A donkey ran into me today. It did not simply brush or nudge me; it plowed into the side of my leg with force, and, dare I say, purpose. I was left physically unscathed by the event, but my view of the animal kingdom has surely been scarred by the donkey’s blatant disregard of decency.

I was standing on the sidewalk next to Katie as she attempted to buy guacamole ingredients from a fruit stand (and having a somewhat difficult time), unaware of the coming danger. Amid the normal din of street noise, I heard the familiar cry of “Hallo! Mister! Hallo! Sir!” It is something I hear at least ten times a day as various people try and get my attention either to sell me something or purely for entertainment. Today, it turns out, it meant that I was about to be struck by a donkey. A few seconds later, the donkey’s face ungracefully met my thigh and pushed me a few feet down the street. Everyone around—Katie, the shopkeepers, and especially myself—were surprised at first. But it did not take more than a couple seconds for the surprise to turn into laughter. The owner of the donkeys continued on down the street as if nothing happened, and soon enough we returned to buying food as if nothing happened as well.

Laugh it up

Laugh it up

A few days ago, Katie and I asked someone to take our picture at the request of our director, Pushpa. She needed a picture of the two of us in Addis to put online. We were at our old hostel, which has a balcony overlooking the street, and we asked one of the employees to take our picture. He immediately directed us to another one of the employees, implying that he was the true photographer of the bunch. Sure enough, once being shown the correct button to push, he moved around us snapping pictures at all angles. It looked like he pushed the button fifteen or twenty times, yet we later discovered he only managed to take three pictures. In all three, the large cactus near us featured prominently in the photo. Fortunately there was one in which the cactus only covered part of Katie’s head, so we used that one.

One of the pictures that we did not use

One of the pictures that we did not use

Most of the minibuses are covered in stickers of Jesus, Mary, or other Christian figures. I would estimate that about 90% of the stickers on minibuses are Christian, and that’s not that hard to understand, since a lot of people in Addis are very religious. The other 10%, however, are totally inexplicable. These stickers range from “Don’t mess with Texas” to “Power Steering”, but the most common non-Christian sticker is, without a doubt, the Apple logo.

Apple logo

You can’t explain that.

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