Friday, February 24, 2012

African Village

Selam! (Informal hello in Amharic)

We made it!

We are officially in Dire Dawa*, Ethiopia. What a long trip so far. After two days of traveling it was time to relax and regroup.

Which is exactly what we did at our guesthouse, African Village. Our host is named Siggy and he is originally from Switzerland but now makes his home here in Dire Dawa. He built most of this guesthouse himself. It has tons of beautiful craftsmanship.

Check out the video to see where we will be calling home for the next week.

Not too shabby, huh?

We had a quiet day with lots of visiting and getting to know our leaders Jonathan and Jeff from GHNI, the other volunteers, Laura, Heather and Cortney and our hosts. Mapping out the next week of our African journey.

It was beautiful and sunny 85 degrees or so. Ahh sunshine. Love the vitamin D. We don't get much of that in the parts of the world that I am from at this time of year. This is a real treat.
We have an African Village Ambassador. Meet Lola. She is fluent in dog, cat and pretty much everything else. We have been joking that we were going to teach her, Copacabana.

I wasn't able to get any really good pictures in Addis Ababa last night or today since it was dark but on our way home we will have several hours before our flight leaves that we will do some exploring in the big city.
Here is a picture of the airplane that we took from Addis Ababa to Dire Dawa. Smaller plane. We were packed in there like sardines. I took this picture as I was walking into the Dire Dawa International Airport (lol) and I was questioned by a man holding an AK 47. Apparently, they don't like pictures taken of airplanes, government buildings, etc. Who knew? You bet I do now.

Here is a picture of the jeep that we rode to the guesthouse in and our driver putting all of our luggage on top.

The little blue car that you see in this picture is called a Bajaj and is like our taxis in the states. The cost varies depending on where you are going but since Dire Dawa is pretty small you can get from one side of the town to the other for hecka cheap.

We had lunch at the guesthouse restaurant. I had a dish with beef, carrots and potatoes in a tomato based sauce with injera. Injera is a spongy flat bread that you use to scoop up your food with instead of utensils. It was made fresh and so so good.
Tonight at dinner we went to a traditional restaurant in the city and had a family style dinner where we all shared the food off the same big plate.

On this plate there were several types of tib which is chunks of sauteed meat. You take the injera, dip into the sauce or charro (kinda like a refried bean) and then scoop up some of the tibs. There is also salad with an oil dressing that you can add into the mix. Mouth watering delicious. And all the food that we had which fed 9 of us, easily, only cost like $30 American dollars. $466 birrs. The exchange rate right now is 17 birr to our dollar.

This was taken right out in front of our guesthouse, packing mules, packing wood to take to a nearby village.

It is getting late here. I am 11 hours ahead so it is about 1130pm. I better hit the hay. Big day tomorrow. First day in the field.

I will post some more pictures tomorrow night which will be tomorrow morning for most of you.

Hope you come back to read more of this adventure of a lifetime.

Ciao! (Informal goodbye; taken from Italian)

*Dire Dawa is in the northeast part of Ethiopia.




  1. So glad to hear you are there! We are praying for you. Now I'm off to the grocery store to buy some steak and lobster for Neil. HA!

  2. Love following your journey and the food sounds fascinating. Keep the pics coming


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