June 27, 2011
My trip to Mekelle University
Early on Tuesday morning I met up with Seyoum and Gebremedhin to go to Mekelle so I could meet with the professors and dean of the new music school at the University. We caught a bus. Seyoum sat up front and Gebremedhin and I sat in the back. These bus drivers here are insane. They drive so dangerously. This one bus driver was no different from the others I’ve dealt with for public transport here in Ethiopia. He took off like a bat out of hell. I was talking to Gebremedhin about the conversation I had the day before with Sr. Kahsa. He shared yes, the teachers have behaved very badly but it wasn’t my fault and he was annoyed to hear that Sr. Kahsa wants to stop the flute school. He was further annoyed they had placed the teachers problems on me. Most of all, he was very sad to hear the lack of appreciation from what I have done for that school.
Gebremedhin has a problem with being in a bus, he gets car sick so he said he wanted to sleep. Off to sleep he went. I sat there while the loud Tigray music boomed throughout the bus. Of course on other trips I’ve gone on I’ve learned it’s not uncommon for someone to get car sick. We weren’t even into our trip 30 minutes before someone was puking. I ignored it and listened to the music. I covered my nose so I wouldn’t have to smell it. But the stupid bus driver kept driving like a bat out of hell. He was going so fast that at times I was literally bouncing off my seat and bumping my head on the ceiling of the bus. This is a mini van type of bus. We had about 12 people on board. A good six of them were puking. OMG I can’t stand it. I opened the window wide as several of these passengers didn’t even use puke bags. Puke was on the floor and all over the side wall of the bus.
Let me interlude here to give you a better idea of what I was going through. I’m sure you’re getting a nasty picture of what I’m saying from just the puking. Get this, I’m in Ethiopia. This is a 3rd World country. People here are extremely poor. These people are lucky if they get to bath once a week. They stink!!! They don’t brush their teeth. It’s awful!!! Dealing with just the smell of these people is enough let alone them puking.
What a fucking nightmare! I hung my head out the window, tears running down my face, gagging. “Please Blessed Mother, don’t let me puke too!!!” I cried. The music blasted as the passengers puked!! Oh God, how I wanted to get off that bus.
The drive to Mekelle is normally 2 hours. That son of a bitch bus driver had us there in less than an hour and a half. How I wanted to hit that bus driver. As we arrived, I was sick to my stomach, my ass was sore, the bus stunk, and the music blasted. I was so glad to get off the bus. It was like jumping off the titanic with joy. I leaped!!! I felt so bad for all those poor people who got sick. How awful that must have been for them to deal with that ride. Those poor people…..
Anyone who knows me knows how paranoid I am about people getting sick. It’s like I have a phobia about it. When it happens I run the other way. So for me to deal with this was an overwhelming nightmare.