In some ways, moving to Ethiopia is like moving to another planet. For example, I can’t figure out what season it is. Based on the flowers in our garden, I’m pretty sure it’s spring. I thought the seasons were only reversed in the Southern hemisphere–obviously I was wrong. Being close to the equator and at such a high elevation, the seasons are all messed up (but it also means we can have almost any kind of fresh produce, grown locally!). I know that the rainy season is June-August here, and I’ve heard people refer to it as both summer and winter. Perhaps it’s best to think of it only as the rainy season, since the weather doesn’t match what we think of as winter or summer. It doesn’t get very cold during the rainy season but it doesn’t get warm either. Even though it’s (probably) spring now, the flowers bloom a lot later than in Southern Africa (my beloved jacarandas are in full bloom now, whereas they bloomed 6 weeks ago in Pretoria). Next will come the dry season. I don’t think it ever gets cold during the day here, but the nights are already chilly. Maybe it’s fall, after all. If you view the average temperatures and average rainfall for Addis Ababa, it appears pretty constant except for the rainy season–so you’d think that we wouldn’t even have real seasons here. But it looks and feels like spring, so I’m going to go ahead and call it that.
Telling time here is confusing, too. The day starts at 6 am instead of midnight. When someone is talking about Ethiopian time and says, “I’ll see you at 2 in the morning,” they mean 8 am Western time. I always confirm several times with people before I am confident we’re talking about the same time.
Even the date is different here. The Ethiopian New Year is on our September 11th, so right now we’re in the third month of the year. Oh, and it’s currently 2006. The Ge’ez calendar (or, የኢትዮጵያ ዘመን አቆጣጠር, according to Wikipedia) is similar to the Coptic calendar, but not quite the same.
All of these differences just make this place more fascinating to me now, but I can imagine that after a while they will make it frustrating.
No matter what season you call it, the weather was spectacular today. Breezy and sunny, perfect for a run. I put Willa down for her afternoon nap and put Charlotte in the BOB, and we ran around the neighborhood. I think I “ran” for 5 minutes and then walked for 25, but it’s a start.