It has been an incredible first few days in Sululta, Ethiopia at the Yaya Village. The new class of Yaya Girls will arrive in two weeks and until then, we are preparing for their arrival.
I love things in threes. My birthday is on a third. My brother’s birthday is on a third. Om has three syllables within it (A-U-M). The father, the son and the holy ghost — basically, many powerful things come in threes… As I take stock of my first few days in Ethiopia, I am inspired to reflect on the three Ls: learning, loving, and living.
Learn the Path of Patience: At over 8,400 ft, acclimatizing to the altitude in Sululta will not happen overnight. I’ve had to remind myself to start VERY slow on my runs, to be able to sustain them, and not worry about mileage or pace, but instead to be patient, as my body adapts and enjoys the journey.
Love Injera: Injera is the bread that is the base of most Ethiopian meals. It is usually served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner with veggies, meat, lentils, and sauces on top. It is made from teff flour which is gluten-free! As a celiac, injera is the dream bread for me — it is spongy, filling, and nutritious. I also love that injera is eaten with one’s hands and is often shared, from the same plate, with others.
Live in the Flow: In the US, I am the calendar queen. Since arriving in Ethiopia, I have realized that I can’t have an agenda for every minute and hour of my day, since time passes here at a different, more relaxed pace. For example, the local bus is on a fluid schedule with no exact times; and in general, people won’t set precise times for meeting, but instead make plans by referencing a general part of the day. Also, I don’t have regular internet access where I live, and thus have to redefine my daily routine without being connected to the cybersphere. It is refreshing to live in the flow of the present in a whole new way here.
I know that I have lots more learning, loving, and living lessons coming my way over the next four months in Ethiopia…
Stay tuned for more reflections to come on my Yaya Journal!