So thus began the last week.
There were really only three actual days of labs this week, so I think everyone was just looking towards that last day (Wednesday). The kids really liked Jelani as a lecturer when I asked them, except that he goes super fast so it’s a bit hard to keep up. Since it was the last few days, we tried to help students complete exercises but the week was really spent thinking about what they should do next. How could we help them progress further after this?
On Tuesday, the TAs got a half day due to a college application prep session happening in the afternoon. We took a trip to the Red Terror museum and then went to Village Cafe afterwards. Red Terror was an interesting museum, but it made me very sad just reading all the documents and memorials in the museum. I think it’s worth a visit if you’re near Meskel Square, but just make sure you’re not there on a holiday or when something is going on (i.e. The Eritrean President coming to visit or a known terrorist also coming to visit no big deal).
As for Village Cafe, people wanted to go since it was recommended by Anthony Bourdain for their tej mojitos. Unfortunately they don’t actually sell tej mojitos and only sell regular mojitos but their regular mojitos are pretty good. I also got cookies because I was not chancing it with the Mexican food again (curse you, Spurs).
For dinner, we went to a place called La Nouvelle which was super hipster. Probably a bit more expensive than the places we usually eat, but they make pretty good burgers if that’s what you’re in the mood for. The pasta also looked really really good.
The last day of lab was sad. It was very very sad. But we promised the kids we would see them Friday which I think made it less sad than it should’ve been. Thursday was Career Day and wow was it inspiring. I could only listen to about half the presentations and answers because they were in a mix of Amharic and English, but I was really motivated by what I heard about. Africa’s Talking is doing some cool work as well as some of the startups and startup hubs in the Addis area. After Career Day, we invited the guest from IBM research to have dinner with us at the “new” shiro place (which was actually really really good). The place is called “Meaza Shiro”, and it’s close to the guesthouse and Hayat Hospital (even closer than Azmera!!). There were also a lot of cats there. A LOT of cats.
Friday…well Friday was the Final Exam. It was actually very fast to grade, but I’m not sure how much we learned from the scores. I was proud because around five students from my lab were in the top 20 ish, some of whom I wasn’t expecting!! We also had a very very large dance party and celebration which was fun.
And then came the pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.
We went to Kategna this week which I like Kategna but I like other places better than I like Kategna I guess. Kategna is also traditional Ethiopian food and is right beside one of the Tomoca branches in Bole. If you go, I’d recommend getting your own dishes as opposed to whatever the special tray is because then you get more of what you like.
On Friday, we went to Hebir which is a cultural restaurant like Yod Abyssinia. The food we had was not so good (non-fasting foods), but the fasting tray looked (and apparently tasted) delicious. Fasting season started on Monday of this week, so we should’ve known…
I was also somewhat convinced to dance. And I said ok let’s just do it because it’s practically my last day in Addis.
The night, though, was very sad. As soon as we returned home, Arash, Dan, Jelani, and Basi all said bye. There was a lot of collateral damage. I was very very sad, but I didn’t start crying at goodbyes until Dim was saying bye to us at the club. It was just so overwhelmingly sad. I think we said bye at least four times before I had to just hole myself up in my room and just work on something to numb the sadness.
The club was also very difficult for me. It was too much sensory wise– too loud, too many people, too many lights. It’s like a reminder of all the things I did in my life that I regret, but I’m glad everyone had fun and we could all spend time together (even though getting us all in was the most stressful experience in my life oh my goodness).
Everything was just very sad.