Monday, February 1, 2010

Trip to ET Days 8 and 9

Day 9 - I can’t believe I’m having to type this twice but the same anatomy professor that commented so fervently on my “big body” stopped by AGAIN uninvited tonight at 8pm, then when I tried to turn him away b/c I was getting ready for bed he made it a point not only to let me know what an inconvenience it was for him to come to see me but also how my sleep behavior is likely why I’m fat!!!! Where did this guy come from? I first told him that the fact that I’m tired is because I’m still on U.S time and I’m usually up by 4am so I get tired earlier then most Ethiopians then I really couldn’t help but lay into him. I initially wanted to try not to say anything and just chalk it up to the fact that it’s a cultural difference but I was so angered by his audacity at showing up uninvited and then complaining that I had inconvenienced HIM then to add insult to injury with more fat comments, so I just told him how rude he was, and how his comments have made me exceedingly self aware when I’m walking down the street and people are staring at me I don’t know if it’s because I’m white or b/c I’m overweight. I can’t wait to leave this place. Mekele has not been good for me at all. He tried to apologize and I stressed to him that I know he does not mean to hurt me or to be mean but he needs to know that he is being very rude and it hurts my feelings. Before this all went down I tired to satiate him by saying that I’d meet with him on Sunday just to get him to leave but now I’m really wishing I could cancel with him b/c I don’t want to feel awkward around him. Initially he was very nice and very helpful so I know he doesn’t realize what a prat he’s being by showing up and then criticizing me. I just want to go home so badly. I’m officially done teaching so I have no reason to be here. The Dean was supposed to take me to see the rock churches tomorrow but the driver didn’t register the car with the University so now we can’t go. So instead he’s going to take me to see the new vet school and then supposedly another professor will take me to see the sights in Mekele to fill the time. Hopefully we’ll go and see the churches on Tuesday instead. The driver is very nice and I like him quite a lot. I just hope that he registers the car so that I’m not faced with another disappointment and more wasted time.
Today I rented a driver to take me to a museum. Though parts were interesting overall it was a bit of a disappointment b/c the grounds are shared with the military so you can’t take photos and there’s no bathroom so if you have to go you have to walk to the nearest hotel. I did meet a very nice and helpful tour guide however and learned some neat things about the Christian art. For example if there’s a painting of St. Mary and she is holding Jesus on her left side then it’s an Orthodox painting, but if he is on the right side then it’s Catholic. I also saw some amazing royal clothing that was heavily embroidered in real gold and silver by metal smiths.
I also noticed here that most of the young people here could be picked up and put down on a street in the U.S and they would not seem out of place aside from their exceedingly beautiful faces. The fashion scene here is just like in the U.S. Of course you do see some people in traditional garb but it’s quite rare. Today I was supposed to lecture to the professors again but only 5 showed up and one had already heard everything the first time I presented to the student. Also the Dean and surgery head left about half way through leaving only 2 people to lecture to. Again I’m not blaming anyone since they are in the middle of their final exams but it’s just frustrating for me in that I spent so much money to come here and teach and have labs but I haven’t really been able to do that properly. I guess I just feel like it’s been a waste. The best part was being in Addis and visiting orphans. I miss the kids so much, I wish I could be in Addis to go and visit with them all again.

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