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Expat in Ethiopia: Running the 8th Great Ethiopian Run

December 1, 2008

By Jenny Higgins

There are many things to get used to when you return to Ethiopia after time spent at home in London: goats, sheep and donkeys taking right of way on the road, supermarket staff packing your shopping and carrying it out to the car for you, and incredible sunshine every day (pale skins like mine should never leave the house without suncream).

There’s also the fact that you’re known as “farange” (foreigner), and that if a stranger on the street smiles and says hello to you, they normally genuinely want to welcome you to their country and practise their English, they’re not (always) trying to pick you up.

I’ve been living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for over 3 months now, and I’ve visited the country 5 or 6 times previously, so it’s less of a culture shock than it used to be.

However, every time I return, it takes me a while to acclimatise. I have to let go of my cynical London attitude, and remind myself it’s okay to say hello back to that man walking past me.— More–

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