Day 12 – Our first day in Bahir Dar – Natasha
So today was our first day in Bahir Dar. After our adventures in the Simien Mountains we all deserved a rest so were given a lie in (which obviously made everyone very happy) but it was strange too because it was our first late morning for quite a while and we were so used to getting up so early in the morning.
At breakfast,everyone had to readjust to normality and rather than the porridge in the mountains (which we were all secretly thankful for) we had quite the selection on the breakfast menu; toast with marmelade, french toast with marmelade, omleate with marmelade…can you see a running theme here …
So after breakfast we got back on the party bus with Tserguy to the Centre where there was a lovely surprise waiting for us!
Once we arrived, all the students from the centre had set up a coffee ceremony. This involves the repetitive action of pouring coffee from one pot to another until it is strong enough to knock your socks off. Some of the students wore traditional ceremonial dresses as they handed out bread and coffee (too much for our liking but at least we were all cafeinated for the afternoon visit to the local school). It was also really nice to meet some of the students we all found it really interesting to get to know the students.
Full of coffee and bread, we headed for the local grade 1 – 8 school school called Shimbet which is only around the corner fromn the Centre. It came as quite a shock to most with only nine classrooms, a small library and a laboratory to cater for nearly 3000 students. (75 to each classroom, 1500 in the morning, 1500 in the afternoon) it wasn’ t only the quantity of the rooms that came as a shock but also the quality. In most of the rooms, paint was peeling off the walls, floors were covered in neglected rubbish and the majority of the desks were falling apart. We all felt that something had to be done.
We went for a drink at a cafe nearby to discuss all the jobs that needed doing and any other additions we wanted to make to the school and the centre. we came up with some really inspirational ideas, scribble walls, new posters and diagrams, tyre swings to name a few. Everyone felt excited to get started.
Then we came back to freshen up and back out we went to a lovely restaraunt called the ‘Shamrock’ owned by Gabeyanesh an ex-member of staff from the Centre. It was small cosy place and the food was delicious. We all decided to go for the local food and what better place to have it! Everyone tried something different, from tibs, chero and baenetta, to veg with rice, fish dullet and special injera (some dishes were spicier than others).
When it was time to return to the hotel, we had our first experience at riding a Bajaj (a three wheeled taxi), which was quite amusing for us and the locals. Especially since we tried to fit six people into a space made for three! Let’s hope tomorrow is just as good!
Love to all at home,