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Just a glimspe. Susan's Perspective.

Indefinitely in Addis Ababa

I can’t believe it sometimes, but when clients or newcomers to Ethiopia ask me, “How long are you staying?”…. my answer is “Indefinitely”. As a previous development worker in the field, Ethiopia reacts very strongly to me, and usually reacts very strongly on all foreign visitors.

Foreigners are taught to be receptive and culturally sensitive to other cultures, but honestly, can one be completely and wholeheartedly “sensitive”? I won’t go into the details, but for those who have lived in Addis Ababa for a certain period of time; you know exactly what I am talking about. There certainly comes a time when you just have to snuggle and close up to protect yourself. It’s an inevitable emotional cycle. One day you love every single person on the street, even those who harass you, and the next day you feel like kicking their asses. To stay and endure, one really needs a mission or some sort of cause to be patient, joyful, compassionate, and strong.

Many of my worldly friends have left Ethiopia, and gone back home to pursue other opportunities; and I have decided to stay in Ethiopia to start a new phase in my life. I’m extremely fortunate to love my long-houred days in this stressful corporate environment. Everyday, I witness miracles. Stereotypes of a slow and inefficient Ethiopian working culture are broken down each day. It’s incredible to see your energy and dreams for the people you’re trying to help, catch like fire among the locals. That’s what it’s all about.

So I suppose my answer will continue to be “Indefinitely” as long as my cause or mission continues to catch like fire. Let’s continue to empower each other through the transferring of skills and knowledge.

Let it catch like fire.

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Filed under: Africa, Ethiopia, Life, Photography, Thoughts, Travel, , , ,

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