Monday, June 1, 2015

Hawassa, The Capital of the South

Hawassa is where we go to escape our tiny town, to buy things, to drink alcohol in public, and to eat foreign food. It’s the capital of the southern region of Ethiopia (the region we live in), SNNPR or Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region.

The city is built on a large lake, Hawassa Lake, and there are boats you can rent to go out to see hippos lounging in the water. There’s a small wooden walkway along the lake with small restaurants selling deep fried whole fish, beers, sodas, and coffee. The lake also supports a large population of massive birds with wrinkly reddish/black/flesh colored necks. They are quite large and frightfully ugly, but harmless. They hang out at the end of the boardwalk in a sort of park and also in tall trees near the water.

There are a few nice restaurants we like to go to when visiting. In our town we can only get Ethiopian food out at restaurants, but in Hawassa there are two Italian restaurants (both owned by Italian men), a burger joint, an ice cream parlor, and many of the hotels have great restaurants, as well.

Honestly, the food and atmosphere of a restaurant in Hawassa, just makes me so happy. Anytime I go to Hawassa (or Addis), my number one thought is, “Where are we going to eat first?!” It’s nice to be able to go out, eat with silverware, and eat pizza, fish goulash, Spanish omelets, chicken shwarma, ravioli, burgers with pineapple, and wash it all down with two scoops of ice cream. It’s like heaven.
Another big item on the Hawassa to-do list, is shopping. We can buy a lot more things in Hawassa than in Durame. We usually go to the supermarkets and buy olive oil, bottles of wine, cocoa powder, brown sugar, jars of olives, condiments (mustard, hot sauce, ketchup), Nutella, and anything else they have that we want. Things can be random according to what their supplier can get their hands on. Last time we went, we got whole wheat pasta, pretzels, and name brand Nutella, three things I hadn’t seen before. (I had been really craving pretzels, so I was stoked!)

Hawassa is about 3 hours away from Durame by bus, but it feels like a whole other level of living. We stay at a hotel, usually with a hot water shower (hot water shower!!)and wifi. We eat out at yummy restaurants, and we get to just relax, drinking cold beer (cold being the key word here). It’s glorious and it helps keep me sane in this crazy Peace Corps life.   

1 comment:

  1. Love you. Great to see you here, enjoyment, shared. Makes me happy.