Day 20 – 11 786 km in 24 hours

Instead of walking through Addis Ababa, I am walking through the Dutch rain. That wasn’t quite planned. Yet that’s how it is. The past 2 days are probably the weirdest days of this year so far. I don’t really feel like writing today. But I made a promise to you and myself to write about anything that would happen this year. So here it is: the story about how I broke my track record of distance travelled in a day. New record stands at 11.786 kilometers in about 24 hours.

As I wrote about before, today I was supposed to start a research for Tear in Ethiopia. A pilot evaluation about a micro finance project with Self Help Groups.We did make it to Addis Ababa. Just not across the Ethiopian border. Visa issues. I was so mad. So incredibly mad. Now I am mostly confused about what is happening next. I had a plan for the next six weeks. A contribution to make and something useful to do. That’s all taken away by 45 minutes on an airport and immigration being difficult. I guess now we know what it feels like to be treated like you are trying to illegally enter a country.

There is a lot more to this story. I don’t want to blame anyone. This trip was well prepared by the various partners involved. The Ethiopian authorities had their right to refuse us, I guess. But still there are so many questions about how, what and why this happened. Life isn’t always going to treat you nice. Sometimes things go different than you hope and expect them to.

Yet in the end I am grateful. We are both doing fine. We will figure things out. People that love us are happy we are home safe and sound. So are we. I guess I have a lot of interesting things to write about in the next few days. Being deported sounds a bit harsh, but having your freedom taken away from you as a graduate in migration studies is ironic to say the leas and being on 4 flights in less than 24 hours gives you a lot of time to think.

I’ll explain more when I am not so tired anymore, okay?

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