This summer, I am living and working at Hope University College, a school in the Jemmo neighborhood. Until about 5-6 years ago, the neighborhood was farmland, growing gomen, teff, and other crops.
Now, huge homes and government housing are popping up on the farmland, which, in parts is still being plowed by oxen and a wooden plow and is grazed by cattle, goats, and horses.
Because this is a newer neighborhood, the power goes out almost daily. At least once a day. And, if the power goes out, there is a strong likelihood that the water pressure will also be out. Often the internet doesn’t work even if we do have power, and I haven’t yet found wifi anywhere which is why, most likely, all of my blog posts written over the time I am in Ethiopia will be posted after I return to the US.
In the US I have immediate access to the internet 24/7. I check my emails several times per day via my phone, read the news, and am on WhatsApp and other sms applications. Here in Ethiopia my connectivity is limited. And, it’s not a bad thing.
Instead of feeling disconnected and lost, I feel more connected. Authentically connected, to my experience here, my students, and my day to day life. It’s refreshing in a lot of ways to step back from what I may have considered important and re-examine my life and priorities.
I hope that when I return to the US I will not fall back into constantly checking my email and spend more time enjoying the things that matter – people.