Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Surviving the carride and dancing at Habesha 2000

We woke up early, had breakfast, and packed the car so we could make our way back to Addis. I think I blocked out the 5-6 hour carride.. these are the snapshots in my brain: diesel fumes... trucks...a narrow 2 lane road, paved... people in both lanes in both directions trying to pass old trucks going up the hills.. There were many times that there were 2 trucks coming towards us in the 2 lanes, and we were in the left lane trying to passing a truck, going uphill but our engine didn't have the horsepower to actually pass so it was a 4 car game of chicken.. and then for fun a donkey would stroll across the road. 99% of the time we lost the chicken game and pulled behind the truck we were attempting to pass- just at the last possible second, when your heart is in your throat and has stopped beating. Some "knowns" in the equation: this is not how all Ethiopians drive, so don't go forming stereotypes. This isn't even how this particular driver has driven in the past (according to other previous passengers). I am not an easily scared person in cars. Tonio-- who lived his first 25 years and learned to drive in Mexico City, where I've seen some crazy driving and those easily scared have heart attacks in the back of rogue taxis-- was white knuckled and swearing under his breath as the driver would accelerate instead of slowing down, and then slam on the brakes as he swerved back into our lane. I was so nauseated from the fumes and braking that I was just trying to fall asleep so time would go by faster, and maybe I wouldn't feel the impact of our impending crash. As I was drifting off to sleep I heard Tonio saying "no, no, no!" and "I have 4 kids!" under his breath. Finally we stopped for coffee and the entire car collectively exhaled for the first time since Awassa, smiling at surviving our shared near death experience. Seriously.
Once we safely arrived to the TDS Hotel, we chatted with Megan and saw the other adorable families playing with their kids.
For dinner, we went to Habesha 2000 to see some absolutely incredible dancing. I have video!! I just need to figure it out, and then I will post. I'm not sure about the meat dishes, but the fasting platter was amazing, again. I love vegetarian food in Ethiopia!!!! Even more I loved spending time with Emmanuel and Susan and sharing the food with them:). The female dancers do this incredible neck swinging dance, that is too hard to describe in words but amazing in person. The male dancers did a shoulder-jerking dance that was almost as good as the females. I think everyone should take the $3 taxi ride there and see a show! We were the only farengi in the room, but everyone enjoyed themselves. Also note: some people got up and danced when invited, and I did not (laughing too hard, too embarrassed). I learned that this is a huge faux pas and that I probably insulted the dancers (or so I am told). I'm sorry dancers!!! I was too scared you would bring me on stage!! Now that I know I can just stay near by seat and dance I will get up next time!

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