First, I have a new mailing address, in the case that someone wants to send a letter, or package, or dry salami ;)
Attn: Jake Reedy
PO Box 123
Maychew, Tigray, Ethiopia
Tonight I am sitting on the roof of an apartment building in Mekele, the regional capital, drinking a beer, hanging out with some other PCVs and a couple Frenchmen who are running a wind farm here. Ethiopia has been good to me. I just tried Foie Gras for the first time as an accordion accompanied a guitar, people fire danced and played with long exposure photography. My life in this moment is insane.
Needless to say, this is about as far from the normal evening as I could dream up. Mekele is a city of about 400k; Maychew, my site, is a town of about 27k. In Mekele you can find foreigner foods, like fried chicken and pizza, and faster/free internet, and other amenities that do not exist at site. Normally I'm alone, or mostly so. On occasion I meet one of my two sitemates for a meal, or coffee, or any other excuse to get out of the house and interact with people. Meals at site consist of injera with one single dish in the middle; redundancy is a killer. I have slowly settled into one of my rooms. The other, and the rest of settling into the first, won't be 'homey' until one of my sitemates leaves the end of July, as I am inheriting many items from him.
On the work side, it has definitely been a mixed reception thus far. I already sent out invitations to my site installation meeting, where a couple Peace Corps officials come and introduce me to likely stakeholders. Hopefully that meeting will spark some connections. Other than that, the only thing I have really done is to start language tutoring here. I meet with a local English teacher three times a week for an hour each time. I'm sure it has already begun to help, but so far, it feels slow. I will start a community needs assessment in the next couple of weeks. I have to have it completed by the first of August. That should help me to meet people and get me going.