Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Upcoming Events!

So, I’ve been bad about keeping this updated recently. That last blog about the accident, I wrote 2 weeks ago… yeah. So, sorry about that. Anyway, life is good. It’s Monday night, and we didn’t have school today, and we don’t have school tomorrow, because tomorrow’s Meskel, this big holiday. I love long weekends. And I have so much more to look forward to! This Friday there’s a Sandford party. Basically, the schools host parties and it’s open to kids from other schools; the money goes to pay for their prom usually I think. Basically it’s like school dances, except the way they used to be in middle school when we were joined with Redwood Day and St. Paul’s, etc. So, even though Sandford parties are supposed to be outrageously weak, we’re going. Betty and I are going to make the party happen haha. Or make it rock as Betty would say. She goes through phases of phrases that she really, really overuses. Her thing right now is making that rocker symbol with her hands and screaming in this annoying voice, “DUDE YOU ROCK!” Soooo, yeah. Also, a lot of people that we’ve seen recently have been like, “No, you guys have to come,” menamen, menamen, so hopefully it’ll be fun.

Then, not Saturday as in the day after the Sandford party, but the following Saturday, Sally and Veerle are having a joint 18th birthday party. They’re renting out Trend, this club in Dembel, this shopping mall, and it has a beach theme. I think that it’ll be OUTRAGEOUSLY nice, because Trend itself is pretty nice and hip, they’re getting a good deal for it, the club will be closed to the public until midnight, and it’s just going to ROCK! Haha. We’re going to cut the cake at 12. Yay, I’m excited! And I get to help and have this important position kind of, because I’ve offered my help, I’m friends with them and they trust me, and it’s their 18th birthdays and deserve to not worry and basically just have a blast. Ahh, it’s going to be incredible. And I’m borrowing this super cute shirt from Betty, but it’s black and doesn’t really go with their beach theme, but I don’t really care, so oh well.

Hmm, so their party is on October 8th. Then I have two weeks of school, and then I have a week off! YESSSSS! I don’t know why, it’s just a fall break. That’ll be really nice, except for the fact that Betty and Danny and Menna have school. Oh well, I’m pretty good at taking the public taxis now, and I basically know about how much it costs from place to place, so maybe I’ll just ride around by myself and meet up with people. Or maybe not. We’ll see. Anyway, I have a week off, and then the next week we have our tournament in South Africa! I’m so excited for that, but I can’t believe how soon it is! And then when we get back from South Africa I’ll be coming home in… about a month and a week… and a half. It’s kind of crazy, time is going to fly by. Betty and I were talking about having a party. I leave on December 16 to come home, so we thought maybe we’d have a party on the 9th or 10th for Betty’s birthday/goodbye-to-me-for-3-weeks. Haha, I kind of doubt that it’ll happen, but it would be fun if it did. And over spring break I’m either meeting my parents in Cairo and staying with friends of ours that live there (which would be incredible), or going to Seychelles (which would also be incredible). And then at the end of the school year I’m meeting my parents in Europe. OH MY GOD I LOVE MY LIFE. And I officially have a boyfriend. As of Friday, and I’m doing well in school, and I’m deputy captain (which is like vice captain) of soccer! Yay for me! So yeah, things are falling into place. Love always… g!

The Accident

A couple of Tuesday mornings ago we left kind of late for school. CMC is on the other side of the city in comparison to ICS, so we have a long drive. Abiy was rushing, shaking back his jacket sleeve to check his watch every five minutes, and muttering incomprehensibly under his breath. He normally drives very safely considering the way people drive here, but on Tuesday he was driving fast, honking more aggressively at the people trying to walk across the street, and swerving from lane to lane to weave through the cars ahead of us. He really wanted to get us there before school started at 8 a.m.

About half way there the traffic behind one stoplight was a bit heavier than usual. After waiting through two lights we were finally at the front and able to see what was slowing us down. I was kind of waiting for this to happen, not hopefully or expectantly, but considering the way people drive here, it’s inevitable. I’m surprised that it took me an entire month to witness the scene of my first serious accident. At least I didn’t have to watch it happen.

There had been a taxi van going in the direction we were heading in, and a huge olive green military truck coming in the lane perpendicular to it. The truck had smashed into the driver side of the van so hard that it was twisted and mangled like cars you see in the driver’s ed videos. Red Asphalt I believe the series is called. Anyhow, shards of broken glass lay on the concrete surrounding the van, marinating in pools of blood. I wanted to cry. I couldn’t help but think of the person driving the van. And were there any passengers? Speeding down the road the way taxis do, Ethiopian music blasting in your ears, and then out of the corner of your eye something large looming towards you. You turned your head and looked death head on, a monster of a truck hurtling straight towards you. Did you scream, or were you so scared that you couldn’t do anything? Did you say a fast prayer, or were you too focused on slamming on the acceleration to try to avoid the truck? Did you think of your wife or child or mother? They’re thinking about you. It’s not fair, it was so random, so pointless. It was just another day trying to get by, but for some reason…

After that Abiy drove much more carefully. At first I wanted to tell him to go faster because we actually would be late, but I realized that I couldn’t. It shocked him as well, and when we were sitting in the idling car observing the scene and waiting for the light to turn green, he quickly closed his eyes and crossed himself. For about two hours every day we are giving him our lives, and there is no greater responsibility in the world than controlling the fate of others’ lives. We arrived at school around 7:55 a.m.