Saturday, July 26, 2014

Our Compound in Butajira

Hello from Butajira, Ethiopia! :) We've been in Ethiopia for 25 days, 10 in Addis Ababa and 15 in Butajira living with our host family. We'll be with our host family for the rest of pre-service training (until September 16th). At the end of pre-service training, we will swear in as official Peace Corps volunteers at the US embassy in Addis and will move to what Peace Corps calls our “site” and what we'll call home for the following two years.

a front gate in Butajira
Until then, we are living with Etagu and Tadesse, our host mom and dad, and Jemilla, our host cousin/sister/relative. Etagu and Tadesse have six children but they are all grown up except for one, Kalkadan, who has been visiting her grandmother so we haven't met her yet. I think she'll come home next week.

We live in a compound with one main house (where we live with those mentioned above) and some smaller houses that they rent out. Our neighbors in the compound are all very nice and let us practice our child-like Amharic with them. We chat, drink coffee together, and last Sunday we all watched a soccer game together on TV.

Our host family and neighbors are all so nice and welcoming. I feel at home and included in our house and compound. I was nervous about the homestay before we arrived in Butajira, but now I wouldn't trade it for anything. Ethiopian hospitality is really amazing. It's so beneficial to learn about Ethiopian culture by experiencing it every day with a family. They answer our questions, teach us proper manners, and feed us so well! I'm so grateful for them.

Here are some pictures of our compound and our room. In the compound we have a mango tree, avocado tree, false banana (I still don't really know what that means), and various other plants and trees. In our room, we have a bed, a small table, and chairs. Our stuff is everywhere in our room but it's organized chaos.

the gate to our compound
the view when you first walk in the compound
our front porch 
the back, shower room and latrine are to the right, house it to the left
our room
Jemilla stirring the doro wat (chicken stew). They use charcoal to cook. 

Just to let you know, it seems like I'll only make it to the internet about once a week during pre-service training so I'll try to upload a blog post every week. I'll be going on Saturday or Sunday afternoons depending on weather, host family obligations, and whether or not the internet works.  

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