Get Djibouti Educated

I suppose I’ve been remiss in explaining what I am doing here in Djibouti. I’m here for one month to set up college courses for the American service members stationed here. It’s basically the same stuff I do everywhere else, but now in Africa! Well, we're already in , but that’s kinda different. Djibouti is a small country located on the "horn of Africa" and is an important port town only 12 miles from Yemen by water. But the name is the best part!

So far, things are going great. I have been here with an employee from CTC are we are having a blast together, but not getting a ton of rest. I'll try to go back and recount what we have done.

The night after my last post was horrible. There was a sandstorm that night and being on our tent was like being in the center of a hurricane. I just kept putting my hands over my head to protect my grey matter from the impending collision I was sure would be coming. No dice. Just a lot of wind and rocks hitting the tent and that's it. I turned on my flashlight at one point and the door flap and my white sheet/door were just blowing around like crazy. It was pretty freaky so I put turned the light off and put the blanket back over my head. 

Sunday we did Yoga (yay!) and boy was it tough. I am new to serious yoga and this was yoga taught by a marine for other service members. It included yoga 'push-ups'. Plus, it was outside in 120 degree weather. It kicked my butt, but I enjoyed it and am committed to becoming a yoga guru by the time I leave here. We spent the rest of the day working and setting up our new office. Here is me at the desk.

Monday was also very productive, and Julia and I discovered something very exciting that evening – the cantina! There is a bar here and everyone is allowed to have 3 beers/day. We decided to check it out and discovered that they had air hockey – for free! But the place was absolutely sweltering, so we decided to try an ice cold beer from Ethiopia. Yummy!

The next day did not start out so well since I could not find the key to the padlock on our office. I think it must have flown out of my pocket in a fit of air hockey excitement. I’m sure you can all relate. So we had to cut it off with bolt cutters and I felt pretty crappy about that. The day went got better as it went on and the mood on camp was cheerful. Everyone changed into civilian clothes that night to celebrate the 4th of July and we paid another visit to the cantina. This time it was ping-pong and Tusker beer from Kenya. We were responsible and went to bed early.

On the fourth we had decided to have a “college cup” competition between just Julia and me, but things didn’t go exactly as we planned. The basketball court was occupied so we couldn’t have our free-throw contest. Then the trivial pursuit game was checked out, so we decided to play something called “Who am I?” – a biography game. When we ended the game with the exact same score, we decided we were equally awesome and that we should stop competing. Then we worked a bit and got showered for the celebration at the embassy.

A friend of a friend picked us up and drove us through Djibouti city to the embassy – my first real time off base. There was lots of trash and little stands on the side of the road, where apparently people deal "khat," some kind of narcotic.


We drove straight to the embassy and immediately went swimming because we were drenched in sweat. We played in the pool a while, then ate barbecue and even watched a small fireworks show. It was definitely a very cool experience and I met some people who were positively inspiring. Just when I think I am starting to get to see the world, I realize how much there is out there and how many amazing opportunities can be found if you are willing to get out there and look for them.

Today was all business followed by……YOGA! I love yoga and can now do the thing where I balance my body weight on my forearms. The internet is really slow right now, but this post will be choc full o' pictures soon. Ciao!

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  1. wow, steph. i am contantly amazed at all the awesome stuff you are doing. how fantastic that you get to see all these places, though not glamorous, but still awesome. i can't imagine seeing everything that you have. yesterday you went to the embassy in djibouti. yesterday i went to the mall to let my kid play in the play area, then to walmart to buy a chain lock for the front door to keep him from escaping in the middle of the night. you have to make a huge photo album of your experiences and show it to me one night over beers. you are so worldly.
    and yes i did have to sing the "Glamorous" song to myself to make sure i was spelling it correctly. how sad.

  2. Actually, Beau & I can relate to fits of unbridled air hockey excitement. Air hockey was BIG at the bar we played/hung out at. He should remember.

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