Met my former Amharic teacher and set up lessons for twice a week.
Many changes since I was in Eth. 7 years ago. Lots of women now have blonde hair or highlights and occasionally, a man will as well. Women are wearing more pants and jeans than before. Lots of new highrises-condominiums, office buildings, and shops. Internet cafes are found in many places in Addis. Many folks have mobile phones as well & so do I. My phone number (now the correct number) from the US is probably (251) 913-1744-55 and is 8 hours ahead of Mountain Time. The amount of beggars on the streets is the same, sadly. The traffic and congestion seem the same if not greater. The air is bad-diesel, fumes from everywhere, lead to daily air pollution . Prices have gone up for basic things and people are complaining about this. They also complain about the overseer of the country which I have not heard a lot before.
It rains heavily each day for a few hours. The rainy season is supposed to end now. Stay tuned.