24 is a seemingly unimportant age. It comes with no extra rights or privileges, and often gets lost in the shuffle of days and weeks passing. If you were to ask nearly anyone what their favorite birthday was, a slim margin will say it was their 24th. But if you were to ask Darian the same qu
estion, I know what she would say; she would say that her 24th was the best birthday she’s ever had and, (in her words) the best she’ll ever have. And if I were in her shoes, I’d have to agree.
Who wouldn’t like a birthday that starts out with a handmade card signed by one’s whole team, shortly followed by a cake from Chocolate, delivered by Gerinea and Measgena for breakfast? This was shortly followed by our daily trip to Korra, where I surprised myself by being able to remember the name of one of the children. You may think that this is a small accomplishment considering we’ve been here for a week or so, but in my defense, the names here have sounds that we never use in American English, so any lack of mastery of the local names can be excused.
Following lunch at Korra, we made the taxi ride to the postal market, where there are no set prices and visitors are charged according to the color of their skin. When a price is given, it is expected that they try to get the price down as low as possible before buying. I didn’t think I would like haggling at first, but after the first few clumsy attempts, I found that I really enjoyed the process of finding a starting bid and working my way down from there.
The money we saved was quickly spent on our meal that night at Absinia, where our plates probably averaged around 75 birr each. It was worth it however, as the pictures and videos from the night can surely attest to. All in all, it was a very meaningful night, and while I could try to describe all that went on during the three or four hours we were there, I think I’ll let the videos of Colin and I dancing speak for themselves.