Monday, June 26, 2006


Sunday, May 28, 2006 (European Calendar)
Sunday, May 20, 2006 (Ethiopian Calendar)

Zare ginbot haya newot. It marks 15 years since the downfall of the dergue. In 1978 Colonel Mengi Haile Mariam seized power in Ethiopia, assisted by the Soviet Union with $2 billion worth of arms, 20,000 Cuban troops, 300 tanks, and 3,000 technicians. Obviously it was a pretty violent time, and the dergue regime was not the most democratic. All day ETV’s been broadcasting scenes of people celebrating and dancing in commemoration of how lucky they are now that Ethiopia has become a “democratic” country and their votes and opinions count.

In other news, last night was the ICS prom. It was quite a success, with over 400 people present, the biggest prom in ICS history, and parents, family, and kids sufficiently buzzed. Funny thing: before coming to Ethiopia the closest I had gotten to anything Danish were the Danish pastries from Albertson’s that we sometimes ate for breakfast on the weekend; my date to prom was half Greek and (yep, you guessed it…) half Danish.

Now that prom has come and gone it truly seems as though the end is near. At the beginning of the year I wrote: “So… my family leaves today. In only a few hours. How has a month gone by already? Will an entire school year go by just as fast? In a blaze will it all be gone, over, swallowed by flames in an instant? Each day might seem long, yet you look back and it dawns on you that you slept through it all.” Well, now I know the answer: yes. This is life, you can’t change it. You have to accept it as it is, and that means that you have to try to savor every moment. It’s a lot easier said than done, but once I finish finals I truly will live up my last 2 ½ weeks in Addis.

I’ve just read over all of my blogs and recapped on the year. Haha, it’s interesting to hear the change in my tone, I’m actually beginning to sound really depressing… not good, but at the same time kind of inevitable. This year truly has taught me a lot and I’ve lived a different life (not draaastically different, but most definitely not the same). Yes I’ve fallen off my bike, pretty hard once or twice, and I have scars to prove it, but I wouldn’t trade this year for anything. I’m so happy that I made this decision. And now (yes, yes, cue the broken record…) I’m leaving.

It’s funny looking back at my first day of school: “I feel like such an outsider, it’s weird to be in a place where you really don’t have any friends. You feel very alone… I just can’t help but think ‘Oh @!^#, what the *$#% did I get myself into?!’ Sure I had the balls to say that I want to be here, and don’t get me wrong, it’s a great opportunity, but it’s really scary now.” In the end it all turned out better than ok… English award, scholarship award for academic achievement, student of the quarter of the 11th grade for the 3rd quarter, high honors each quarter, MVP in soccer and volleyball, athlete of year, awards during spirit week, and most importantly some friendships that I hope will last until I die. People tell me and write in my yearbook that I am such an amazing person, I’m always smiling and my positive energy is contagious, I’m inspiring and have helped them realize their potential, they’ve never seen a single person make such a profound impact on a school and community. A lot of people don’t actually seem sincere to me, it’s more that they just say it to say it. A lot of people tell me how much they’ll miss me, and again I don’t know how sincere they are, because at the end of the day we really didn’t spend that much time together, which I really regret in retrospect. But there are those people who have really, genuinely touched me and make me struggle to fight back the tears. I know that graduation on Tuesday is a lost battle and I will let my tears flow gracefully: in great, heaving sobs :-).

Three more weeks.

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