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On Sunday evening we bumped into Ahmed – who had been coaching the Dibabas for the hill session on Saturday morning – in our hotel. The next morning he was going to be overseeing an interval workout with some of the athletes from the Somali national team, to which he invited us to join.

At 6:30, before the sun had even started to appear over the horizon, we joined Ahmed in front of the hotel. He hailed a passing minibus and we bundled in. 1 birr (4 cents) each for the quick ride to the centre of town. We alighted and immediately Ahmed opened the door to a bajaj (tuk-tuk) and ushered us in. The bajaj unsteadily made its way down the bumpy street, passing between many concrete hulls of the unfinished (and seemingly abandoned) houses. Partially constructed buildings are ubiquitous in Ethiopian cities and towns, sometimes it seems like there are more buildings that are under construction than those which are complete.

After a short trip in the bajaj we arrived at the house where Ahmed is living with a group of Somali athletes that he coaches. We spent a quarter of an hour stretching in the courtyard as the athletes prepared themselves. The house was very simple, with bare concrete walls. A woman was in the courtyard washing dishes in a large plastic basin, using water from a freshly boiled kettle to battle the chill of the water from the tap.

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