All in a long (NOT typical) weekend

Friday – fly to Addis for meeting with VSO Country Director – part of rep role for Volunteer Committee I’m on. John on later flight as he’d only just got back from Europe. Later in and around Addis VSO officewith John and Valerie, the other Education Volunteer in Mekelle.Evening – at last a chance to get to Ethiopia’s answer to Ronnie Scott’s for Ethio-jazz “Jazzamba” at Addis’ oldest hotel, Hotel Taitu. Pictures probably give the right impression that it was too dark to take photos, but we did. A good evening with, music, food, friends and drinks.

Saturday – across Addis to an NGO fair. We hadn’t high hopes, but it was excellent and ended up baking in the sun whilst getting into the pre-Christmas spirit by spending quite a lot. Sorry, that’s true! Lunch at a local’s place, then a peep at magnificent furniture in the entrance to the King’s hotel nearby, before popping into the only Ethiopian outlet of home grown company “Sole Rebels”. Sole Rebels is an amazingly successful  eco sustainable etc. footwear venture. A feature is “recycled car tyre soled shoes” See website http://www.solerebelsfootwear.co  John  got a pair of fancy flip-flops ( two sizes bigger than normal) and I bought a bag and we’re both very happy.

Sunday — up early for the ( as usual) unrealistic too early rendezvous, 7.00 a.m. group photo at VSO office before making our way to the most massive capital city square (Meskel Square ) where the Great Ethiopian run  – the Addis 10k, starts two hours later. 36 thousand official participants all wear the official T-shirt , then there’s the hundreds of others who appear in other random vests.  Somehow it all works, but you don’t know quite how. A plus is the crowd crush, which means thoughts of running for the first 8k or so are impossible unless you make a point of getting to the front to start off. Am pathetically pleased to do five minutes faster than last year. For anyone who read an earlier blog referring to the late PM, you’ll see he’s still very much in the frame. Btw, we both finish without being pick-pocketed, a bit of an achievement, which is more than can be said for Val,  purse taken and another phone gone. Rest of the day lounging around.

Monday – another marathon – all day chairing duties on the VSO committee with volunteers and office, then eventually a meal out- fish! A rare treat! Back at the hotel a text comes from the British Embassy.  The British Ambassador wants to see me and Valerie on Tuesday! W’ve no idea why…. Are we free? ……Are we back?….. Check diaries.

Tuesday – up at 4.00 for the early plane back to Mekelle.  Back in work and at the desk by 9.00.  Late afternoon meet his Excellency the Ambassador and his wife who are in our region visiting schools and want to know a bit more about education from the perspective of volunteers.

And  that’s it, long weekend is over. Next week – a pre-Christmas UK trip…. in the snow?

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1 Comment

  1. Lesley Jones

     /  05/01/2013

    I am exhausted just reading your blog! Such a busy time plus doing the 10k run. Marvellous! Happy New Year to you both and may 2013 be fulfilling and peaceful.
    Lesley

    Reply

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