Ferengie Ferengie Ferengie September 1, 2011Posted by dora1988 in Uncategorized.
Here are Some of the problems I have encountered:
I live in the rural part of Ethiopia so for the most part many people live a very simple and quite life. Currently because of the road construction my town has seen an influx of ferengies (the Chinese are building the roads so they live here).
Now for the most part I love my town, but it is a little frustrating sometimes going to the suki or gas station to fill up my kerosene by myself because I get called names; I have been called China, Korea, India, Ferengie, Habesha Ferengie, You, Anchi, Jamaica, Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, (Any African country ever colonized by the British)…. I just ignore it and move on, it is difficult to try and explain what it is to be Black American but then I thought about it, even in the states I have people asking me where I am from all the time except in that case it is usually during a private conversation and not yelled at you on your way to the market, usually it is the boys on the streets that don’t have anything to do that bother me most people are respectful.
I won’t lie I stand out though …One. because being 5’10’ or 182 cm is a giant here, I am taller than about 85% of the pop except I hear the people in Gambella and Afar region are super tall. Two, I always wear pants most of the women here wear skirts and I am just not comfortable in a skirt so I opt for pants. Third I own a pair of rainboats that I happen to wear a lot because my town is super muddy, and I also get laughed at my the men because of it….apparently years ago it was illegal for women to wear rainboats so I am pretty much crossing the gender barrier on every level. Fourthly I talk funny, I mix English with Afan Oromo with Amharic. Also I wear my hair different too the type of braids I have in aren’t very common around here although I have seen women with similar braids in Addis but for the most part it is different….so yea I do stick out a lot more than I thought I would; and one of the high school teachers in my town told me I had a very strong Angela Davis male like confidence that isn’t common amongst Ethiopian women, that is how he knew I was a foreigner .
Peace Corps did tell us that most female volunteers find themselves in a limbo we play the role of a third gender because though we are women we do get away with doing things women in our society are not allowed to do. But the one thing I am excited about is the push for Women’s Rights because this is truly a male dominated society…I will save that rant for another day!!!!!!
But you know everytime I introduce myself they ask are you married….no Hin herumne (Not married Afan Oromo) and I plan on staying that way for a long time, most women here look forward to marriage so the idea of a woman not being married is strange. Now the last PCV in my town married herself an Ethiopian she met during pre-service training….Yea that isn’t going to happen this time around, I came here with the intent on helping my community and I really want to incorporate gender equality issues in program, and I did not forfeit the luxuries I had back home to come here and find a husband that is just out of the question for me on top of that I have other plans for my future, however, I am curious as to what the husband could possibly do for a living when they get back to the states I can imagine that being a very difficult situation. So really all this talk about marriage needs to fly away with the birds where it belongs I didn’t care for it while I was in America I really don’t care for it now when I need to inspire my African sisters. Other than being a ferengie and feeling powerless as a woman sometimes, I am really Loving Ethiopia.
I love the food when I make it my way, I find myself putting burberry on everything, the people are warm and open, I find myself drinking shayee everyday like a habesha I haven’t warmed up to coffee just yet but im getting there. Overall Ethiopia is a beautiful country with lots of history and culture and I look forward to the next 2 yrs and I will keep you all back home updated on my life sorry it took so long to write!!!!! Now I will say I actually miss West African Food A LOT!!!! I want plaintains and Jollof Rice…I crave Suya and I am having the hardest time finding Peanuts so send me some Peanuts!!!!
MORE TO COME!!!!!!