Tomorrow, God-willing, I will move again. First I will leave my house, this city, the province, the country, and then the continent. I will land in the Motherland and will spend one month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Preparing to go to new places is always a bit of a fiasco. I pack at least three times. I’ve asked a few people who’ve been to or lived in Ethiopia what to bring but I still don’t know if I have the right stuff. I’ve been told to wear skirts below my knees and keep as much skin covered as possible. I’ve also been told that yes, traditional Ethiopians dress this way but that many of them and foreigners as well, dress how they normally would.
I’ve been told to bring a sleeping bag with a liner. I haven’t owned a sleeping bag in… I don’t even remember, since high school maybe, so I went to buy one. I also bought flashlights, bugspray, dresses below my knees and snacks. I’ve checked off everything on my 30 plus “things to pack/do” list, but how prepared does having all this stuff make me?
No adapters and blogs about Rwanda prepared me for the compact, hilly magnificence of Rwanda. The country was like none I’ d ever seen though I realized that sub-consciously I had been thinking it would be something like Ghana- the only other African country I’d visited at the time. It wasnt! From the lack of food being sold on the side of the street to the dancing, it was a completely unique experience. I didn’t even use the big, expensive adapter. well, besides that one time where I blew the electricity in the guest house I was staying at. My bad. They sold cheaper, more suitable ones up the street anyhow.
I imagine it will be a similar experience in Ethiopia. I’m trying my best to take all or most of what has been recommended while still packing light: I’m taking one big suitcase and two carry-ons, one of which is a computer bag. Impressive? I’m pleased with myself. Though I can prepare for my personal health, safety and comfort, I can’t prepare for the friendships I may make, the things I’ll learn, and the adventures that come with trying new food, meeting new people, learning a new language and generally leaving the house at all. come to think of it, adventures come with staying in the house as well!
Here I go!