Sometimes even I myself ponder how I could have survived living here in Ethiopia for the past three weeks, not knowing a word of Amharic, the local language.
I truly feel the blessings from God that He has sent good Samaritans all along my way.
People in Bahir Dar are very friendly greeting each other. The first week I was here, I had been saying so many salems (hello in Amharic) that I lost my voice.
So many times have I been lost on the streets without names. With the slightest perplexed look on my face, there will be someone not hesitant to offer directions and even willing to take that extra mile to walk me to the destination.
Once, a mother and her child chased after me for at least 200 yards to give me back my dropped water bottle. Another person helped me carry my grocery back to my house seeing me sweating and stopping frequently in the heat. I have lost track how many times somebody, who knows a bit of English, will come to my rescue during my most embarrassed moments not knowing how to order food in the restaurants (The menu is either written totally in Amharic or there is no menu at all- you need to know what you want to order)
This is my best attempt so far ordering for lunch- a coke, injera (a sour pancake-an Ethiopian main dish) and some hot spicy peas. We have to eat the food with our hands, wrapping the peas in the injera.
The adorable little kids in the neighborhood are another gang that perks up my day. Seeing so few ferengis (foreigners), they are very keen to come up to shake my hand or giving me a hug.
With their limited English, they either say “hello” or some may even say “I love you”. How can I resist not saying “I love you too” in return.
This little buddy was so thrilled to see his own picture!
Sometimes they may call me “China”- not knowing any better English word to say.
Going home after school!
I feel so lucky to have my volunteer placement in Bahir Dar. It’s a very peaceful place with lovely people. They are friendly, sincere and with a big heart.
It’s so amazing. Not knowing a bit of the local language, I am literally a handicap, “dumb and deaf” not being able to communicate, yet their warmth and kindness have made me feel so welcomed and integrated into their community.