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Rain Flies at Home

Stout, green mountains hover dominating over the bowing, metal roofed homes.

It had just rained and from as far as the eye could reach, up in the sky, countless rain flies brilliantly flutter their fragile four wings while several cats and birds collect around them in a hunting spree. The rain flies prevail, enjoying their very short life, looking to seem as though the whole aim in their creation is to fly zealously over Ayer Tana, announcing the termination of the rain. Soon, they slowly dissipate by the tame wind that swoops and swirls all over the steep slopes of Addis Ababa. Deep in this bustling, taxi-invaded, socially interactive capital city of Ethiopia, I was born and raised. “Healthy Air” is the direct translation of Ayer Tana and it was the county where I remember almost all my childhood memories. It was there I had my first front tooth taken out, and it was also there I shared close secrets with unforgettable friends. Preschool is vague yet I could never avert those times when I would have accidents and Opsi, my famous rival would reminisce my inability to control my bladder boastfully to my father. The next week he would omit from his mind the thought of using a bathroom and it would be the glorious day for me to return his detailed description of the accident back to his father. From Kindergarten and then on, attending a strict, catholic, all girls school, did not interfere with the astounding events that spotted my average days. Just as a little girl, treading back with my older sister from a long playful day at school, I would be met with laughter from the living room. One of my mother’s long- distance friend had come to visit and vivacious conversations about the new past and the old future fills the room. Back then, I was not much aware, always busy whether its with chasing after a robbing cat or simply singing loudly to the stark quiet sky. I realize today when I walk in retrospect that my life in Ethiopia was quiet unparalleled. We all lived in an atmosphere of comforting familiarity, an established belonging, a beautiful companionship. We each knew each other closely and we each were dependent on each other somehow. Such times as those, even today, in Ayer Tana do not exist. From the international drift to an interest in technology to the national problem of an obdurate government, those times only live in my memories. What I feel though isn’t this despairing sadness, it is gratitude. What more could I ask for than to be here in California and attend  one of America’s high schools, taught well  by interesting teachers and furthermore embellished by the ethnically diverse students. My mind has truly broadened and I have grasped so much that I could not ever encounter if I was still in Ethiopia. Many people I have grown to know are wonderful, and some have even truly understood me. Frankly, I still feel homesick when I think of family and friends, yet my life here is slowly molding to also be filled with a comforting familiarity, an established belonging, and a beautiful companionship. I am seeing the rain flies hovering blissfully over the flat mountains, right here in Petaluma.

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