From Friday January 7th
POST BY ANNE STANTON
FRIDAY – So far, nobody sick. Matt Desmond accidentally bit himself on the finger falling down, Mary Moore got a blister from her new Tevas, and May Erleweine was actually feeling queasy during yesterday’s performance (unbeknownst to anyone). But no one violently ill. Last night we went to an Ethiopian restaurant that is famous for its food and dancers. A very nice place. So the tradition is that you wash up before the meal. The waiter brings you liquid soap, a pitcher of hot water and a bowl, and everybody scrubs up for the meal. Which is the same every time. This weird bread, injera, that has the texture of those round things that you use when you can’t open a lid (kind of stickyish), beige, with lots of holes.
It sort of reminds me of coral reef, only, as I said, it’s beige. And in Ehtiopia, this is the meal EVERY TIME. So the enjara is rolled up like a roll of medical tape, and served on a tray of a different variety of foods to eat it with–spinach, green beans, hummus, etc. But it’s the same variety every time. So how happy I was to go to a restaurant today where they served PASTA. Yeah.
Anyway, back to the night, these dancers dance with mostly the top of their bodies (as opopsed to most of the action being in the bootie area), doing very cool isolated moves with their shoulders. I never knew shoulder shaking could be so suggestive. They were AMAZING. But sometimes it got loud and repetitive. We asked for the bill at about 9 o’clock, and I think we finally received it an hour later, during which much beer was consumed. I got to know our cutie-pie translator, in the meantime, who told me he is an astrophysicist. Honest to God!
We drove up to the Entoto Mountain where the 10 runners and maybe six Ethiopians ran together for the first time. I stayed back and hung out with the 10-year-old goat herder and other little kids. The altittude was 10,500 feet, and, okay, I did not think I could do it. But Jacob Wheeler, another reporter, did and kept up. He said he was thankful for a gang of baboons showing up, giving them a rest as they watched them (they ran away, didn’t attack).
Then we went to afair trade coffee processor who supplies Higher Grounds with coffee (there’s fair trade and then there’s “real fair trade.”). Chris Treter gave me the full story on “real fair trade” coffee on the bus ride back to town. Basic gist is the extra premium paid per pound goes both to a coffee co-op and coffee union, which decide how the money gets spent. The coffee union has used the $$ in the last few years to build 50 schools, put in water lines, and build health care clinics. Chris’s big idea for this run came when he saw a school in Asagola, which was basically a very large shack with a dirt floor, 100 kids in a classroom, no chalbkborad, no lights, no bathroom, no cafeteria or food, and no water. Some of the kids have to walk 2 hours to gets to school. (900 kids go the shack, but there are many more who are left out). So $40K of the money raised will build a four-room addition.
Chris said that when you see the reality, you cannot help but want to help.
To go back to the Run Across Ethiopia website click this link. www.runacrosssethiopia.org