What did you do at the end of last week?
On Thursday we celebrated the 100th Day of school; an event I had not heard of before but a very significant one for a number of my American colleagues. It entailed dressing up as a 100 year old - less difficult for some of us than others - although many of my four year-olds made very creditable attempts.
We created a 100 spot ladybird, made 100 finger prints and turned them into a variety of creatures, and had a 100th day parade amongst other things. Each child was asked to bring in ten of something. Most brought pieces of pasta, buttons or beans. One child brought in ten 1 Birr coins stuck to a piece of card. It made both of the teaching assistants gasp. Worth 33p it would not be considered a significant amount in Britain but here…
On Friday we went out for a meal with Phil’s Ethiopian staff. Prompted by something I had read on the Internet I had a burning question: “Does the Tooth Fairy exist in Ethiopia?” Apparently not but the tooth is hurled on the roof of the house. Something to do with Rafeke the bird and ‘a tooth for a tooth!’ Does this mean that there are multiple children’s teeth on corrugated iron roofs all over Addis? Do they rot?
A friend is getting married in three weeks so on Saturday a number of us went to the Sheraton, possibly the smartest hotel in Addis, for breakfast. It had been impossible to get through on the phone to book, so we just turned up and asked for a group of tables together under an awning outside on a veranda. The sun was warm, the sky was blue and we were beside the fountains -perfect. One of our number was keen to decorate and had brought rolls of crepe paper, Sellotape, scissors and purple stars to sprinkle on the table cloths.
It was a joint effort to put them up, with staff looking on benignly and fairly obviously bemused by these crazy foreign women. They waited until the task was completed and they had served us coffee before informing us that they needed to set up for another event in that area in 30 minutes! The manager was summoned and we successfully negotiated an extension to an hour and a half; long enough to enjoy a rather good breakfast (excluding the beef bacon).
The rest of the day was spent beside the pool and the ‘Doro Gibsha’ (Amharic for ‘Hen Party’ although it literally translates to ‘Chicken Party’) was a success. Sometimes life can be relaxing here in Ethiopia!