I hate the bureaucracy involved with this part of the world. Had to get to the airport two hours early to have time for it. Wait in line at the gate to have passport and ticket examined. The sit around and wait. Then wait in line to check in and have baggage weighed; another line to pay airport tax; another line to have baggage inspected; and another line to have the airport tax stamp cancelled. Then sit around and wait some more. Then line up to have the carry on bags inspected and another line to be frisked (no x-ray machines or metal detectors here). Then sit and wait some more. Then line up to have the boarding card taken and walk out to the plane. Then line up to get on the plane and have the boarding card stub checked. At each spot no one anticipates - each and every person in line is going to have to look for their ticket and ID, then again for the boarding pass, then again for the stub two minutes later. Every single person in line has to do it, why can't the people look ahead and thing "oh, I need to get out my ticket" - but no they look shocked that the check-in person would want their ticket. Ok, done venting.
The flight was too long, and parts were very rough. at the Addis airport I tried to call Dawn but the zero button on the only payphone was broken and her work number has two zeros in it. Fought with the taxi drivers a while before I found one that would take me into town for a reasonable amount. Dropped my bags off at the house and headed downtown. At the U.N. the guard couldn't get hold of Dawn - then I realized it was right in the middle of lunch. So I sat down and had a cup of coffee and a soda then tried again - still no luck. I went and found a public phone and the number for Egypt Air and confirmed my flights to Cairo and Casablanca. Finally Dawn was in.
Spent the afternoon hanging out in Dawn's office - checked email and just hung out. Dawn's been very sick - spent several days in the U.N.'s clinic - but no one can tell her what it is. At least that's the excuse she gave for not showing up last Saturday...
Went out to diner with Kate (one of Dawn's bosses) and Stewart (a friend of hers from NY that she randomly ran into in Addis) at a excellent European restaurant. We'd been at the Hilton bar (where Kate lives and Stewart is staying) first - so the conversation was well animated and excellent.