Here are some excerpts from my diary:
1809h, 14/11/08: Leaving Toronto, it's dark, raining and foggy. I'm at 171m altitude at the airport and the outside temperature is 14 degrees C.
2140h, 15/11/08: Arrive in Addis, 1/2 hr early. Did stop in Khartoum for 1 hr under clear skies just after sunset. Sahara and Nile too awesome for words. Shared trip from Amsterdam with gentleman from Sudan returning from job with an ngo in Peru. He buys perfume in-flight for his wife, says Chloé is made from plant extracts that are all native to Sudan (who knew??): peony, cedar, amber. Did he offer me a pinch of chewing tobacco?? lol
In airport, get visa, changed my money into birr, go through customs. See my friend Kassahun waiving in arrivals as my luggage is x-rayed once again. I'm cold, tired and cramped up generally, grimy, with a huge bruize on my left knee from...what??? Need to run or do some major yoga to get body unstuck, big time! I'm booked into a brand new hotel in the east of Addis with gorgeous, but cold, echoing marble floors. Hot water doesn't quite happen...
16/11/08: No idea what time prayers from church awoke me. It was still dark. Lay in bed for a while trying to sleep. Gave up and did hr of yoga practice at dawn as sun came up. Feel 100% better as headache like ax between the eyes relieved by yoga. ? re altitude? Addis is at 2300 m. Oh yeah! Hot water works this morning! Halle-lu-yah.
...(thoughts, why do churches in the cities in Ethiopia broadcast the church services over loud-speakers. I don't remember this from my childhood. When did this practice start? I discover that it's rather pleasant to listen to the prayers, the song drifting in and out. Later I find out that the church is located across the road from the hotel.)
Monday morning: construction going on behind the hotel, with a school called Lucy Academy in the background. Lucy, for those who don't know, is the name given to the archeological remains of one of the earliest hominids found in Ethiopia.