When the rain descends suddenly on Addis, the sky blacken and the rain rips down at an incredible rate. Within moments streets have become muddy rivers. There is thunder and lightning every day but it seems to start at about 2pm and finish by 4pm so we have managed to plan our days around it.
Today we went down to the Megananya road, everyone calls it that, but only because it goes to a junction called Megananya. Apparently it's real name is Queen Elizabeth Street, but no one knows that. We caught a mini-bus today. People stand outside their blue and white vans shouting the names of the places their bus is visiting. I wish drivers in London would do that. The names are shouted in such quick succession that we have to stand at the stop for about 5 minutes before we can understand what they are saying. We catch one to Megananya. A huge bus junction. Me and Manda sit next to the driver and wait for someone to take our money. A fellow taps us on the shoulder and we hand over 3 birr (10p) for both of us. He gives us change. It's impossible to know if we are being ripped off, since everything is so insanely cheap anyway.
The journey is fine and the driver honks and swerves his way through the traffic like a zebra in a herd trying to avoid a lion. We park eventually at Megananya bus station. Not only is it a bus station, it's also the home of free enterprise. Shoe stores abound on the dusty ground and toothpaste, hairclips and everything else you could possibly need just after you've gotten off a bus.
Frank leaves us here and we decide to wander back in the direction of the house to a place called Sol Seattle. Good beer and good food. Manda and I talk about lots of things, including where she thinks she's going with her life. I think that what she has done so far is incredible. So much more than what I had done at the age of 22. She's a good one though and I have no doubt she'll make of the world what she wills. She has such a good soul.
I'm looking forward to our first day at the project tomorrow...