I'll start with contacting me:
you can send cards, letters, or packages to:
C/O Peace Corps
P.O. Box 7788
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Phone Number: +251 940354200
Life is settling in here. It already seems fairly routine. I wake, eat, and go to class. At lunch I either eat at home or the hotel where we have non-language classes. Then I come back at the end of the day, hang out, do homework, or go use the internet ;) depending on what I've got to get done. I'm back before dark, we eat at 8.30 or so, then watch tv (mtv tonight), and I go to bed. I feel so normal. I understand practically nothing my family says, but between gestures and a few words either side of the divide, we get by and have some laughs along the way.
I live with a family of four, but there are older children in the capital and one other living in here in town. She speaks the best English, but it's still pretty limited. I have my own room with a padlock. I only use it when I'm out or if neighborhood kids are coming in and out of the compound. The toilet and shower are on the side of the house, and both are pretty nice with cement floors and lights. I've used one toilet that simply had waist high curtains on two sides, so for solid walls, lights, and a proper floor are luxurious :) Also, I use the word toilet liberally, it's a hole in the ground, no seat.
There are a couple coffee bushes in the yard, along with a mango, papaya, and two avocado trees in the yard. They also grow their own green tea, so the tea is awesome! Unfortunately nothing else has ripe fruit currently. The family has been loving to me thus far and I'm pretty sure the youngest, a boy of about ten, idolizes me. He's always hanging around, trying to tell me things (often with theatrical motions and sound effects), and taking me places.
How is the language training coming along?
Learning Tigrinian (spoken in the northern region of Tigre and also Eritrea) has been pretty fun. The hard part is nobody around here speaks it, so we're at a disadvantage comparted to those who are totally immeresed in the language.
What language does your family speak?
Amharic. I do try to communicate with them with the limited Amharic I got before we moved here, but mostly its non-verbal communication that gets the point across.
Internet at home?
Yeah, right now i'm at the internet cafe, using it. Before this, I'd mostly just used it to transfer stuff from other people.
What do you wish you would have brought with you that you did not?
Food stuffs (Cholula among other things), seeds, and one world balls (one of my soccer balls already popped, and these are indestructible)
What has been worthless?
Sweaters and jackets