Monday, May 16, 2011

Ethiopia Day Six -- Grace

We actually were able to sleep in at Lake Longono (sort of). Breakfast was informal in the resort restaurant, and we had plenty of time to gather things and shower -- again. It was almost
like being at a U.S. resort.

But relaxing at a resort wasn't why we were here, and after the brief but welcome respite, we were on the road again, heading back toward Addis. The reason for our late departure was a planned stop at the Ziway Pentacostal Church to sample their sunday service. I didn't realize it, but pretty much all protestant denominations are lumped into the "pentacostal" category in Ethiopia -- the actual origins of the particular church we attended in Ziway were not clear to me.

Ziway is a moderately sized city in the rift, with a number of large agribusinesses surrounding it. It's size and wealth was noticable compared to where we'd been the past five days -- funny, but without having been to Chencha and Bora, I would have thought of Ziway as a poor town, too. The church was a nice cinder block building, and was just filling up when we walked through its doors. Church services last about three hours on Sunday, and there is a fairly casual drifting in and out of the congregation. Everyone was dressed in their nicer clothes, and attentive to the two pastors. The service cycled through an endless do-loop of: song - scripture reading - preaching. We sat through two or three cycles, then headed back to the van. The service was so different from a Catholic mass, I didn't really know what to think of it -- and of course, it was all delivered in Amharic.

The route back to Addis was unexceptional. We stopped for a quick drink in Mojo on the Nazret highway -- I'd been here four weeks ago on my last trip to Ethiopia. There were many big construction businesses located along the route to the capitol -- many apparently Chinese owned. Once in Addis, we ate lunch at the Island Breeze, a restaurant I'd dined in before. This time I was smart enough to pick one of the Mexican specialities. On my last trip, I ate Ethiopian food there, and it was my last meal before getting sick.

By mid-afternoon, we pulled into the drive of the Addis Guest House, a hotel close to the airport, and familiar territory for me. It was actually nicer than any of the guest houses I've stayed at for my adoptions. We had time to clean up, and I sent out my clothes to be washed -- reasoning it would be nice to arrive home with a suitcase full of clean rather than dirty clothes -- and I needed a shirt to wear on the plane (this figures into a minor panic on my last day).

Then we were off to the Bier Garden, a restaurant, owned (rumor has it) by Germans, and featuring their own brews. I found the beer to be average, but we met up with the medical team there to wish Amy and Bill a fond farewell before they flew back to the U.S.

After dinner, we searched for a shopping mall so Dan could buy some pants -- it seemed he was ripping about a pair a day, and was reduced to a "shorts only" wardrobe currently. Dan rejected the sixty dollar designer jeans he found at one shop, but I did snag a T-shirt for Kenneth while there.

Then we traveled to a piano bar, to catch a bit of the local nighlife. It was entertaining, but seemed a bit like professional karoke. Some of the group traveled on to a Reggae club, but old "early to bed, early to rise" me couldn't hack it. Besides, I was developing a sore throat, and didn't want it to turn into a full-blow cold (it did anyway).

As I settled into bed, I thought about the huge gulf between Bora and Addis, and another huge gulf between Addis and Omaha (or pick your U.S. City). We really did live in a priveledged place in the world, and the question I was asking myself was -- What obligations does recognizing the gap create for those of us so lucky?

Postscript: The spelling police (in other words, Paula) have informed me that the town I called "Dhorze" is actually spelled "Dorze", and "Soto" should be "Soddo". For anyone out there trying to follow my travails on a map, my apologies.

1 comment:

  1. Longono is Langano. Or Langono. Just saying.