Julie & Julia

As you can probably tell from my title, I just watched Julie & Julia. I know…a little late. It came out in 2009. But we all know I have a lot more free time on my hands here than I ever did back in the good ol’ USA.

I decided to watch the film because I’ve been a bit more adventurous in my cooking lately and I therefore wanted to watch a film about cooking…and I just wasn’t in the mood for Ratatouille : ) I’ll be honest, it was a bit hard watching the film and seeing all of the incredible ingredients both characters had available to them in France and the US.

If you like NPR, you might have seen their article “Where In The World Is The Best Place For Healthy Eating” which prominently features France as the second easiest country in the world in which to find a balanced, nutritious diet. The US made the list, tied with Japan, at number 21. Not great, until you put it in perspective. Ethiopia made the list at 123. Out of 125. And they tied with Angola. Which means the only country where it is more difficult to find a balanced, nutritious diet, is Chad. Man, I’m glad I’m not in Chad. No wonder I’ve developed anemia here and my weight fluctuates constantly.

Funny thing is, that’s not what stuck with me the most – my lack of available food. Instead, what stuck with me were Amy Adams’ blogging scenes (well, and anything with Stanley Tucci, but that’s just because I’m in love with him). Those scenes made me think about why I started this blog in the first place. Full disclosure: I thought this would be easier than mass emails to friends/family back home, letting them know I’m still alive.

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My Ethiopian Bucket List

I’m not one for bucket lists, really I’m not – I haven’t even seen the movie : ) But in my head I’ve started making a list of the things I want to do/accomplish in Ethiopia (outside of the incredible things I’ll be doing with the Peace Corps of course!).

  1. Pet a baby elephant – if you know me, you know I’m obsessed with elephants! I don’t even know if Ethiopia has many…
  2. Climb the Semien Mountains, preferably up to Ras Dashan, the highest peak in Ethiopia. Will I survive? We’ll see.
  3. Write – not the next great American novel…I don’t even think I want to write a book, I just want to write, weekly, if not daily. We’ll see how motivated I am!
  4. Get over my fear of spiders. I’m 22 for goodness sake. And they’re just bugs.
  5. Learn to cook a truly Ethiopian meal – and have it taste good!

I’m sure I’ll come up with a million and one things to do in addition to these…but it’s a start! T-20 days until I reach Ethiopian soil!