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Guess who has the use of her fingers again!

October 2, 2009

I’ve got my fingers back!! After burning them making pasta before I left the US, I finally got to take the wrappings off! Yippee! So now it’s easier to type up posts, considering I have ten fingers again.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia working on a survey tracking migrants from the ERHS survey (documenting 18 or so rural villages over the last 20 years) to other urban and rural villages, in an attempt to understand what motivates migration decisions. The end-game goal would be, of course, to help improve the livelihoods of these villagers, so right now we’re trying to understand exactly how to do that.

I’m updating the blog largely with personal things, photos and the like, but that theme will run throughout. I’ll be here for four more weeks, so stay tuned for some interesting posts.

That said, the way internet works here is a little iffy, so I’m going to have to do photos and things a little differently. The most recent two things I have shots of are the following:

MERCATO
The largest marketplace in all of Africa, the Mercato features shops and stalls with all kinds of things for sale. We drove through most of it, then went to lunch at the Hilton (yeah, yeah, whatever, it was delish).

MESKEL
A cultural/religious celebration featuring a large bonfire adorned with a cross. This celebration focuses on the story of Eleni, who found the “true” cross of Jesus by following smoke. The bonfire is lit to represent the smoke she followed to the burial place of the “true” cross. It’s an Ethiopian Orthodox practice, but the whole city takes part in the fun. NOTE: The burning of the cross in this ceremony is in NO WAY intended to desecrate the cross. This is a purely Ethiopian Orthodox Christian celebration, and is a time to pray and be joyful for the graces God has bestowed. It is in no way affiliated with any American traditions involving cross-burning. Just so we’re clear. Yes, it’s difficult to watch when you don’t understand why they do it, but please, respect the cultural difference here, and understand that I present it to you merely as a documentation of what I have witnessed and experienced, not as an endorsement of cross-burning.

I’m going to be using Picasa, Google’s photo site, for most of the rest of my pictures, so stay tuned for those.

Thanks for keeping up with the blog! I miss my friends and family, but Ethiopia is truly wonderful. I could definitely get used to living here. 🙂

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