Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is a thriving metropolis, buzzing with life and international flavor; with more than 120 embassies, it’s home to the African Union and the headquarters to the United Nation Economic Commission for Africa. Addis is the capital of the oldest independent country in Africa (though it was occupied by the Italians, Ethiopia was never formally colonized). You will see distinct differences in attire and custom between Christians, Orthodox Christianity and Islam as you drive around the city.
Addis is an extraordinary, fascinating and sometimes heartbreaking city as well. Dire poverty is still a harsh reality for many in the country despite a booming economy. In the heart of the city there is booming gleaming building completed on many more under construction, of separated by city blocks and spaces of extreme poverty that is heart breaking.
Amazingly, this city of more than 6 million people has very minimal traffic signals (i.e. stop lights). We drove through this intersection in Addis today and survived!
Another unique thing about Ethiopia is the Ethiopian Calendar, which, by way of the Orthodox Christian tradition in the country, lags three quarters of a decade behind conventional diaries — this past 11th of September (an infamous day for us Americans) was the annual New Year’s Day in Ethiopia and it ushered in Ethiopia’s version of 2010! So, yes, when I got off the plane yesterday I was technically 7 years younger :)
So, what did we do for the day?
We spent the morning by sleeping in and resting after 24+ hours of travel to get to Ethiopia.
We fueled up on local Ethiopian coffee. By the way, the coffee culture in Ethiopia is amazing. Best coffee of my life!
We had a small flood in our guest house due to the unregulated water pressures in the city.
We visited some local markets and stimulated the local economy by buying gifts for family back home.
We had lunch with Levi Benkert, founder of our partner organization Bring Love In. See photo of myself and Levi below.
After all of that we had a home cooked meal of beef tacos at our guest house and tried (unsuccessfully) to catch up on some Sunday NFL football back home. Now, it's off to bed (hopefully the time difference doesn't keep me up all night) to get ready for another day of Ethiopian fun tomorrow.
There is so much potential and so much room to make people's lives better in Ethiopia, it makes me SO glad that we have picked Ethiopia as the place to pour into via WO.
By helping to build up kids in Ethiopia that will stay in their local culture, be supported all the way through university, and go on to become future leaders of the county - you will literally be helping change the face of a country when you buy a WO product. Learn more about why WO was started here. Thanks for following along.