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Ethiopia by E-mail

Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 10:24:11 -0600
From: "James E. Rollin, Ph.D." <rollin@uic.edu>

We have started paying for a Hotmail account and hope this will solve the email problems we are having. If you don't want to hear our problems with hotmail, skip to the next paragraph. We use MS Outlook to access hotmail because we don't have to go through the web interface. The web internet explorer can take as much as 5 minutes to load one page. That means that it can take 15 minutes to get to the first message page. Recently, Hotmail put a special screen in to check to see if we were human so they don't get machines set up to spam everybody. That did not work well so we could not access hotmail for a while. They told us that if we use Hotmail Plus ($19.95/yr) we would not have to prove we were human because they had our credit card number.

Please use parollin9923@hotmail.com from now on.

AOL customers be aware that we have been getting messages from AOL that they are refusing to deliver our messages. (I hope you get this).

I [Pat] have been doing the normal things laundry, cleaning the apartment, shopping, reading and playing computer games. I have started a shawl and going to start a cross stitch project soon.

We are still trying to get my resident card so we made a trip to the embassy to get proof we are married. They took our marriage license I brought from Michigan copied it put there seal on it and charge us $30 or 261 birr. Now the IFESH People are taking it to the Dept. of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get letters before we go back to the Immigration Dept. I am not sure how much it will cost to get a residence card. I need it so I don't have to go wait in the Immigration Office every couple of months to get a visa extension. So hopefully it will all be in place soon.

We went out to eat with a number of students last Tuesday night at an Ethiopian Restaurant. They wanted to meet me. Mogus was along and he wanted to know how mom and Shannon were. He really enjoyed the trip to the Mercado with mom and Shannon and all the money he saved them bargaining for their goods. He was telling the other students about saving mom about half of what she was buying at one booth. He told Jim and me he would take us shopping again to get some baskets and maybe a musical instrument. The instrument is a krar, a 6 string lyre. It is almost the same as the lyres they talk about in the bible. We are not in a hurry because we are not sure how we would get the two things we want back to the US so we are still thinking about it. I want an injera basket (mesob) which is about 3 to 4 foot high and they use it as a table during meals. The Restaurant was a very nice place with a lot of Ethiopian artifacts on the walls and a bar in the basement with traditional dancing. One of the students took me around the restaurant and told me what all the stuff was and what part of Ethiopia it came from. WE had a traditional meal.

I got called away this morning to go get my residency card and spent 4 hours of today waiting. It was an interesting experience but I guess I cannot complain, I remember seeing the Mexicans waiting in long lines around the corner in Chicago, standing out in the heat, rain or cold waiting to get an appointment to see the immigration people. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs charged 300 birr to stamp the copy the Embassy gave us certifying it was authentic. Then it cost 400 birr to get my Residence Card.



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