Wednesday, November 23, 2005

tired but can’t sleep

I blame the copious amounts of Early Grey. One of the joys here is attaching excessive excitement to things like overpriced teas and bonbons. Usually I end up buying something that seems cheap but yummy and full of hydrogenated something or rather completely knowing “there’s no nutritional value in this”. But a girl needs treats!

(Good or bad) life resembles normalcy but it’s strange to know that a few weeks ago the country was in crisis and people were hoping for a revolution of some colour. There are no independent newspapers anymore so any information generally is by word of mouth. The CUD leaders are being charged with treason in one mass trial. Barring outside intervention, it’s quite likely they’ll be found guilty and considering it’s a crime punishable by death, the country could explode once more.

I had a frighteningly interesting conversation with an EPRDF supporter who is seemingly swallowing anything the government and/or ETV feeds him. He claims soldiers killed a 7 year old boy because the boy threw a Molotov cocktail at them; Meles is a wonderful prime minister because he’s built roads throughout the country; the CUD leader has never given any money to poor people on the streets and his worst crime - he’s fat. The rhetoric he repeats is beyond believable but he is sincere in his attempts to explain to this fereng the “real” politics in Ethiopia. The man doesn’t even blink when he talks. There’s a strange mentality that only one party is needed in government. I tried to explain that an opposition keeps the ruling party accountable. He doesn’t think it’s necessary. Perhaps he’ll get his wish.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


After the mayhem, the sinisterness (not a word, I know) and the doldrums of last week, it’s back to work. It was supposed to be a week long strike in support of the arrested CUD leaders but this morning I swallowed my guilt and spent 8 hours behind my desk. It’s difficult to call a strike for people who absolutely depend on their daily wage for necessities. Plus there is government pressure – revoking of businesses and taxi licenses – to force people back to work. So the more people you see on the streets back to their normal routine, the less you feel like a warrior and the more you feel like just another sheep.

On my walk to work, I felt ashamed this morning. My skin colour probably signals many things to people: money, privilege, and especially at this time, I’d say hypocrisy is high on the list. And so when people called me ‘niche’ or ‘ferengwa’ today, there was an extra sting of my own creation. It's enough to bring a girl (or boy) to tears.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

oh stockwell!

Looks as if the foreign affairs critic is doing his job. No one here knows who Stockwell really is (the image of him beaching himself and hopping off the seadoo comes to mind) so let's not tell them.


For Immediate Release November 3, 2005

OttawaEthiopia is on the brink of civil war, their democratic system has been called into question, and the Canadian Government has not issued so much as a statement of their concern, said Stockwell Day, Official Opposition Foreign Affairs Critic.

“We need to be responsible as a developed democratic nation for aiding young democracies like Ethiopia,” remarked Day. “Our Government has watched this happen without doing anything.”

“The Liberal Government should have already been working to broker peace between the Ethiopian Government and Opposition Parties and supporters, said Stockwell Day, Official Opposition Foreign Affairs Critic,” said Day. Many Ethiopian citizens have been killed or injured amidst clashes with the Government Police in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, over the last two days.”

“First the Liberals ignored the pleas to send monitors to the election, then they gave over a million dollars in unaccountable aid that was never used to stabilize the electoral process,” said Day. “Now, as social cohesiveness unravels, our Government ignores the cry for help and turns away as the post election problems move towards crisis.”

It has been widely recognized that Ethiopia’s ability to flourish democratically is paramount to the stabilization of the entire Horn of Africa.

It is imperative to the democratic process and to the safety of the Ethiopian people that the killing be stopped and that all those imprisoned after the May election for political reasons be freed,” remarked Day. “It is time the Government acted on its historic past relations with Ethiopia and listened to the desperate appeals for Canada to be a peace broker before the situation spills over affecting the entire region."

Saturday, November 05, 2005

for the westerners

A good example of the overall feeling in Addis especially regarding the politics. From what I've been reading, most media have said the opposition incited the protests and resulting violence. I can tell you it is not true. What began as a simple call to ask people to honk in support of the opposition has now turned into a bloodbath at Meles' instruction. Meles stinks and it ain't the dog.

Friday, November 04, 2005

10 million dune buggys comin down the mountain

It’s a sit in. We are without a television. Currently the boyfriend is attempting to take zombie-like pictures of himself. Reading is a chore. We made pizza today including the dough. We…are…bored. In general we’ve been consumed with getting more information and considering there are no newspapers right now, it’s the internet. We’re hoping for a revolution. But we’ve got the revolution blues.

for pettigrew, foreign affairs minister

Dear Minister Pettigrew,

I am forwarding to you a letter from Ana Gomes, chief EU election observer involved in the elections in Ethiopia earlier this year. As indicated, Ms. Gomes strongly denounces the current Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s actions with respect to the fraudulent electoral process engaged in by his party as well as the murdering of Ethiopian citizens, which has taken place last June and once again as I write you this letter.

As a Canadian living in Addis Ababa for the last six months, I can tell you the Ethiopian people hunger for democracy in its true form and now in their attempt to rightfully protest against Zenawi, they are being gunned down in the streets and arrested without warrants. I read your statement presented to the Ethiopian Prime Minister earlier today. Respectfully, I urge you to make a stronger and more effective stand against PM Zenawi. Certainly, urging a man such as Zenawi (who has obviously ordered his troops “shoot to kill”) to use independent investigations and due process is futile.

Please be a hero to the Ethiopian people.

Yours sincerely,
Sara Xxxxxx

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

no fate

Forget plain Sara.– I want to be Sarah Connor (yes I'm even willing to acquire an 'h' for this occasion). She's got a stockpile of hidden weapons. She dodges bullets - oh no wait, she got hit in the shoulder that time. She's got a philosophy even if she learned it from her ex-husband. NO FATE. I want to gun down some evil before they change the future of this country forever.

In reality I stayed home today and baked banana bread. A warrior I am not.

The people protesting and those that have died in the last two days are warriors. They believe there is no fate but what they make for themselves. They are brave, they are desperate, they are amazing.

Reference: T2 - Judgment Day