Monday, March 8, 2010

American Food and Reflections

Jan 26(27)

I am here in Washington! Land of pizza, fries, Caesar salad, water fountains, and Spanish instead of Amharic announcements after the English ones! The past few days have been kinda crazy-- I got sick all Monday night after that delicious Ethiopian meal (although thinking about Ethiopian food now makes me nauseated) and Tuesday morning. I slept most of Tuesday in order to have some small bit of energy for the flight. I felt better and better as the flight went on, and I had plenty of time to sleep on the plane, which helped a lot. Traveling has gone really, really smoothly this time around, and I am very thankful for that.

I am a little sad that I was unable to participate in Tuesdays activities (especially because I really wanted to find an Ethiopian doll for my niece), though I rally needed the sleep. I woke up in time to pack up and eat as much dinner as I could before we left for the airport. Although I was extremely weak when I woke up, the more I was awake (and the more Gatorade I drank) the better I felt. I'm pretty sure eating at the Fasika Monday night is what made me sick-- when I smelled the injera and wat that Sam sent home with us in some crates, I felt very nauseated. I guess I will have to stay away from Ethiopian food for a while now. It's different than what I expected-- because I really liked Ethiopian food coming into this trip, I thought by this time on our trip I would be craving Ethiopian food and seriously missing it, but since I got sick (and actually before that) I have not been craving it.

It is very strange to look out and see snow on the ground! The small plots of houses and grass are covered in white-- it's a lot different from Ethiopia. I wonder if there is snow in Indiana...? I am ready to go back home, as I have stated in many past entries, but adjusting back to Taylor life will be difficult (only one more semester of craziness!). I am entering a pretty busy and challenging class load, along with a senior recital, an apartment with new roommates, and I still have a whole lot of reflecting to do on this whole trip. I am really excited to share my experience with friends, family, and acquaintances...anyone who inquires!

I have realized that I take some things in my life for granted. Who would've thought that I would come to that conclusion going to impoverished Africa, right? I live s pretty modest lifestyle, but even as a modest American, I am living materially immodest compared to most Ethiopians, yet most Ethiopians find so much more satisfaction in their lives than most Americans. I think because Americans have more options, we have more opportunity to be unsatisfied. Ethiopians are happy because they have no reason to be unhappy. Their life is all they and their parents and their grandparents have ever known including traditional roles, religion, and other family or village practices. I wonder, though, how different the house kids' perspectives are, especially being exposed to Americans as much as they are. As I have commented before, Project Mercy carries a sub-culture that is different from others living in Yetebon, but I wonder exactly or specifically how different those perspectives are. I'll have to think more on that.

It feels great to be home, but I hope never to forget the lessons I have learned and the people I have met in Ethiopia. God is moving in this world.

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