Goran has arrived, except you pronounce his name Yoran which is going to take a while to get used to. He has loads of gadgets like me and he knows the Swedish Chef from the Muppet Show. I’ve been showing him around Gilgel and it’s good to talk to someone with good English, but more importantly, someone who has a similar cultural background. Sometimes it can be hard here when you can’t refer to anything from modern culture or films. For instance, no-one here has heard of John Lennon – that kind of thing, and Darth Vader would be meaningless. He also doesn’t seem to mind my instant cooking – like some instant noodles with a tin of tuna we had tonight!!! It’ll be good when we share a house – I was woken by the baby again this morning, and what with the family going to bed around 2030 – it’s a bit limiting.
It’s Meskel at the moment (I remember it from just after I arrived last year) – it’s a Christian festival (the finding of the true cross – I guess someone tried to sell someone a fake one in the past or something.) Anyway, I basically spent an hour and half following the priests with their colourful umbrellas, then hung around in a field listening to Ge’ez (pre-dates Amharic language) before they lit the traditional fire after walking round it twice chanting – maybe it was the Ge’ez version of “Here we go round the mulberry bush”. The only thing that kept me sane was watching the children who were as bored as I was, doing gymnastics, running around and getting told off for doing gymnastics and running around. A highlight was when one little girl walked up to a priest and tried to pull his strap-things off.
Last night I found a 10cm tarantula outside my bedroom door – the first one I’ve seen in
I’ve taken Goran on some walks around Gilgel. He is staying in the hotel, but allegedly we will be moving into new house in a few days.
On the work front, I’ve had some meetings and seem to have had some success chasing the card, pens and paper order from six months ago. And, my line manager and I will be visiting the local schools tomorrow to find out if we can recruit a full-time counterpart for me.
The electricity has been good for 4 days, there was very heavy rain and thunder last night, it’s very hot and sticky and I feel sleepy a lot!