Monday, December 21, 2009

Ethiopia: false start and switch to ultra!

Not for me, I did manage to reach Addis Ababa 2 hours only after the scheduled time. 3 am instead of 1 am, plus 1 hour to get the visa, 15 minutes with the customs' officer, I got in bed at 5 am. Not too bad given the circumstances, the transportation nightmare caused by the winter storm over the "developed" countries...

But false start for the group. Leaving Cupertino at 10:30 am on Sunday, they were supposed to land in Addis Ababa tonight at 2 am, this Tuesday morning. They made their connection in LA but the flight was delayed by 2 hours and they are now stuck in London like thousands of other travelers (I saw on CNN this afternoon that even the Anglo-French bullet train, the Eurostar got issues with no train circulating for several days!). Thankfully, Agnès just called to confirm that they got hotel rooms in London, and a new itinerary, switching from BMI to United, and from connecting in Jordan to Dubai. But they have to get the 1,300 pounds of luggage, in addition to their carry-ons, and check them again tomorrow morning). It was expected to be a marathon, it is now turning to an ultra for them. They are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday morning at 11:35, that is 72 hours after having left home (including the 11 hours of time difference)!

In the meantime, I did a short run of 8 miles to get acquainted with the city. Tomorrow morning, I will try to find a group of runners meeting at 5:45 am at Meskal Square. I got the word from a British blogger, Owen Barder who is spending a few years in Addis on a sabbatical. Meskal Square is huge and it will be dark (sun sets and rises at 6 am/pm as we are close to the equator), so I hope I will find them.

In the meantime, I will have to exercise patience, one of the 20 virtues highlighted in the book 20 Teachable Virtues: Practical Ways to Pass on Lessons of Virtue and Character to Your Children. This is a book Agnès and I like as we are glad to see our kids implementing as many as possible. Since our trip is 20-day long, I had planned to use one virtue for each page of my daily journal, here we are with the first one, then: patience. I would say that patience is most needed in this part of the world, but that would be a cliché and not conveying the efficiency and business that I've seen in Addis so far. Anyway, patience is what the group will need the most of for this 72-hour journey. And, to remain connected to the theme of my blog, patience is also a virtue which we need a lot in ultra running. Patience and flexibility to get over the things which do not go according to the plan.

I was going to add a few pictures of the beginning of my trip but the wireless connection is way too slow, like 10 minutes for loading one page. That is beyond patience... ;-)

PS: oh, and just as I was waiting in the lobby while uploading this post, a rat passed by. Fast. Quite a runner!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Patience donc...
Mais je suis impressionnée par les nouvelles du groupe
Nous pensons à vous