First Impressions 1

This will be a short blog post -- I mainly want to let my gentle readers know that The Mob has arrived safe and well if a bit strung out in Addis Ababa.  After 13 hours in the air (from Washington, D.C.), it then took us two hours to clear customs and another half hour to reach our hotel.  We have a couple hours of down time (showers, yes!) before lunch and our afternoon meeting with Jember Terferra, the director of the Integrated Holistic Approach Urban Development Project.

I want to write a more extensive posting later about my first impressions of Ethiopia, but for now I can say that nothing has been extremely surprising.  It seems to be a matter of choosing to either focus on things that are different -- a customs line that was never quite a line, luggage piled on top of our bus without anything to tie it down, the charming way Ethiopians navigate roads without traffic lights -- or else focusing on how everything still works.  We have already been the recipients of incredible hospitality where everybody from flight attendants to the bus driver to the hotel staff has gone out of their way to greet us, to make us welcome, to repeat themselves carefully so our American ears can hear them clearly. 

We're in Africa, and all is well.

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