Passing through COVID 19 is definitely a unique and challenging experience for everyone around the globe where everything is uncertain, hard to plan or even picture the future, as well as, adapting to the new way of living far from loved ones.
When Covid hits and declared as a pandemic we were at a critical point for Our Mad Vervet hostel because we just moved to a new place after operating for a year. our rent contract ended we thought of moving to the bigger place for two main reasons one we didn’t like sending back people specially who stayed with us before because we are out space as it fills up by people from all of the world. Two The house we were in was very old and very hard to renovate and had major issues of bathrooms which is our most negative comments from guests even though we managed for a year as most of the guests were understanding so we wanted a place with better situation.
„The start of a new chapter in our journey, with a bigger house”
As we are trying to create a new chapter for the hostel Searching for house was as hard as opening the first time except this time we have clear idea of what the hostel look like, what we need, what we should have learning from our experience and guests comments but we had to do it while still managing a busy hostel. After finding the possible perfect place it took us around a month for moving, painting and arranging the new place to bring the spirit of the old house.
On March 13, we had a farewell party with our friends and guests to close our first location in as grand a way as its opening; to say goodbye to the first chapter of Mad Vervet with all its challenges, new friends, and unforgettable memories; and to celebrate the start of a new chapter in our journey with a bigger house and an amazing family built along the way.
„The feeling was reminiscent of reaching a high point on a mountain, and having an amazing view to look at, and starting the climb to a higher peak with much better views to look forward to.”
Things start going sideways on March 14, when Ethiopia announced the positive first case of COVID-19. Guests were evacuated by their embassies as countries were starting to close their borders and in just 3 days, our house was completely empty and we started to feel the impact of the pandemic.
The first 2-3 weeks were spent wondering what to do. The sudden change from busy, no-sleep nights to absolute idleness was quite difficult to accept.
Same as most others, we initially had high hopes that the pandemic will be controlled in a few months and we would be back to normal. At first, everyone recommended we close our hostel for a few days till the pandemic passes as health is more important than business. The few days have changed to few months and we still do not know when/if we will be back to normal. At the end of the day, what is normal? COVID has fundamentally changed how we live our daily lives and what is considered “normal” now.
Coming back to square one after having worked so hard to get to where we are now and having managed to survive through the many challenges of having a startup is very hard to process. The pandemic has also taken away travel, which is my main escape route in times of stress, and that makes it even harder to remain positive.
At the same time, I appreciate this time is so hard for everyone. This is the time to be grateful for our blessings, and we are lucky enough to have our full health. I am also eternally grateful for the amazing friends who are by our side helping us through this difficult time.
I am also very grateful to our newest addition to the family, Rona, who has kept us sane during this time. Without Rona and our regular Zoom gatherings with our friend, I can’t even picture how much harder it will have been for us.
We are staying positive and very hopeful we will be back in business soon. In the meantime, we are passing our time by doing what we do best: being creative to make our new house a home. Making pots, shelves, gardening, building beds, and so on.
We hope to welcome you to a stronger and better Mad Vervet soon. Till then, I wish you all health and wellbeing.