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

Monday, September 14, 2015

The ramblings of an Ethiopian stranger

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. 

1 comment:

  1. Good morning, how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because through them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are very small countries with very few population, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this, I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Ethiopia? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Ethiopia in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally, I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez


Ethiopian Flag

Ethiopian Flag