Alem Kib New
By Eden Mekonen
At the start of our pre-departure training in Los Angeles, we learned about the “Four H’s of Acculturation” – these being Honeymoon, Hostility, Humor, and Home. As someone who’s admittedly oscillated between humor and hostility, I sometimes feel as though a fifth “H” should be included for “Humbled.” Addis Ababa, and Ethiopia in general, has truly been a humbling experience for a compass-dependent and GPS reliant person, such as myself. I like to think of Google Maps as the reliable friend who you can always count on to help you out when you literally don’t know which way to turn; the friend you could always depend on to guide you whenever you take a misstep. However, as GPS isn’t widely used or accessible in Addis Ababa, navigating around the city has proven very challenging for me.
While this isn’t my first stay in Ethiopia, in previous visits I’ve often relied on directionally-savvy family members for geographic guidance. However, having come back to Addis this time around as an Ethiopian Diaspora Fellow,