We stepped off the plane at 6.30am Ethiopian time this morning after what couldn’t really be described as the most comfortable of flights.
Think Ryanair, but for seven hours. Then pick a seat against a wall that can’t recline. Chuck in pastries and tea at 2am and the worst film in the world being shown on a tiny screen, miles away down the aisle. Oh and then ask the chattiest man in Cameroon to sit down next to you.
That’s all nothing though is it? So I was a bit uncomfortable for a few hours. First world problems as Bee would say, and quite literally in this case compared with some of the challenges faced every day on Ethiopia. I feel a little bit pathetic complaining about eating and strange times. I should be grateful I have something to eat at all.
We can’t find our lift at the airport, so end up getting a taxi across town. It’s still only 8am here – although more like one o’clock if you use the Ethiopian system of counting the hours since sunrise – but the streets are already swarming with people. Men holding hands stroll casually into the street, accompanied by frequent beeping from cars and buses, but no one seems to be in a rush. Homosexuality is not allowed here, but people are generally affectionate and tactile, so it’s not uncommon to see friends walking hand in hand.
At our hotel, a nap is most definitely on the cards.
After a sleep and a little something from my flapjack stash, we head out for a bit of an explore, and stop for a visit at the Holy Trinity church. The building is relatively modern by UK standards – it was finished in 1944 – but the stained glass and the light inside is beautiful.
Just driving around is awesome and I’m hypnotised by the people, shacks and stalls that line the street. Today has been about settling in, but tomorrow I’m going to get to meet the group of HIV positive women who have started their own successful food business. I can’t wait.
P.S. I am blogging from an app on my phone due to a suspiciously unreliable ‘high speed’ internet connection so please forgive me if this post looks odd in any way – I’ve never app blogged before.