By the time our flight landed in Addis Ababa it had already been dark for hours and my first glimpse of Ethiopia was partially lit buildings (mostly under construction) and the endless line of signs in fidel along the road. For the first week with training and sessions only in King’s Hotel (our hotel in Addis) it barely felt real. The only thing that really reminded me it was Ethiopia was the immense amount of injera we were served at meals.
About a week in the 63 G10ers were broken up into groups to go on a Demystification trip. The 12-hour, hot, crowed bus ride along winding roads filled with goats, sheeps, cows, and people to Bonga felt real. This trip was when I first saw the incredible diversity and beauty of Ethiopia, when I first felt the lack of personal space all Ethiopians have, when I first experienced the kindness and goodness of the people, when I first learned the technique for using a shintbet (bathroom), fondly known as the Habasha (what a large amount of Ethiopians call themselves) squat.
By the time we moved to Butajira for the rest of Pre-service Training about two weeks since arriving, I was already tired, but excited, hopeful, and Ethiopia had already started to work its way into my heart.