Middle of Ethiopia

Here I am, in the middle of Ethiopia, sitting in a well-lit little office with a very slow internet connection. We had a busy day today! It all culminated in a visit to the Blue Nile falls with my dad and brother. Poor sister Joy had to stay behind with a bad head cold. The pictures are great. I was telling my family that I have to view the pictures in order to understand that I've really been there. It's almost too big to grasp! That's what a lot of this trip is, a lot of things coming right behind the other, a lot of which are hard to realize are really happening. We left Addis yesterday, and it feels like a week ago. I left behind a sick daughter who thankfully wished me a lot of fun and told me she would be able to manage with all the other mothers in the house. Then we took a 7 hour car drive to a city which just "happens" to be the city where my friend has adopted a son from. How cool is that! So I took a lot of pictures of the environment there and even had a little attempt at tracing some of his family members. That was not a succes, but I'm sure they will be thrilled with any pictures that I come back with.
Today we drove to Bahar Dar, Lake Tana and then visited the falls. Tomorrow we'll be taking a boat trip to some monastaries here in the environment and then heading back to Addis with a lot of stops for pictures on the way. The weird thing to me is how normal everything seems to me. In Holland I'm often very aware of how my surroundings look, I can look at things through the eyes of a tourist. Here I just am, I see and absorb and look and enjoy but it feels so totally comfortable and normal that I forget to take pictures! So I have to consciously grab my camera and take shots to show the folks back home. And at the same time I realize that the pictures which show the way things really are just don't exist. But I have to come back with something!
And I still keep on smiling all the time. I love driving through the space here, seeing the countryside change. Having coffee in a local place, eating lots of injera, staying in a hotel with hardly any regard to the costs. My smile is just pasted to my face. I guess that's what comes with feeling totally comfortable and at home.

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