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Ethiopia by E-mail

Subject: Hi from Addis Ababa
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 18:01:33 +0300
From: Pat Rollin

We are safe and sound in the apartment. There is a lot of police presence by our apartment but we have not seen any problems. The laundry is closed and so are a lot of the shops around here. We went to the grocery store and there are a lot of empty shelves. We have enough food and water bought, boiled and tap water to flush toilets if need be. Ato Mamo has been checking with us regularly and we plan on staying in the rest of today and probably tomorrow. I did not go to Gemini today and won't tomorrow. Thomas (our cabby) is on strike so I am staying put.

I wrote some of this earlier on the weekend and will just add more now.

We are getting ready to go and also Jim is grading exams for the new cohort of students. 99 took the exam on Saturday. Jim went to the airport to meet Donna who is teaching this month at the school. The gave the exam and Donna and I met him and walked around the campus then went shopping at Sholo. It is a market similar to the Mercado but smaller. I got a night gown, a dress and we bought another Gabi. The we came home and showed Donna the apartment, Deribe came over to visit and meet Donna. He is one of the graduate students. Then we went to Dolo, a traditional restaurant close to the apartment. Then Mogus came over and they all went to meet Alice at the airport. She arrived safely and they took her to the Global Hotel.

Sunday we attended Church then went to Bombay for buffet lunch. We showed Donna the open air market which Jim has learned is called the Japanese Market. Then Donna went back to her hotel and Mogus came to visit. We had a nice visit. We are listening to a book on the computer so we listened while the neighbors were having a party with a lot of Ethiopia music. It was pretty music but really loud. We went to bed early.

Monday: I have finished the laundry and it is drying and Jim is at class. We are going to Debre Berhan tomorrow so we will finish this letter and mail it on Wednesday. There is a protest going on and Jim and Donna were locked on campus for a while. We are all home now and safe.

Tuesday: We went with IFESH to Debre Berhan and saw the Teacher Training and Vocational College where Susan is teaching Higher Diploma this year. She had invited us to come and see what the college has been doing and we took a tour of the campus. It is a small campus but they are improving the computer center, library and really doing a lot of things for the students to make learning fun and productive. Susan has been doing a Role Model Project where the student go out and interview people in English about who there role models were. They are writing a book and have included people from all walks of life, gender, ages and ethnic backgrounds. It was very interesting and the countryside on the way was very beautiful. Susan came back with us as she has a dentist appointment in the morning.

Wednesday: I got ready to go to Gemini and Jim called and said there was a Taxi strike today. He had gotten a cab with 3 others to the university. The cab driver was not Ethiopian and had not been told of the strike. So Jim told me not to go to Gemini today. So I went with Susan to the dentist and to get her tickets home straightened out. We were with Getnet the IFESH driver. I needed a phone card for the mobile I have been carrying around. Addis and Getnet helped me find one as our regular shop to get them was closed. Then we came home, went to Novus for cheese and tried to go to the book store but it was closed. So we are now home. I will work on my shawl I am making and read. Susan has left to go back to Debre Berhan. Nathan is supposed to be here on Saturday morning at 1:45 AM. Jim got back from campus about 12:30. Mekonin took Donna & Alice to the Global then dropped one of the students off and then brought Jim home. They had 15 students today in class. They are not sure if they will have class tomorrow or not yet. They said maybe they will have class at the Global Hotel. Some of the students won't come to the university right now.

I will keep you informed of what is going on here. But we feel safe at home and we have not seen or heard any protests by the apartment.

Bye for now. Pat and Jim


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