After spending over two weeks in Ethiopia it was time to decompress a little with some really great red wine imported from South Africa on my last evening in Addis. Today was spent interviewing potential translators, tying up loose ends, making phone calls and texts, and putting things in place before I leave.
As I mentioned before I am fairly astounded by how much I have been able to accomplish while in Ethiopia. I made it to four cities, went on countless site visits and meetings, met amazingly sharp people and ate really delicious Ethiopian food.
I haven’t mentioned much about food during my dispatches, but all of the Ethiopian food I’ve had has been delicious. Even though I am not a huge fan of injera, Ethiopia’s staple food made from the grain teff, it has been quite tasty with spicy dishes. I have added chilis and jalapenos to everything. The spicier the better for me!
Throughout my travels north and south I have eaten everything from traditional Ethiopian food, to salads (never once got sick), to European food.
You might be surprised that Ethiopia has really fantastic Italian restaurants. I’ve visited two Italian restaurants in Addis and was floored by the quality of the food. But, it makes perfect sense: Italy briefly occupied, not colonized Ethiopia. So while the Ethiopians under Emperor Haile Selassie kicked the Italians out, some vestiges of the occupation remain, namely the food. Pizza and pastas are amazingly good here in Ethiopia.
My last day in Addis was spent in the field visiting clinics that were utterly fascinating. Now that I have been in Ethiopia for some time it is easy for me to see many of the differences in health care here.
One great thing about taking a late flight back home is you still have a full work day. But then when it’s time to get ready to go the time just whizzes by. My flight makes one stop in Rome on the way back to Washington. In all, it will be about 15 hours in total.
Back to Washington I go. And then I’ll return in June. I miss it already!