Sunday, July 5, 2009

The 7/5/09 Saga Continues

I wallowed in despair for half an hour and then - a miracle!  Far across the hills we saw something (someone?) moving with a yellow dot at its top.  What could it be?  Some kind of vehicle, we supposed, but as it slowly came closer, we saw the figure of a person with a yellow jerry can on his shoulder.  Full of gas, we hoped.  Where he came from and where the gas came from, we had no idea.  The Ethiopians didn't seem amazed, as Beth and I were.  They waited patiently, watched this very young and very thin boy, who had carried this precious liquid over hill and dale, while he siphoned it into the bus's gas tank.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  This had to be an apparition.  He was either an angel or a figment of our collective imagination.  As if it was nothing out of the ordinary, we squeezed ourselves back onto the bus and into our seats and the driver returned from his yoga-like meditation, started the engine and off we went.
We arrived in Addis four hours later than scheduled.  Our pick-up driver was waiting, however, and delivered us back to Beth's Aunt Almaz's house where, once again, we were treated to a hot (well, warm) shower and soft beds and no monkeys at the windows.  I am grateful for the rest time to recoup before I leave for my next REAL site, Hosanna.  I actually prefer the alternate days when there is no electricity in Addis.  Beth and I walk to a modern commercial area, shop for souvenirs, have a frappachino at a Starbucks-clone coffee shop and visit book stores looking for more teaching materials.  When the electricity is working, Beth and her cousin sit for hours transfixed by the movies shown on Arab TV stations.  I was surprised that movies with "sexy" scenes would be so common in the Middle East.  These two sophisticated girls didn't seem surprised or embarrassed but at Sosi's house, she and her sisters fast-forward past the sexy stuff on their rented DVDs.  I wondered if they only did that while I was in the room, to protect my ancient modesty but I think they are truly embarrassed by it.  The DVDs are in English and they have no idea what the movie is like until they play it, and then they don't understand the language.  They must think America is all sex and violence and romance and beautiful women and handsome men.  There is no way I can explain this is all fiction.