The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Butajira Home and Family


My compound sits nestled between two others in the middle of Kebele 5 on the outskirts of the town of Butajira. The rickety wood/shrub fencing and crooked, pink, tin door hide a beautiful, multi-colored house and yard filled with papaya and avocado trees. My large, pink room is behind the main house in a separate building with the shintbet just around the corner.  The living room, filled half with a floor couch and half with a dining room table, is where my family gathers in the evenings to eat, chat, and watch TV. Leyila, my host mother, makes coffees and tells animated stories in Amharic as though I can understand and insists I eat more and more and more. “Be, be, be,” (Eat, eat, eat). Nasir, my host father, lays on the floor couch and calmly translates selected parts of what Leyila says. Haniya (12 years old), my host sister, patiently tries to teach me Amharic, while Elham (16 years old), my other host sister, laughs at me trying to pronounce Amharic and braids my hair. Hamdi (22 years old), my host uncle, helps me learn a card game called Crazy and tries to make me recite a tongue twister in Amharic. It doesn’t go so well, so I give him one in English and we are even. Finally, Nori (24 years old), my host brother, makes small talk with me in English, but goes on to spell out each word and define them just in case I wasn’t sure how to spell nose (which he spelled n-o-i-s-e, while pointing at his face) or what preparatory meant. Below, from left

From left to right: Nasir, Elham, Nori, Haniya, Asma (my aunt), Leyila
My beautiful house

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