16 May 2007

A short one!

Life is going well working for the World Bank. It’s quite a switch, but a nice vacation I suppose. It’s not a vacation for my mind, as the work is challenging, rather for my body. They have put me in the Hilton—the only place in this town with high speed internet. As I’m not really a World Bank employee, I can’t have access to their computer system. So, it’s easiest for me to work from the Hilton on my own laptop. It’s not so rough. J However, before you think it’s all fun, you should know I have officially gotten food poisoning twice in Hilton restaurants!!! I’m writing a letter to Paris (daughter of the son of the creator of Hilton, or something like that. A rich brat who lives off Hilton money). Which, she might not care as she is about to go to Jail—in my humble opinion it is a cold slap of reality she desperately needs. Paris Hilton is one of the most disturbing examples of what America can produce. I love America, don’t get me wrong—but it can produce Paris Hiltons. Eek.

The Hilton is interesting. I sit in my room all day staring at a laptop. To keep from going crazy, I’ll leave my room for lunch and dinner and go down to the lobby. I could order in, and have when I’ve been deep in something—but it’s best for me if I leave the room. When the elevator doors open to the lobby I am hit every time by culture shock. It is always loud, it’s a big place and lots of people are here. There are mostly ferenji’s (white folk), but often people from every African country. Last week there was some type of African meeting and there were delegates from ALL African countries in the Hilton. They were all dressed in their national traditional dress—going to the lobby was like visiting the UN. It was crazy. The one phenomenon I was not prepared for were the adoptees. Apparently, for most of the Ethiopian Adoption agencies, the Hilton is where they put their couples. So, EVERYWHERE you see couples (with big smiles generally) walking around with brand new diaper bags, and fancy baby holder things that strap to their backs. I can tell their brand new as there is not one stain on them; that will come with time. The babies are generally 2 to 6 months and GORGEOUS! They travel in crowds. I think they come in a group, go to the orphanages in groups, and fly back in groups—so they become good friends. It’s an interesting thing to watch. Sometimes you’ll see families there are obviously back for a second or third time as they will have their older children, previously adopted, with them. As I’m what my industry calls a ‘baby holder,’ I want to go up to all of them and ask to hold them, but as of yet I haven’t.

Henok and I are getting along. We are working on getting him proper documents so he can prove who he is to the American Embassy. We plan to marry here in Ethiopia and then come to the US in August for a wedding and reception there. As you can assume, its’ not the ideal situation, as my family can’t come here—but it’s the reality of falling for a Habesha (Ethiopian). Hopefully all my paperwork will be worked out by the time my World Bank job ends, so I can just go back to GOAL and not be deported again!!! That would not be good. Fingers crossed everyone!

One last thing to say—then I’ll be off. I know, this is a short one! I can officially certify today I saw my very first African mullet!!!! For those of you unaware, the mullet is a particular hair style. It is generally on men, but can be seen on women. I think it became popular in the 1980’s, but died out quickly. It still has a following however—and some of us enjoy following them. There was a website at one point in time called www.mullet.com, not sure if it still is up. If it is—give it a go! Anyway—so the African spin on the mullet (which I unfortunately DID NOT get a picture of, so sad)—the African mullet is short on top (a key ingredient to mullets) with LONG (like 10-15 inches) dreads on the side. Nice, very nice. It made my day anyway.

I hope you are all well! I need to return to my work—cheers.



Owlhaven said...

This was really interesting to read, Jessica!

Mary, mom to many, including 2 still in Ethiopia

Anonymous said...

Great observations! And not that I have ANY experience with this, but I bet those families would love it if you went up and fussed over their babies. After thinking about adopting from Ehtiopia myself and reading several adoption blogs, it seems that most people are so excited to finally have their baby and get to be a "family", that they would love to be congratulated, have the baby loved on, etc. New Moms and Dads, who may have been working at this for a long time, would probably love nothing more than if someone said, "You have a beautiful baby there MOM/DAD" or some such thing. I hope you keep enjoying Ethopia!