A Call to Prayer...Loudly

We are now in Addis Ababa, and this is my inaugural post! As many of you know, I am not particularly social media savvy, so this is new territory for me…which seems appropriate for this new experience for our family! The trip here was about as easy and painless as 24 hours of travel can be. We made it intact, as did all 8 of our suitcases! That felt like a big victory in itself.

We are staying currently at the “Yinm Furnished Apartments”, which is an easy 15 minute walk to ICS - Maya’s school. There wasn’t a room with enough beds for all three of us, so we’re in two adjacent, but not communicating, rooms. This is a bit of a challenge for coordination, but fine for now. We went walking around yesterday afternoon and noticed a big church just across the street. The evening call to prayer was lovely to hear. The morning call to prayer, beginning at full volume at 3 am and lasting without stop until about 8 am, was somewhat less lovely! Maya fortunately slept through it until about 6. Eric and I decided to try out the gym in the nearby Mall - it’s called Vigor and for the equivalent of about $10, you can buy a day pass. Annual memberships are more expensive, though they do also have aerobic classes, yoga, circuit training, and an outdoor lap pool. We haven’t checked out the pool yet - I only saw boys and men swimming so far.

Today we ventured out again to a celebrated cafe’ called Tomoca. It was really good, sort of Italian style, and had some nice people watching. We again walked around the neighborhood, trying to figure out what’s what. Maya commented that she is surprised by how obvious and prominent the poverty is - I think even expecting it, it seems like a lot. She has been a trooper, and I think is really excited to start school, which will give her purpose and a destination, not to mention friends and peers. I think we’re all looking forward to orientation tomorrow - hopefully that will put an end to the limbo feeling of this transition.

Another element to feeling more settled will be finding more permanent housing, which we hope to start on tomorrow. We’ve been communicating with a real estate broker who is meeting with us tomorrow at 1 pm, and has some potential furnished apartments to show us, perhaps as soon as tomorrow evening. I think the sooner we are in our actual space, the better we’ll all feel. Right now we’re living out of the zillion zip lock bags we used to pack all our stuff - still the greatest packing tip ever, but not ideal for actually finding all our clothes in a rapid fashion!

We all continue to be super excited about our adventure - these hiccups are expected and minor so far. I’m hearing the evening call to prayer out our window, which I think will be for us a call to dinner. Much more in the days to come when our brains emerge from the jet lag fog!

Cleaning our plate (for what seems like the first time)

Cleaning our plate (for what seems like the first time)

Taking stock while on layover in Chicago