January 26, 2005

Blog Entry #2

January 25, 2005

Hello blawg fans (said with a deep “hello” followed by a long pause before “blawg”),

Coming to you live from Addis Ababa. I’m going to go a little Bridget Jones on you this morning and give you some vital statistics. The weather this morning is slightly overcast, had a bit of a rain last night, which I’m told is unusual for this time of year. My prediction: the clouds will clear off and it’s going to be a blistering, sunny day. No smokes (nothing new here), shags - none of your business.

I’ve decided to add a new component to my blog to spicen things up. I don’t have a name for it yet, but maybe once a week, I’ll randomly pick a word from my Amharic/English dictionary and then offer some kind of word association on how it fits with my life here in Ethiopia. So, here goes, the first word:


As in, I’m not in an enviable position trying to use this word to describe my life here. No, it’s feasible, this word has legs, if you will. We can start this examination with the question, “Am I enviable in this setting?” By that I mean, am I envied by people here for the wealth I have or maybe the extra opportunities I get.

It’s an interesting question, particularly in the context of Ethiopia. I think I have felt envy before, specifically in Senegal. Maybe here in Ethiopia as well. There is an immediate assumption in many locals’ minds when they see a foreigner, particularly a white foreigner, that he/she must be full of money. I must say it’s largely true. For the most part, either through the resources I directly possess (car, computer) or through the resources of my immediate and extended families, I have a great deal of wealth and opportunity. I could easily get to the U.S. and probably quickly find a job paying $45-$50 k a year - not something most people here could do. Perhaps that is enviable.

What about the other way? Do I find certain things here enviable? I am envious of some of my employed American counterparts, especially when I hear some of the rates they are pulling in. That definitely strikes an envy cord. At the same time, I’m pretty focused on my own objectives – whether they are greater or lesser than someone else’s really doesn’t concern me. As far as Ethiopians go, I think they only people I “envy” are the Prime Minister and Sheik Al-Amoudi, but this really adds up more to admiration than envy.

That raps up this addition of word fun. Now for my daily plan.

Today, my brother-in-law and I will get plywood from the market to begin our work on building some samples. Should be fun. Other than that, I’ve got a few business calls to make, some emails to check, and that’s about it. No news on the war front. The dog and cat seem to be at piece, though the dog is seriously upset as he has been put on a collar and chain by the maid who is tired of cleaning up his droppings and other messes all over the front yard.



Blogger SaraT said...

I find this blog interesting …your word game is the truth of life in poverty…people with no means, no education, even not enough to eat can easily envy a well fed American like yourself…that is not hard to do

4:19 AM  

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