Addis Ababa - Post Report Question and Answers

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It would be helpful to know the local language, but you can muddle through most of the time. Technically English is part of the curriculum after grade 6, but In practice most can't speak it. A few words of Amharic is helpful in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is a country of many languages, and not transferrable in other regions of the country. The Embassy provides a shuttle to and from residences each day and are available if scheduled ahead of time. The cost is currently $3.70 flat rate each way, and is generally safe and comfortable. Shuttles come as early as 6:45 on weekday mornings, so be prepared for early wake-ups. In the evenings there are generally 3 shuttle runs around 5, 6, and 7 pm. Traffic is horrible during rush hour and during rainy season (Jun-Sep). Commutes from residences to embassy via shuttle, taxi, or POV are around 20-60 minutes. Returning home from the embassy takes 45-90 minutes. Adherence to traffic laws is unpredictable. Fender benders can take hours to resolve, even with embassy roving patrol support. We drive our POV here, and also take taxis or the shuttle to the embassy. Overall, its not a bad post, but check on specific questions with others and do your due diligence. - Aug 2023

Ethiopia has a few shortcomings like power going in and out, and it isn’t always the cleanest place; but there are so many beautiful things to embrace about Addis and especially Ethiopians! Lean into culture and language as much as you can and you will be met with incredible kindness. In Ethiopians you will see resilience, kindness, and a beautiful culture of community! - Jul 2022

Diplomats are not respected here in my opinion. The treatment I got was disturbing to say the least. We are here to help the country, but the locals treat us like beggars. We didn't choose to be here, we simply agreed because of our commitment to humanitarian assistance. - May 2022

Take advantage of the location as an airline hub even if you don't like Addis or Ethiopia itself. Get out and see places you haven't seen before and take plenty of breaks to nice destinations. - Aug 2020

It is a tough place, but you can make it work for you if you keep trying and take breaks away from here. You have to get away or Addis will chew you up. - Aug 2018

This post is solely from my experiences and added with my friends' experiences. Others may have different experiences from mine. My answers to some of the questions may scare you, but these are normal for developing countries. It is an amazing country with rich history and culture and good people. Stay healthy. Try to embrace your life in Addis. You can always change your attitude and do not complain unless you are willing to change it. You can always find good and the best in worst situations if you encounter. You will never know what brings into your life. - Jul 2018

I realize I sound really negative and down and maybe even ungrateful. I always think about this situation as we are guests here in this country and the people and culture are beautiful in many ways. But the realities of living here outweigh those pros. I know too I keep harping on the driving. That's because it impacts everything we do here. And it is so so dangerous and there are far too many confounding factors regarding the driving that I don't know how to improve it even a little. Also, if you are seriously ill or hurt here? You have to be med-evac'd out (and even dent-evac'd). I would hate to have an appendix burst, for example, or...hurt in an MVA an have a life-threatening trauma of some sort. I could have done this for one year. Two? No. I'm done already. - Aug 2016

There used to be a question about "savings." It's important to note that this could be a post to save if you are willing to eat the same, basic food daily and if you are willing to forego travel or access to the limited and expensive communication infrastructure. Most do not live this ascetically. It can be a very expensive place to live. - Aug 2016

A great place to spend quality time with your family and learn to cook great food!!! - Jan 2014

Ethiopians are very kind and welcoming. The poverty is shocking at first, but you get used to it. If you like to do volunteer work, the opportunities are endless. Children are pretty happy here. It's a good post for families. - Mar 2008


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