At the University: We have had problems with no electric power twice on Fridays. Last Friday the power went off and on three times which was difficult as I was trying to use the computer. I just found out the main library has a generator for about six months donated by an NGO. We really need something like that at the Institute as the interior rooms of our building get too dark to use the library or visit the museum.
I tried to start reference work at the Foreign Language Library . I found people are not accustomed to reference and a few that did ask questions spoke in Amharic. So I will continue and try and also recommend some basic reference sources for my colleagues.
Someone that I knew from the Embassy was just here and they donated some materials for the library and museum. I ran into this person as he was leaving and he asked if it was at all possible for him to use the bathroom. I told him not to expect much (no running water) and found the key (things like that are just for staff usually and are locked). I told him it would be good for him to see what the conditions were like since he is a newcomer to Eth. At another time, I will have to discuss with him the lack of water, lack of flushing, lack of soap and toilet paper-of course, and see if he can suggest solutions.
Different foreigners handle the lack of bathrooms or the horrible bathrooms in different ways. It is interesting to see how everyone copes with this problem found throughout this country.
Other: The past couple of weeks, water pressure at home has been weak or there has been no water at times. I did go out about 2 weeks ago and purchased two 20 liter jerry cans for washing and cleaning. I think it will get worse in the coming months as that has been my experience before. I was told that due to the high volume of construction, poor reservoirs and other things, water is meagre at times.
Yesterday was a holiday-Id Aladaha. This was to commemorate the time when Moses was told to sacrifice Isaac and the saved, I am told. Lots of people were up and about in town. The Muslims were in new clothes and went to an outdoor arena, Meskel Square, to pray early morning. Lots of good cooking aromas from my apt. building! Some long known friends from AAU invited me for lunch which was pleasant. Then visited some Ethiopian friends in early evening.
Hope to attend a holiday tea at a friend's house this week. "European Christmas" is around the corner and the Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas in January 7.