Hello, friends! As my weeks in Ethiopia are dwindling, I’ve been wrapping up projects, enjoying time with friends and doing a lot of cleaning, organizing and packing. Slowly but surely my house is returning to the prison-like cell it was before I made it a home. Each day another person asks when I’m leaving and each day it sinks in a little more that I’m going home so soon.
Last week Belaynesh threw me a wonderful “well-go” party to celebrate the completion of my time in Atsbi. We had all of the traditional Ethiopian celebration components – dorowat, alcohol, loud Tigrinia music, dancing and a coffee ceremony. It warmed my heart to see so many of the friends I’ve made over the last two years all together in one place. During the party my landlady took it upon herself to formally invite me back to Ethiopia for the baptism of my first child; obviously she thinks it’s time for me to get on with my life!
For such a celebration, I was up early the next morning and off to join the TigrayTrek282 crew. This awesome group of PCVs ran 282 kilometers (175 miles) across the region in eight days, all in the name of HIV/AIDS awareness and education. They are so awesome! I was proud to spend one day running with them and another cheering them on as they completed leg after leg of the grueling run. They finished the trek on Thursday after having run almost eight marathons in a row and holding the same number of educational sessions for kids and teens all across the region.
I’m back in Atsbi now for a few more days before saying goodbye for good. While I’m trying to focus on the “here and now” during my remaining time in Ethiopia, it’s difficult to do so with thoughts of Thanksgiving, football and fall weather crowding my head. I’m very much looking forward to going home, but as each day passes I realize more and more that the Ethiopia portion of my life is one that I’ll miss dearly in the future.
Stay tuned for my final post!