Monday, May 8, 2006

Greetings from Ethiopia

As not fun as it was, the Ethiopian Airlines flight did leave Dakar about 18 hours late, stopped in Abidjan, picked me up in Lome, and I'm here at the Sheraton Addis Ababa.

The Addis airport, Bole International, is about 3 years old and very nice looking. It kind of reminds me of Dulles, but a lot smaller. I got my visa on entry, which wasn't as much of a hassle as I expected. I had warned the Embassy that I was late, so their expeditor was there to meet me.
I got to the hotel (which is also the site of the consular conference I'm attending) at about 3:00 pm, so I missed almost the entire first day of the conference. There's a dinner out tonight, so I'm set for that. Changed, got a new stack of money that I don't recognize (Ethiopian Birr, about 8 to the dollar and really tiny. It looks the most like Monopoly money I've seen.)
At the hotel, after being disappointed that my wireless connection didn't find anything, I asked the front desk. They offer their own dial-up, which is good enough for e-mail. Now I'm flipping through channels. I just stopped on Al Jazeera. Their tech guy likes the newest Harry Potter video game.. I never considered that Al Jazeera does "hey look, we're cool too" tech stories like CNN. Then they showed a promo for a story on Guantanamo Bay. It didn't look real positive.
By the way, I wasn't the only person that missed the first day. Somebody else traveling from Embassy Dakar was on the same flight as me, and she started earlier (not to mention stopping in Abidjan and Lome), so I guess it could have been worse. Either way, flying horizontally through Africa just isn't a good idea.

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