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Trip Start Sep 18, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This weekend I had a potluck where I invited everyone I knew- pretty much- to dinner... and we had a great time. At least I think most people did. I spent the morning making fresh tortillas and then frying them to make chips, and made salsa and guacamole. Which required hours of chopping and took a lot longer than I had anticipated. I went to the Kirkos market in the morning and I took time to do a little shopping (of course) where I found a great coat to last me for a while while here- for about 40 birr. The equivalent of about 6 dollars. : ) It made me smile.

Khatija came over a little later, and together we made some couscous and were pretty much ready for the guests when they arrived at around 6:30. Mind you some people (Rahel and Rachel : ) ) didn't arrive until nearly 9pm. The food was great, and Edna made some Misr and misr with berre-berre, and some cabbage and we had lots of bread, cheese and injera to go around. I think it turned out to be a pretty successful little gathering.

I spent the night at Khatija and Laura's and got to check out the Book World on Sunday. Where I bought a great French/English poetry book for about 12 birr.

Monday Khatija, Laura, Rahel, Rehana and I went to the great Korean restaurant, where I had some fabulous miso soup and tempura. It was such a luxury... but anyone who comes to visit Addis will have to go there- it's a gem.

This morning I got myself to the gym by 6:30 and went for a run before going to volunteer at the school. Though tiring, it's lovely to feel such a part of everything at the school. I was first with a grade 6 class, where we first debated if "red was the best colour in the world". I tried to pick a topic which no one would have too strong opinions on to make it a little easier. It is crazy how much in my discussions with these children that HIV comes up. I am sure it is a testament to how different their lives are in comparison to those of children in Canada. The conversation got to HIV by the fact that red ribbons were for HIV, and that this was good because it taught people to care for people with HIV. We then moved on to the debate that: "love was respect" and "love was control". And of course we had the term "deflowering" come up, which I learned was the polite way of saying rape. I think we came to the conclusion that love was about respect more than control, but that you could try and control someone you loved from doing something wrong. Again we had HIV come up.

Next was a grade 3 class. I'm starting to feel like I deal better with grade 4-6 because I find their minds are more eager to learn. Grade three was very loud and I still (though I didn't expect it) had trouble controlling them. I taught them a song from Cinderella... and I think it went over well.

Teaching grade 5 was the highlight of my day. I had already had them two weeks ago, and they had done their homework. So after I corrected some of them, I gave them a new assignment. To write a poem that was 10 lines long. And they helped me pick the topics: Nature, HIV, Time and Knowledge. As you can see, HIV came up again, and I of course jumped on the opportunity to have these kids produce something that would explain to me what they thought about this disease. So I told them that I wanted it done on a separate piece of paper, with it well done, and pictures and colour... so that I could take them back with me to Canada. They loved this of course, and at the end since they were so eager to talk more, I gave them my email address and my postal address so they could write to me if they wanted. I desperately hope they do... I truly have fallen for a few of them.

The rest of the day involved me trying to teach myself more about databases by reading the Access book, which is taking me a lot longer than anticipated (sorry Katie)... and being slightly distracted by the thoughts which continue to intrude my mind about where I'm going with my life, what I want to do with the knowledge I am gaining here, and who I am, and trying to become.

I hope this finds you all well, continuing to embrace every moment in your lives, never fearing life's disappointments, and reveling in life's surprises.

I'm out.
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