1. The weather here is unbelievable!  It is absolutely the perfect climate – 65 – 80 degrees everyday.  The motto in Ethiopia is “13 months of sunshine”. 

2. The people are friendly and beautiful.  They are so beautiful it is almost supernatural.  Guy had a girl in one of his classes that he said he had to make a point not to look at because her beauty was almost intoxicating.  The same is true for many of the men.  I don’t mean to sound like Guy and I are ogling other men and women.  It’s just that the beauty is amazing!  You just can’t help but truly appreciate it.  God has blessed these people unlike any other race.

3. The cost of living here for an American is ridiculously inexpensive in many ways.  A machiatto, which is an amazing little esspresso drink costs about 35 cents.  Rent on a typical, sort of western style, house would be about $100 a month.  The flip side of that is that if you need to purchase something that is imported, the cost is ridiculously expensive because everything imported has to be flown in – no ports in Ethiopia.  It is land locked.  A small little Black & Decker 2 cup automatic coffee maker could cost about $100.  Large items like cars and electronics are about the same cost as they are in America.  You can live really cheap if you “go native”.  But it is hard to give up the American conveniences.

4. There are no sexual undertones here.  That may seem like a weird observation, but for example the men will commonly hold hands as they walk together.  They aren’t gay.  It’s just a simple affection.  You may even see them standing with their arms around each other.  It’s a little shocking from an American point of view, but here it is their culture.  You see they haven’t been corrupted with the constant onslaught of sex and violence.  It’s innocent.  They have sex here though!!  You should see all the children! 😉

5. On that same note – the people here don’t get married rashly.  A young man will typically not marry until he has enough of an income to support his family.  They may not marry until they are in their mid to late 30’s.  And then when they get engaged there is a whole process of counceling that is done by the Pastor and church elders.  You just don’t jump into marriage lightly here.  If you still want to get married after you’ve gone through the scrutiny that you must go through to get married, you are very unlikely to get divorced.  Divorce is very uncommon here (although it is seeping in a little more).

6.  Again, on that same note – as I mentioned in a previous post, the focus here is family and friends.  They are constantly visiting and inviting and greeting each other on the street.  There is an intimacy in the community.  Probably mostly because; 1. there are few cars.  Everyone walks, so you see so many people face to face all day long.  2. They are so poor.  They simply need each other and they don’t have the distractions that we have in America – tv, music, video games, toys, etc….  3.  They have culture.  They have pride in their ethnicity and their heritage.

7.  The coffee!! – I can’t get over the coffee.  It is the best I’ve ever tasted!  And that is such an understatement!!  I can’t get enough coffee.  I used to be so sensitive to the caffine, but here I can drink it all day!  It blows my mind!!