So I failed to mention in my last post that my new name here is….
“Ras Yonas Kebede”
I was given this name not only to compliment my Habesha appeal here in Ethiopia, but to explemify my character. I embraced it most definetely. I introduce myself to people with this name and its honestly very believable which is also pretty cool lol.
So this week has been going pretty good so far. I’m working for CoSap which is an NGO that works with women’s self help groups in the disaster prone woredas(similar to districts) of Ethiopia. The project I am specifically working on is related to creating Disaster Risk Reduction(DRR) strategies and empowering the inner-resiliency of these women. I have a great partner, Diana, that I am working with on this project. I feel that together we will be able to come up with some very effective strategies to be implemented and will have fun writing up our end term report on the success of our policy implementations.
(Diana in the middle, Sneha on the Right) (VERY bad haircut so I can not show my hairline)
My partner for my presentation was Allie. This years group of New School students were chosen to give lectures to students at YOM University here in Addis in efforts to help them choose their thesis topics. The topic that Allie and I presented on was Women in Agriculture in Ethiopia. I did not know much about development initially but after doing extensive research and having the guidance of Allie(who is seasoned in international development) I was able to effectively contribute to our successful presentation. I think we both were very engaging. Students had many questions and sought out our contact information afterwards to ask further questions in the coming weeks. Allie and I tried not to stress too much about the presentation because stress only makes things worse. Unfortuantely the day of the presentation I fell ill 2 hours before presenting. I could not let Allie down though, so I channelled my inner Kobe Bryant and pulled it together in similar fashion as he would do in the 4th quarter so I could help deliver the finished product.
(pics from the breakout session afterwards)
Something wild that happened. We were going to one of our typical “Wifi spots” after a long day at the UN library and as I walked up the stairs of the hotel, I ran into a group of University of Michigan students(my alma-mater). Had a great conversation and met more wolverines that I will be able to keep in contact with this summer. We ended up going out together on Saturday night in Bole/Kazanchis to a few events and we were able to share our experiences as wolverines and our goals for the future. Michigan alums are truly everywhere!!
We also had a coffee ceremony on saturday night which was pretty cool. The landlord from our compound invited the group to our house to have a fun night of coffee, popcorn and dancing. I apprecate the humility of Ethiopian culture because it is very welcoming and nurturing. I also enjoy drinking coffee, but not in excess because then I have stomach problems haha. After the ceremony we had to clear out the tables and dance. I am pretty semi-decent at the traditional shoulder dance that happens here but when we played the American music I had to break out my “dab” which I have more “swag” with.
Good week so far. I have gotten a hang of how to get around without having to taxi everywhere so I might have some wanderlust pretty soon.