Ethiopia is a land-locked country. The nearest ports are in Eritrea and Djibouti. Ethiopia and Eritrea don’t get along so well these days, so goods shipped via boat from overseas come through the port in Djibouti. All summer long, while trying to figure out how to get our stuff from Medford to Addis Ababa, Andreas had multiple occasions to mention Djibouti. And you can be sure that he made the most of every opportunity to do so. There are plenty of amusing ways to use Djibouti in a sentence.
After goods arrive in Djibouti, they are sent on by rail or truck to Ethiopia. Straightforward enough, except that new regulations have slowed the process to a crawl in recent months. There are hundreds of container shipments destined for Addis now being held at customs in Djibouti. That’s a lot of stuff to have stuck in Djibouti, as Andreas would be quick to point out.
Fortunately, we decided it would be more economical for us to send our belongings directly to Addis by air freight. But the new kitchen cabinetry and appliances that the Italian developers of our apartment complex ordered from Italy for installation this summer are still not here. All the Varnero apartments are operating with temporary kitchens. We have the essentials – refrigerator, basic stove with oven, microwave, and sink – but we’re using folding tables instead of proper counters, and we have no cupboards or drawers.
The school’s director sent a message to the Varnero faranji last week with an update on the kitchen status:
FYI: the kitchen cabinets and ranges made it up from Djibouti to Modjo, about 40 km outside of Addis, but apparently are stuck there, unidentified. Hopefully they will be found and installed soon! Jim
So now that we’ve got Djibouti in gear, I guess our new mantra is: Get your Modjo workin.