Wednesday, June 12, 2013

View From The Taxi

A man, severely handicapped, sat in a wheelchair and used his hands to tap the legs of his comrade to direct the blind man pushing him across the crazy Addis traffic.

I will say it again. A blind man was pushing a disabled man's wheelchair. Together they were using their strengths to cover the other's weakness.  

It is hard to get photos here. People don't appreciate drive by photos, taken paparazzi style but I wish you could see it. A city built for less than 2 million people is straining under the weight of over 4 million inhabitants. It's literally teeming with life. 

It's raw, beautiful, overwhelming and mesmerizing. Pregnant with grief and hope.

We spent Tuesday afternoon running around trying to get our Ethiopian driver's liscense. Our first stop was the US Embassy where we watched families finalize their adoptions, and guessed by watching into the other people's lives what they were doing at the embassy. Where they getting passports for the US? Getting married? 

 We finished the process this morning! 3 stops. It went smoothly, so thankful as we have heard it can take three days!

That is until I heard that I have to pass a road test. With a manual transmission. In the city. 

You guys, I don't know what I am going to do. I cannot tell you how crazy traffic is here, people and animals and cars and no lane delineation and horns and vehicles going the wrong way. As you have witnessed, I have driven a stick, but like four times, in flat Indiana. Addis is also high altitude and has so many hills with traffic kissing your back bumper. This leaves absolutely no room for backsliding. 

I think this may be something that I practice in Injibara this summer. It's mountainous, but much quieter traffic wise. I would just really not like to run someone over or have an accident my first week here. 

So I guess I have the paper but am not really road ready.


Mindy said...

I can't believe you have to pass a driving test! Addis has the WORST drivers - I can't believe any of them would pass a driving test! At least it looks like their standards are low, so you should be fine...:)

Britni said...

Good luck with practice! So glad that thus far things seem to be going smoothly. Your family's magnet is right by my coffee maker so I get reminded to pray for you at least once a day as I reach for some caffeine. Love you so much.

Danielle said...

It sounds like the driving test is checking to see if you can survive(I mean drive) in the craziness and not if you can follow the rules! Oh how different life is :) I'll be praying for you!

MarknBarb said...


I think you are going to experience your first of many miracles! You and The Lord can drive a stick shift!

So thankful we can follow your adventures!


Anonymous said...

So enjoying your adventures, as Barb said! Prayers always.
Mary K.

Sheila said...

I remember the views from our taxi rides..heart wrenching and awe inspiring. Praying for all if you, but a special prayer for you and the driving - cant imagine! Yikes! :)

Anonymous said...

Never, never a dull moment for you Amy!! But with God, all things are possible! Im sure you are thinking... you are in no hurry to get from place to place on your own just yet.:)
So thankful you have been able to update. We think of you all so often, and these blog posts make it seem like you are still in good ole Indiana with us.:)
Praying for continued blessings and smooth transitions.

We love you all!
bill and Heidi