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Ethiopia by E-mail

Subject: Hi from Addis Ababa, 2 April, 2005
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2005 17:19:34 +0300
From: Pat Rollin

Good day from Addis Ababa. I know we have not written in a while but not much different here and we have not been doing much. We celebrated Easter at St. Matthews last Sunday and then went to Bombay Brasserie for Buffet. I wore a Traditional Dress to the restaurant and the waitstaff was all happy because I was dressed very traditionally. They seem to be happy that I was wearing their culture's clothes. I have finally bought a couple of shirts and two dresses so I am pretty much set for traditional clothes

I am still volunteering at the Youth Center at Gemini two days a week. I am hoping that I am helping them learn some English. They are teaching me about their Culture and life. Some of the students would like me to attend their English class so I can understand about Plasma TV. I have to figure out where the school is and if their teacher will allow people to visit their classroom. So we are going to talk more on Wednesday. They have finally decided that I am there to talk to them and get them to talk to me. Mickie rented them an English speaking video a week ago but the students did not really understand it. Then last week someone rented Taxi and the students that watched that seemed to understand it better. So I an not sure showing them videos does much good. But we have had some talks.

On Thursday I met the teacher that comes and talks English to the Library at the Center. I am not sure why he is teaching this one person but they meet in the library on Thursday afternoons and this week the library was locked and the other person who works there took the key to Lunch. So they could not get in. I was not teaching at the time and I had been talking to the Teacher so he had the student asks me questions and he corrected what she was saying and then we would go on with the discussion. Then the person with the key came back and they went off to the library and I went in the classroom to see my students. A couple of the girls showed me how to wear my dress and tie the head piece on so it was right. Then more students came in so we had class. Pillars The Art teacher did not come so the Art Students came to English Class. They usually come on Wednesdays but not Thursday if the Art Teacher is there. They do water colors on pieces of wood. They get the piece of wood and have to sand it down smooth then they draw on the board what they want to paint and then they paint and varish it to finish it. They call them pillars and sell them at the NGO Bazaar. But I have been given one pillar and have bought 5 others, done by different students. Jim will be including a picture of Abel who is one of the students at the Bazaar with some of the pillars.

Mickie and Meron have asks me to attend a Saturday class trip to the National Musuem in a couple of weeks now. We were suppose to go today but the musuem could not handle us. They are taking the 5 thru 9th graders and the 5th thru 8th grade students can only come to the center on Saturday because their school lasts all day. So I was asked to attend the field trip and then come to the center the next week to talk with the Students about what they had seen. So we will be going when they can get the trip set up. Jim is going to go with me both Saturdays. Hopefully it won't be NGO Bazaar day or the day Jim is trying to set up to go to Awasa.

A couple of the preschool boys who have not paid much attention to me before decided I am their friend this week which has upset the girls a little bit so I am trying to get them to understand they have to share and I can hold everyones hand just a couple at a time. I have been talking to them before school and during their recess. We talk about colors and when I said to one little one she had a red shirt on then a couple more showed me their red shirts. So maybe I am teaching them a little something. If I say "Hi how are you?" To them they always answer "very fine and you" in a musical tone because it is part of a song they have learned. I was talking to the preschool teacher and said that I was enjoying getting hugs from her student and she wanted to know what a hug was. Just then a student came up and hugged me then she understood and she is teaching them English. Even the older students can read the words but have no idea what they mean. So I think sometimes them teaching me some Amharic words help them because they are using both words together and understanding more what it is.

Jim has finished teaching his Criminal Justice Class and has been working on the placements for the students intership this month. So he has been very busy. He is trying to figure out how to do site visits to check on what the students are doing at the interships or placements. 4 of the students are placed at Gemini so I have seen them the days I work. Jim is trying to set up a site visit to another town and if I can I may go with him. He had three students who wanted to go to placements near their hometowns.

They are doing a lot of improvements around the compound & apartment building. Playground Jim has gone out and taken some pictures of the gardens, they have put out a slide and swing for the children, benches to sit on, lights on the driveway into the apartment so it is not so dark at night and pictures & lights on the landing coming up the stairs. Jim will also include a picture of the improvements. With the swing and slide it gives the children somewhere to play besides the driveway and parking lot. They had started to plant the gardens when Mom and Shannon were here but they have been adding plants, planters and areas they have planted since Mom and Shannon left.

I hope this note finds everyone who recieves it doing well and making plans for the spring months ahead. I know tomorrow is the day you spring forward. So I hope everyone has changed their clocks. I guess that is about all for now. I will write again soon.

Some people have communicated to Shannon our daughter that they miss our news letters and thought they had been removed. We have been busy and have not sent out a newsletter lately but remember, e-mail goes both ways. We don't get much US news and would love to get current information (not off the society page, but other important local & national events). We were a bit surprised at the number of requests we have had to be added to this list. It has grown considerably since we started and we have reports that people are sharing the messages and photos with friends.

Pat & Jim


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