My Mum is arriving in Addis bright and early tomorrow morning. This will be her first time in Africa, though she did work as a nurse in Iran before the revolution when she had just graduated. I’m excited to show someone around this place that’s been my home for ages. I’m excited that someone from my previous Canada life will understand what I’ve seen and experienced, if only just the surface of it. I’m excited to shock her with Addis’s poverty-riches, traditional-modern dichotomies. And I’m excited that having new eyes around will likely make me see things I haven’t seen before.
We plan to visit the Christian cultural areas in the North of the country. We’ll take a tour. I’ll probably feel uncomfortably like a tourist, a feeling I’ve managed to escape in the past few months. But, the underground churches must be seen!
My Mum plans to volunteer while she’s here- travel with a purpose. She’s linked with an NGO which sends groups and individuals overseas. She will “investigate the prospects of volunteering for health professionals and others interested in health issues”. I’m excited to see what she comes up with! So, we’ll visit the Alert Leprosy Hospital, HAPCSO and Mekdim self-help HIV/AIDS groups, CPAR’s rural projects, the Ethiopian Women with Disabilities National Association, and the Hope Enterprises Soup Kitchen.
My roommate and I are attempting to pull things together so she doesn’t experience the squalor of our house in recent months. In a stand off with our landlord over some items that went missing (cameras, ipods), we have withheld a portion of our rent. Thus, when the hot water heater broke and the propane for the stove ran out, we weren’t really in a position to argue for repairs. For a month or so we found ourselves eating out or at friends’ houses, and bringing our bathing supplies wherever we went in case the opportunity arose for a shower. Anyway, half of the missing items have been returned, we have paid a chunk of the withheld rent, and the crucial fixture in the water tank has been replaced. I’ll go in search of propane tonight, with the help of one of the young boys that lives at the back of our house, Salomon.
Welcome to Addis, Mum!