Since I’ve been here, I’ve been extremely lucky. But one moment made me think about what kind of crazy fortune I have managed to experience on my trip to Ethiopia.
I had been taking multiple taxis around Addis in an attempt to return the key to the house that I accidentally forgot to give to the neighbor so that Freya could come home and, at the same time, get to an appointment to meet Haille (one of the world’s fastest runners and Ethiopian God) in Bole.
It was pouring down rain by the time I arrived, about 40 minutes late to my appointment in Bole. Luckily Haille was unable to make it because of a graduation at a school he funds. After meeting up with a few of the Running Across Borders people that were also meeting Haille, I headed back to Macanissa, to hopefully get home before it got dark.
Well by the time I got to Mexico (halfway to Macanissa), it was already dark. The sky was slightly lit though, because of the insane lightning. The light looked like a bony hand reaching out across the night sky. It was raining slightly but nothing too bad.
The bus stop where I was standing was bustling with people fighting their way onto taxis and busses going everywhere but Macanissa. I was there for about an hour, searching for a taxi to Macanissa, but I couldn’t find any.
I called Teddy and he told me to get a private taxi, and that he’d negotiate the price when I got home. I didn’t have enough money for a private taxi, so I kept searching for a taxi.
Eventually I found myself just standing by the side of the road, with people pushing by me, as I thought about what I could do next. My mind was blank. I didn’t know what to do. I was exhausted and cold. I needed to get home before it got much later and there were no taxis left. I stood there for a bit clutching my bag and wishing I were back in LA.
Then I heard someone calling my name. I turned around and saw one of Teddy’s friends walking towards me. I couldn’t believe it was him. I just ran up to him and gave him a huge hug. He was coming back from studying at the library and was going home to Macanissa. He said that I was at the wrong bus stop and that we needed to go a couple of blocks away to catch the right bus.
So off we went down the street to catch a taxi home. I couldn’t believe that he (1) recognized me and remembered my name; (2) was walking past the station where I was standing, and noticed me; (3) was going to the same place I had been trying to get to for over an hour.
I had never been so happy to sit in a crammed taxi going to Macanissa in my entire life. Was it a coincidence that he happened to be walking by a random bus stop in Mexico at the same time I was? Was it luck that we happened to stumble upon each other? Or was it a miracle that he found me when I needed him? I’ll let you decide.