One of the first things you notice when you start looking at houses around here is that the yards ("gardens" to you English as opposed to American speakers) are really really small. There are a few notable exceptions, but at most houses, there are just little patches of grass. Most of the area inside the walls (the "compound" which in the case of my little house is way too high-falutin' a word) is paved. I asked about this and the real estate broker, acting like it was a silly question, said that it was so you could park more cars. How many cars can you have in one little house?
Anyway, when I arrived my yard was rough dirt with two old dead trees. I hired a gardener for ETB 200 a month, and he's transformed my little postage-stamp of green into a beautiful garden. Coming to tend and plant a few times per week, the yard is lovely to look at now when you're sitting on the front porch rocking chair. The gardner got sick a while ago and can't work, so someone else has been coming in his place. I worry about the original person: if you don't work, you don't get paid. What will happen to him? I hope he has family in Addis.
There are before and after photos on my Flickr site, here.