Sounds of Addis Ababa

Right now the power is out so my neighbourhood is relatively quiet.  I live on a dirt road just off of a main street.  All houses, and even tin shacks, are divided into compounds which generally means high cement walls (unless you live in the aforementioned tin shack so your shack has a tin fence as well) with a large metal gate.  I guess the walls are meant to keep out the thieving types but tends to create a disconnect for those inside.  It’s strange to glance out and only see the odd tree top, part of the sky and some birds.  It feels as if you could be anywhere.

One thing the walls don’t keep out is sound.  Usually the church just down the street from our house is loudest on Wednesday nights.  Today is Saturday so tomorrow must be a special day in the Orthodox calendar to break out the loudspeaker tonight.  There is a priest speaking although there are some hints of fire and brimstone but I can only tell from his tone.  His message is interspersed with ladies shouting la-la-la-la-la (but really fast…you know the sound I’m going for?) and people clapping. 

It doesn’t sound like many people are out walking tonight.  It must be because the power is out.  The odd car alarm keeps going off, the odd small dog is barking, and there is the hum of someone’s generator (lucky bastard).

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