Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer Break

Some may walk more in the Summer--I walk less. I do work less, which is part of it. But it's mainly because I simply can't take the heat. The morning commute to work is bearable...the sun's not too high. The walk home for lunch is another story, though. Thankfully, the library's so cool in the Summer that it takes me about a block to thaw out. That still leaves 3 more blocks. By the time I get home, I have a nice glaze all over. It's kind of a bummer, but I can handle being sweaty at home. The office is where I really dread that sticky feeling. That’s why I drive back after lunch in the Summer, or perhaps get a ride from Julie. I say all this to say…I have a lot less to blog about in the Summer.

As many of you know, I took my first trip out of North America this Summer—to Ethiopia. What for? A sweet, little girl who needed a home. While in her country, I observed an amazing amount of walking. It was even a bit unsettling. I’m used to deserted sidewalks & plenty of room on the roads for cars. Not in Ethiopia. There were people everywhere. If you started on a walk somewhere, you basically had to merge into the foot traffic. The personal space I’m used to here is virtually non-existent in the streets of Addis Ababa. Even in the countryside—seemingly in the middle of nowhere—there were walkers. Who knows where they came from or where they were going?

According to a Wikipedia source, there’s only 1 car per 1,000 people in Ethiopia, which puts them virtually at the bottom of any cars-per-people list you’ll find. That’s compared to America’s #1 ranking with a ratio of more than 700 per 1,000. In a nutshell, when it comes to walking wherever it is you need to go, Ethiopia is the polar opposite of where I live. It was truly eye-opening to see (first hand) such a place. It’s a scene I’ll try to recall this coming school year whenever I feel like walking to work is weird. I’ll remind myself, it’s not weird…it’s just foreign.

P.S. I tried to make up for lost time this morning by grabbing three day's worth of litter: a plastic lid from a soft drink cup, a cellophane wrapper of some sort, and a package of Smarties candy in mint condition.

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