Living abroad can be difficult, for men and women alike. Both sexes are treated like outsiders, miss family and friends back home, struggle with the loss of creature comforts, and can find it difficult to cope alone.
But for women, there’s more. As a woman living in Ethiopia, I constantly dread leaving my home. And I’ve had to carry this around with me for the last two years. It’s not something I talk about with many back home, mostly because I wouldn’t know how to say it, where to start. And I was afraid people wouldn’t understand, that they’d find me weak or ungrateful or exaggerative.
Luckily, I’ve met some absolutely incredible women (and men!) through my service here and one of them has spoken out about the treatment we receive in Ethiopia. She is heartbreakingly honest about the struggles she faces, I face, every foreign woman I know faces.
Her blog post is not easy to read, but neither is life here. And I wouldn’t be doing my duty if I only told you about the coffee ceremonies I attend, the projects I complete at my school, the travel I’m able to experience. Those are all aspects of living in Ethiopia, but the harassment is an aspect of my life too. Sometimes the largest aspect.
So, if you’re interested in what life is really like for foreign women living in Ethiopia (and, I suppose, in many non-Western countries), read this blog post: