I was the first to arrive to Addis out of the group. I was a little nervous being by myself but I knew that I needed the extra time to adjust my mind and my body. It was my first time ever traveling to Africa. The first person I met was Sam, Yosef’s assistant. He seemed very friendly and humorous, he reminded me of my father which made me a little homesick but also made me feel like I can get along with others from Addis as well. I live in house number 1, which is very close to the commercial area around Gollagul Tower.
The busyness of the area reminded me of the business in Manhattan. The people seem very curious about other members of the group and myself.
As a female, I find myself feeling unsafe and cautious most of the time due to the immense amount of men and boys in the area. I find that most parts of the day it is hard to find women and only men dominate the area. On my second day of being in Addis, Greg and I were able to experience the attention we drew from many beggars on the street. It was an interesting experience being seen as someone of wealth when it is the complete opposite in the states.
There is also a lot of construction being done on sidewalks, roads, and new buildings. Members of House 1, including myself, have experienced what it is like to live without water or electricity for roughly two days. I do take this luxury for granted back home in the United States. Being without water or electricity made me feel powerless and unable to control my surroundings, which gave me the tiniest taste of how many people around the world struggle from day to day basis without these necessities.