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Ethiopia by E-mail

Subject: Back in Addis Ababa
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 08:53:14 -0400
From: Pat Rollin parollin9923@hotmail.com

It is another year in Addis Ababa.

It was a good visit to the US. We were in Phoenix for a week and a couple days and met with the IFESH people, returning & new teachers for an orientation. The returning teachers were used as resources for the orientation this year because of budget cuts. I also met with a couple cousins I have not seen for 33 years. They live in Prescott AZ & California now. We had many family gatherings and met with many friends. We spent a weekend with close friends, my mother, & my brother enjoying traditional music at the Wheatland music festival.

I have been here for a week and Pat has been here for 5 days. We are slowly adjusting to the time change and settling in. Things are normal here, there are many frustrations. The Custom's Tax Collection Department. The overwhelming poverty and begging. The lights have been going on and off. The water has been out a couple mornings. There is an LP gas shortage so cooking is more difficult. All the frustrations disappear each time I run into someone I met last year. They greet me with such a warm smile and the Ethiopian greeting of a handshake & hug (both men & women). I received these kind of greetings from all the students I have met, my colleagues at work including the office administrator and secretary, the woman who keeps the floor of my building clean, the people we did business regularly in the community. The laundry men came out from behind the counter to greet me, the people we met in the market place greeted us and when Pat was not with me asked "where is mother" [or Madame] both terms of respect. The university driver went out of his way to come an greet me. Yonas had our house all cleaned up with welcome signs and roses out. The people here really do appreciate what we are doing and even the local market people are warm & friendly once they know we are here for an extended time and not just tourists.

Police Academy Graduates Two of my students teach at the police college. One is a deputy inspector with the police (= to military rank major) and invited me to the graduation of the 33rd class to graduate. This college grants a diploma to its graduates = to the bachelors degree. The students have been through police academy (called police training institute) and have had several years of experience. They are chosen to attend from local, regional and federal police and gain extensive training in administrative and special police areas. It was a very formal event with the President of Ethiopia present. Because my student is a ranking officer I was seated in the honored guests area for the graduation & reception following. The President of Ethiopia was there & handed out diplomas and gave the graduation address. I will attach a photo. It was a very nice event.

Jim Rollin


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