Lots of updates over the past couple days - mostly pedestrian, and some more novel. On the pedestrian side, we think we have confirmation now that we can move into our apartment on Friday! I’d like to say I’ll miss the Yinm, but I really won’t, and I think I speak for both Maya and Eric on this one, too. It’s not so bad, just suffering from a number of what I’d term “first world problem” issues. 1. The bottom sheet for the bed Maya and I have been sharing isn’t fitted, and is too small to actually cover the mattress. 2. Only about 35% of the lighting in the room is actually functional. 3. Breakfast isn’t served until 7 am, so we’re always rushing to get Maya to school on time by 8 am. 4. I’ve already mentioned the nearby prayers (though there weren’t any this morning!). I guess the only thing to really say is location location location - the saving graces have been the 12 minute walk to ICS and the nearby gym Eric and I have been frequenting regularly.
Other pedestrian details (and I never thought I’d utter this phrase) is that I think we’ve found our staff. Eric met with a guy yesterday - “Teddy” - who has a car we can hire, plus his brother to be our driver. Eric may end up getting his driver’s license here which would negate the need for a driver at least on the weekends, but for now having both car and driver seems best. We also interviewed two cooks and have settled on one who seems great - Serekalem. She has about 12 years’ experience cooking for westerners and seems to have a broad variety of different types of foods she can comfortably make for us. Also, her English is exceptional, which makes communication so much easier (as my Amharic is still limited to “hello”, “no”, “yes”, “thank you”, “good morning” and “I’m sorry”). She will likely work Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and prepare meals for the other days in advance. Most importantly, she’ll make sure our food is properly washed and decontaminated so we’re less likely to get sick!
One of the more novel details to come out of the past couple days is Maya’s burgeoning career in the field aspect of track and field. She has previously focused on the 200m run, but on Tuesday, she decided to try the javelin (because why wouldn’t you?) and the coaches told her she is a natural! She’s tried high jump as well and may end up running and doing a couple of field events. Wouldn’t it be something if she ends up making the varsity as a javelin thrower?! Today Eric and I were able to observe part of practice and saw her throwing the discus (I guess once you’re good at one throwing event, they try you at them all). It was raining, so the discus was slippery, but her form was pretty good! Maya has been coming home from school every day pretty jazzed, either about her classes, her new friends, or track (and field), so I’d say so far it’s a win.
Tomorrow we’re imposing again on our lovely friends, the Varmas, to do laundry in preparation for our move on Friday – fingers crossed that will go as planned. I hope my next post is not from the Yinm, but from the Addisalem Luxury Apartment. Ciao -