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Ethiopia by E-mail

Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2005 15:10:51 -0600
From: "James E. Rollin, Ph.D." <rollin@uic.edu>

Monday morning we went down to the university to meet Jim's students and see his office. We went by line taxi which is a mini van with a person sticking his head out hollering where they are going or out the door. We visited the dean's office and met Abye and then toured the museum on the second floor. It tells the history and culture of Ethiopia from birth to death.

Then we went to the pizzeria for lunch. We then meet Mogus one of Jim's students who went with us to the Mercado. This time we went on a line taxi which was a pickup truck with seats in the bed that you sat on to travel. The man hollering out was on a shelf attached to the back door. He swung the door open when he wants to call out. The Mercado is a supposed to be the biggest open air market in all of Africa. It was noisy and all the booth owners are calling you to come look at there stuff. We needed dishes, silverware, wastepaper basket and an iron. Shannon and mom bought gifts for family and friends. When you did enter a booth they wanted to show you everything they had and really pressured you to buy. We spent about 2 1/2 hours there. Mogus got us some good prices on things.

Tuesday we went to Entoto Mountain to see Addis from there. We went to two churches and a museum on the mountain. Jim has sent you pictures of St. Mary's church which has the museum and a guide takes you around the building and tells you all the important facts about the displays. Then a guard takes you to see the old palace of Menelik an emperor of Ethiopia in the late 1800's. He is famous for defending Ethiopia against the Italians and won to prevent the colonization of Ethiopia. Then we went to St. Raguel Church which is a church that you can go into. It is Ethiopian Orthodox. The guide takes you into the church after you remove your shoes. It is an 8 sided building with an outer hallway. He unlocked the next door and you were in a room with pictures from floor to ceiling on the 8 sides of the room, telling the stories of Jesus and the Saints and the Ethiopian church. You cannot enter the room that houses the replica arc of the Covenant and other religious tablets. The guide describes the pictures as you walk around. Then he takes you to the church carved into the mountain which is the first church on the sight. After this we went to the old military lookout and Jim took this picture of Mom looking out over Addis Ababa. We stopped at the weavers and seen the beautiful material and shawls they make.

Then on to the Former Women's Fire Wood Carrier Association, these are women who longer can carry the firewood down the mountain and they watch the child of the women who carry the wood, make shawls and baskets to sell. We buy everywhere we go we are going to get all our Christmas shopping done soon.

Yesterday Jim worked and we did laundry and shortened the curtains in the one bedroom and made a tablecloth.

Today we are going to go on a tour with Tadesse and Deribe two of Jim's students. They are taking us to some more churches and then to see about cloth to buy.

I guess that is about all for now. Included is a picture of mom on Entoto Mountain.



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