April 14 – The beginning of my final week in Ethiopia

Earlier in the week I started to feel that slump that always seems to come in the middle of the week or in the middle of a project like this. I decided to write about it…..about the things I was tired of. It was a bit of a long list of mostly little annoyances like the uncertainty of our transportation around campus. And then I decided to write about the things I have learned and grown to like…….for example Ethiopian coffee. That list was considerably longer and before I had a chance to post it on the blog I guess I lost it.
Before I leave on a trip like this I pray that God will not only work through me but IN ME. This time my prayer was also for patience and flexibility. I somehow missed in the syllabus that this was an advanced level course! And I must say I am not getting a perfect grade but not bad either. Today I had a class scheduled to begin in the field at 9am. At about 10:15 the students came. I have to give them credit though because this is exam week and they’re really doing an awesome job at being in class. But the best thing I had an hour and fifteen minutes to spend one on one with my new friend Wegane. We walked the field and talked plants for a while and then just sat on a log and really talked. You can’t buy those experiences.
This afternoon I was supposed to teach a class on grafting of mangoes in the orchard up by our guest house. On the way back from lunch I noticed several baboons along the road. When the time came for the students to arrive I just sat outside and carved and figured they would come sometime. When they did I didn’t recognize a soul from my other classes. About 30 total strangers. But they were there to learn grafting and I was there to teach it so we had class. I’m still not sure who they were.
I had told the driver to come and get me at 4:30 for dinner although I really intended to go the Plant Science office and use the internet. Of course that time came and went but I found that rather than be frustrated I just enjoyed the time carving. I fed a monkey pieces of cookie and got him within about 15’ of me. It started raining so I pulled a chair into the front doorway and ate my not so ripe avocados and half a pineapple and a PopTart. While I was sitting there eating and watching the rain 5 warthogs ran up in front of the house. I’m no wildlife expert but I do know Pumba when I see him! If I had gone back to campus I would have totally missed all of that.
I am ready to wind down and go home but I feel so blessed to have come here. Heck where else can you wake up in the morning and hear five little monkeys jumping on the roof! And blessed beyond belief with Laurie’s support when I get a crazy idea like farming in Haiti or teaching in Ethiopia. Blessings!

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