Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Yeney Addis Ababa


Well, I successfully survived my first week. More or less anyhow. Actually, in all honesty, last week wasn’t so bad. But then I realized just HOW much work I’m suddenly being completely inundated with. Let’s see, I had this ridiculous IB Math Project due on Monday, but she let us turn it in today, Tuesday. Tomorrow, Wednesday, I have a math quiz… lucky me, on a section in our book that I haven’t done yet! Friday I have an in-class essay on the book that we read. Next Monday I have a math test (maybe you can see the common trend of how RIDICULOUSLY RIDICULOUS my math class is… but I actually really do enjoy it, although my grade dropped from a nearly A+ to an A- over the course of the semester). Next Tuesday I have a biology test… on things that I haven’t learned, because my teacher just doesn’t teach… but he’s actually getting a lot better, it’s nice to see, and definitely heartening for me. Next Wednesday I have a history oral presentation, and for some reason I chose the most boring topic. The following Tuesday I have an anthropology oral presentation, and THIS I’m excited for! We get to be “creative,” and the topic is race and ethnicity, so I’m going to interview (hopefully I’ll get to videotape it) a few of my friends at school on what’s it’s like to be multiracial. Then that same day I also have an English oral presentation on a book that I’ve only just started… Yeah, life’s a bitch… so, as the saying goes, just fuck it… sorry to any of my PG readers. But actually, that’s just so not true, I can’t just say fuck it, I can’t blow this off, which kind of sucks, but you know, no, it really doesn’t. Sorry, my thoughts are rather scattered, I’m fairly tired. Oh yeah, that’s one funny thing: I adjusted to the time pretty much right away, and I don’t think it’s because the No-Jet-Lag pills worked wonders. I guess at this point my body is just so used to going back and forth (even though it was only my 3rd transition) that I didn’t have any problems. Also I just jumped right into life; I arrived in Addis at 3 a.m. Saturday morning and was up at 6 a.m. on Monday to go to school. Sooo, the whole point of this has been to say that I’m not going to school tomorrow. It feels rather nice to think about it, actually J. The jet-lag is kind of catching up with me… kind of… no, honestly, I am rather tired, everything’s been really busy recently. Moreover, I can have time to catch up a bit on my projects, which I desperately need. You can think “oh, she has the weekend for thaaat,” but come on now, since when has the weekend ever been sufficient time to take care of everything that you need to do? Never. Once you fall behind you just can’t catch up without taking time off. Which then makes you fall behind a bit more. But the idea is that when you take time off you’re able to make a bigger gain than what you’ll lose. Exactly. Yes, exactly.

So, besides all of that boring stuff, anything interesting going on in my life? Ahh, I’m getting MUCH better at Amharic! It’s actually fairly awesome, I can talk! Haha, it’s a great feeling. It does get really frustrating sometimes because people see me and expect me to be able to understand what they’re saying and respond, but more often than not, I just have absolutely no idea what they’re saying to me. But now, I’m getting sooo much better, and it’s just very fulfilling. What else? My brain just isn’t functioning properly right now. Betty and her mom are in Dubai for a week, so it’s been fairly quiet around here. Ahhh, next year is going to be SO much fun! So, there are these potters at school giving lessons, but they also make stuff while they’re there, and they have some absolutely GORGEOUS things! There are really nice plates, pots, etc., all for only around 30 birr… which is about 3 dollars… it’s ridiculous, they could be sold in the states for $30! It’s sooo sad, their work is beautiful, but in Ethiopia art isn’t really appreciated as something worthwhile. Honestly, there’s a huge niche in Ethiopian art. So many different things can be made fashionable: beautiful church paintings could be incredible wrapping paper, the things that the potters make could be used to decorate homes, and they could make Christmas tree decorations, the silver and gold jewelry could be HUGE, and they could turn it into picture frames with the crosses and specific decorations etched into them…. Ahhh, all of these are just very simple things, but it could be a very, very big market. Ethiopian clothing also: at least the fabrics can be used in modernized designs, not for traditional clothing, but for regular clothing that you’d just wear, or at least special occasion dresses, etc. SOMEONE can monopolize this, make a fortune for themselves, and then give it back to Ethiopia somehow. I swear, all I want is just to see a stronger, happier Ethiopia. There are so many problems ravaging it, and at least issues like poverty, starvation, and AIDS can be eased by a project like this, especially if it proved to be really lucrative. Ethiopia itself needs to just grow economically, suddenly find something it has that’s outrageously profitable in the world market, and just blossom. Addis Ababa means “New Flower,” but I don’t think it’s getting enough sun or water or something, because it just seems wilted to me. It’s pulsing with so much cultural diversity, it has so much to offer, but no one truly sees it and it’s just not getting anywhere. I want to help Ethiopia, I just feel like there’s so much room for it to grow and evolve and be strong. It’s frustrating, this feeling of helplessness. Well, I guess we’ll just wait to see what’s waiting in the future.

1 comment:

rach said...

Hey samra you are really talented in you writing. i recently live in the united state and i coincidentally found your page when i was searching for something else. You just gave the audience a good image of Ethiopia. Most people living aboard have a bad pic about ethio. Our country is mostly known for starvation, poverty and AIDS which is true but if we could all work together and come up with a good solution to solve the existing problem, I believe a lot could be improved. Just keep up the good work girl!!!