It has been a stormy first week for me as the new volunteer at the hospitality institute in Addis. I am currently writing my master thesis in Development and International Relations at Aalborg University in Denmark and arrived here from my internship in Brussels where I was introduced to Ethiopia for the first time. The more I was working with Ethiopia the more I wanted to go and see what this country has to offer. So when I finally arrived in Addis, I was full of excitement and curiosity and so far I am still stunned by everything I see and experience every day.
With thunderstorms leaving us without power and internet for the most, I have had to adapt to the city and work fairly quickly. After all the messy bus rides and squeezing through busy squares, PROJECT-E is like a haven. When arriving in the morning and walking from the busy noisy street to the hospitality institute the students are usually already there, preparing spice mixes and other ingredients for the lunches and you can hear them laughing and chatting as you approach the college. Every morning the students greet me with the chance to learn new Amharic and Oromiffa words while showing Ethiopian traditional ways of preparing food to me and letting me help in the processes.
While the students spend their day in classes and meet us for our daily injera for lunch, us volunteers and staff are working from our offices. Every second of power and internet are used to recharge laptops and download documents as fast as we can while most of the work currently is handled offline.
We finish our working day at 5 pm but rarely go home straight after work. Addis has a lot to offer and our colleagues are almost never tired to take us out for a fresh juice, a samosa (pastry stuffed with lentils and chilli) or a jumbo (draft beer) at our favourite bar. I am excited for the weeks to come with a lot more cultural and food experiences, new friends and maybe a little more sun.
Written by Nita Schaub