June 11, 2015
I had a very interesting conversation with this man on a bus. Well, it was more like we had a round about conversation through this nice man who translated (as much as possible) what I could not understand. As usual the man asked me my name and where I was from and such. I told him my name and that I was from the US and when I said I was American, he said he did not like the US. For an Ethiopian, who usually all say they love the US and will live there someday, this was an interesting response. After a bit of chatting with our in between guy, the man related that he did not not like the US, but didn’t like the government. He said our government thinks they can do whatever they want and often do. I did not take offense to any of this and had no intention of talking politics (as I don’t now) with this man, but since I had only gotten about two hours of sleep the night before, I guess I looked sad. They kept telling me not to look sad. “Don’t be sad, don’t be sad, it’s not you, people are the same.” The man then went on to say something that I did not entirely understand, but got the gist of from the translator, that went something like this: I like you because you are a person and people are just people. A government is not a person. We are people and the world is just people, all of us are the same.
Not only was this one of the most insightful and thoughtful things I had heard from an Ethiopian, especially a stranger next to me on a crowed bus, but it also gave me a little hope. Even though at times here, I feel so different and alone, I’m not. I am just a person living, working, and laughing with other people. It’s amazing how sometimes people can seem so different, but we all belong to this world and this world belongs to all of us. And it’s us who have to change it, together.
P.s. This conversation as represented above may not seem like ramblings, but what I summarized was about a 20 or 30 conversation of round abouts and saying the same thing over and over just in slightly different ways, normal Ethiopian convos.