life as we know it

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stalker much?!

Ethiopia is 10 hours ahead of us. This time difference makes it really difficult to try and catch our friends on the phone, including Yemamu, who we talk to on a semi-regular basis. He has previously told me to call anytime but I try and be pretty respectful of sleeping hours. This guy works HARD. When Yemamu tries to call me (I'm not sure how he does this), the phone number comes up on my phone as California. So I missed multiple calls from California both Sunday and Monday and knew he was really trying to get in touch with me. He doesn't understand the concept of voicemail because no such thing exists in Ethiopia, so when I don't answer, he just tells me my phone is broken the next time we talk.

Well because I had missed so many calls recently, I was set that I would get a hold of him. You have to understand that phone usage in Ethiopia is unreliable. INCREDIBLY unreliable. So sometimes when I call, I hear beeps. Sometimes it's rings. Sometimes there is the recording of a woman speaking English. Sometimes it's Amharic. It often says the network is now busy or the subscriber's phone is switched off or: "the person you are trying to reach is not answering" (umm duh?). Just because you get a specific recording doesn't always make it true, either. We learned that particular lesson in 2009 when Nick would spend so much time trying to call me, be so excited to finally get through, then get disconnected a few minutes later.

So I stayed up a little late and started trying to call around 10:15 p.m. Mountain time, or 8:15 a.m. in Ethiopia. I called. and called. and called. I would hit redial, let it ring, hang up when I didn't get through and redial again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat! It was almost midnight and I still hadn't gotten through. I decided it was going to be my last try. I was barely keeping my eyes open and falling asleep to the beeping sound. Finally I hear, "Hello?" on the other end. "Yemamu!", I yell. The next thing he said? "Kelly, you have called a lot of times," in a very groggy 'I just woke up' kind of way. OH NO! I had literally been calling him for close to two hours straight. The calls had actually all been going through and Yemamu's phone had been ringing the entire time, but he was just trying to sleep and kept hitting silent. UMMMM...STALK MUCH?! Wow. I have apologized about 100 times, asked Nick to call and apologize, and even called back this afternoon to apologize again. He told me not to worry about it, but really, I had his phone ringing for two hours!!!! Oh well. I guess you can't question my determination? :)

I felt like this....

Yemamu probably looked like this...

Well, at least that's over!

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