I moved to Ethiopia and all I got was evicted

Only in Ethiopia could these last 36 hours be considered typical. Yesterday, I went to school at 8:00 am, 30 minutes earlier than usual because my counterpart wanted me to experience the flag raising ceremony at the beginning of the school day. I figured sure, why not…that meant I’d be able to observe one of the very first classes of the day and I’d be finished with my day 40 minutes earlier. (I typically observe three classes each morning and then record them into my CENA in the afternoon – any more than that and I’d start mixing the lessons together!)

So I showed up bright and early only to find the area around the flag deserted and all the kids already in the classrooms. Odd, I’d thought, but it wasn’t the first time there was a time mix-up in Ethiopia. So I went off to find my counterpart only to learn that there would be no classes that day, instead, there was an all-day student meeting about conduct. Of course, I was invited to attend…but it would be conducted in Amharic, and let’s face it, I wasn’t excited by the prospect of playing “which five Amharic words will I understand today.”

So I decided to just be grateful for my unexpected day off. I stopped by my friend’s shop and we went out to brunch. We talked about long-distance relationships and her upcoming wedding (I know those of you back home in America will find this hard to believe, but it’s true!).

Then I went home and was promptly informed by my landlord that I was being evicted. Awesome. Apparently he had just gotten back from the Department of Education and they had refused to pay my electric bill – the contract between them was only for rent. If I’m being honest, I know my electric stove uses quite a bit of electricity, but to be fair, I asked my landlord before I started using it and he said it’d be fine. Turns out, it wasn’t fine. Guess I should buy a propane stove this weekend!

Fast-forward 18 hours and I was in a Peace Corps truck looking at new housing options. Luckily, Peace Corps was already in Hawassa looking for housing for two other volunteers who had also recently been evicted because their landlord decided to raise their rent astronomically.

We got to house option number one and my heart sunk. It was significantly shabbier than my current place and I had already been considering asking for an upgrade from that. So it was with hesitant steps that I got out of the truck and walked up to the gate of the second house. My hesitancy was soon replaced with excitement. The house has two rooms, both larger than my current not quite 3×3 meter room. The walls are a charming aqua, and the deal clincher – a tiny chandelier.

We left the house and went down a small outdoor corridor that leads to a stone sink where I can wash my dishes (I’ve been cleaning them in buckets on my floor for the last two months!). And beyond that is my own shower and ŝint bet. It doesn’t have a toilet or hot water, but I suppose I did join Peace Corps : )

We left to take a polite look at the other two options and then I chose house number two! Very exciting. And now I move tomorrow. So today will be a whirlwind of packing and getting documents signed at the Department of Education.

I’m sad to no longer be the girl with the purple door, and I’ll definitely miss my current compound family, but mostly, I’m thrilled with the thought of finally making a house my home! I plan to start decorating immediately and I’ll be sure to follow up with photos soon!

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