This is a kind of ‘summary’ post on what we have been up to in the last few weeks. It has been a month of ups and downs ranging from the massacre of our chickens, preparing and delivering another workshop, swine flu and preparing to leave Ethiopia. I will start at the very beginning.
Upon our return to Harar, we were quite looking forward to settling back into our daily lives: going to work, having a beer in the local, going out with friends, picking up our parcels, and getting reacquainted with the chickens. However, the latter was not meant to be.
As we walked into our garden we found our worst fear had occurred. All but one of the chickens had gone. After frantically searching around the garden, Bren noticed the chicken massacre inside the coop: blood and a mass of feathers. As you can probably imagine we were not too happy at this finding, particularly as our ‘house guard’ is never supposed to leave the house unattended and was in full charge of the chickens whilst we were gone. We had kept them for seven months without so much as a problem, all of a sudden we had left them for ten days to find only one survivor.
Getting to the bottom of the chicken massacre was harder than we thought as a number of people were telling us various different stories. We were both so angry that not only had we been let down but we were now also being lied to, that we decided to let our guard go (we had good reason for this as one morning, very early, we found him cutting a hole in the coop so it looked like an animal had got in that way). This dismissal of the guard however was also a complete headache as the college had no one to replace him. As you can imagine, things were pretty awkward for a while but got better once he apologised and the steam from Brens ears had started to dissipate. All is well now but we are a one chicken house and it’s not really the same without them.
Moving on from the ‘chicken massacre’, our days were picked up by the arrival of two great friends from the South who popped up to visit. We visited the brewery and did the whole Harar tour thing (feeding the hyenas again!!) and then got hammered. A great weekend with everyone being around Harar for once.
At work we were looking at trying to get a workshop approved on special needs. After having being told there was no money for such a workshop we both walked home with our heads hung low, only to be told the following day that we could do the workshop and that we had to do it the following week. Cue panic stations all round as we realised we had to invite all 60 schools in the region, write and plan a full four day workshop, prepare the room and all resources and sort out the various admin jobs that go with planning and delivering such a workshop. After lots of hard work and late nights in the office it was complete (JUST) and the workshop went on to be a big success- thank goodness!
Just as our stress level couldn’t get any higher we found out that Mexico had been hit by this swine flu virus. Just our luck! Things were looking bad but we have been assured by the school that it will not affect our contract with them or our arrival date in Mexico. I’m stocking up on face masks just in case!
After a stressful, busy week we had the long weekend of 5 days to look forward to (any excuse for a holiday and Ethiopians will take it). We had nothing planned other than to spend time with everyone in Haramaya.
We arrived in Haramaya on Friday, Bren was drinking and chewing with the boys and us girls were left having a girls night in with American idol and popcorn! The plan was to leave Haramaya the following day and chillax at home; however the American lot had a very different idea. Saturday accumulated in a house party which has to be one of the funniest and most stupid house parties ever ending with beer fuelled dancing to Michael Jackson and a touch of break dancing from myself and Ally. Bren became DJ for the night and played a range of classics from Ghostbusters to Chumbawumba.
Sunday was pretty much more of the same, we all decided that the best cure for a hangover was drink more cheap beer, so that’s exactly what we did near enough all day- fun times.
Having returned to work this week, we are now having to sort everything out for our return home. We are both currently working through a ton of paperwork so we are able to leave Ethiopia in the next 4- 5 weeks: Exit visas, police checks, house rent and bills are all on the agenda to be tackled this week.
From now on there are no more workshops, no more staff training, a few more school visits, a little more drinking and then we leave this fantastic country to return to the equally as fantastic Manc land- cant wait!