B - UX
Creative, Mindful, Resourceful

this amharican life

A Peace Corps Journey

It's been a while

I dreamt I found my phone. The details are blurry, but I have nightmares about losing it occasionally. I knew it was going to happen, just didn’t think it would be so soon. It’s not so bad though. A little bit of disconnection with the world is helping me reconnect with myself. Just a little.

A friend recently gave me a working phone! If you love me a lot and need/want to talk, call me the way mommas called their fam back in the day. I heard reza is pretty cheap. 0966833670.

I used to wake up to my alarm, but now I wake up to the sound of the Athan. Other times the church which sometimes starts its prayers at 3 am and continues until 7 am. Muslims, orthodox and protestant christians live peacefully and happily next to each other. This has to be one of my favorite things about this place.

The masjid is about a 5-10 minute walk from my compound. I make the intention to go everyday for maghrib, but my mind and my body are not always on the same page. My host family took me the first day. A man handed me a paper with one of Allah’s names on it colored in blue and red. I hung it on my wall. I prayed Asr with a 3 little girls and little boy who wanted to pray in the girls section. Then asked around for a place to buy a Quran and after a few tries of speaking in amharic, someone understood and suggested the capital city.  A few days later I went back and a man named Zayd saw me, said a few words to my little host brother Mikyas, then walked to his house and brought me a Quran.

Allah (swt) bless his gracious soul. Ameen.

The imams voice here is incredibly soothing. I want to close all the doors of the small masjid and let the sound consume me.

Some people feel like guests everywhere they go. I find a home every place I stay. The world is big, but all so similar.

I am sorry to disappoint those hoping Africa would be some place completely unfamiliar. It’s true, somethings I would take for granted back home are not accessible everywhere like internet, or a washing machine, or running water 24/7 but I find myself spending more time with people and less time in front of a screen because of it. Then there are those things that are constant every place you go.

The trees are green, the earth is brown. The stars the same color of light, and the same moon shines just as bright. The sun, in moderation, heals. Laughing is still the best remedy for sadness. The cats purr the same when you pet them, even if people say these are “habesha cats” not american cats.

Mothers have the same compassionate love for their children, and children have the same infinite joy packed in their little hearts.

How can I not feel at home?

It’s so strange to think about how or why we end up where we are. My host family mom reminds me of my real mom. Just sitting around her is energizing. She smiles a lot, and says “chigger yellem” to everything. No problem. Nothing is ever a problem. I am learning that this is simply the happiest way to live.

I enjoy cold showers much more than I thought I would. The minute is the hardest, then the body adjusts. It’s just like swimming in cold water on a hot summer day. Refreshing.

I went to a funeral, and then a wedding a few days later. Visited two different forests. Laughed and cried. Lots. Made soulful-friends (not to be confused with soul-friends from DC, those are a few in a million). Played soccer with the local kids. Had a few restless nights, and many more with sound sleep. Took pictures of the stars during a black out. Talked to strangers in Eng-haric and finished a book.

Week 5

Yours truly,


Some Pics of the beautiful family that is hosting me and the wedding (Serg) they took me too!

Host Fam

Host Fam

Host Mom bought me Netala (Ethiopian Scarf)

Host Mom bought me Netala (Ethiopian Scarf)








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