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Ethiopia by E-mail

Subject: Hi everyone from Addis
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 22:42:14 -0400
From: Pat Rollin parollin9923@hotmail.com

It is Friday, Sept 23.

I am here and Jim and I are both having some problem with the time change. I arrived on time Thursday evening Sept 22. The Apartment had been cleaned by Yonas and he had left me roses in the living room and bedroom with signs welcoming us back home. I called him and Thanked him but have not seen him yet. He rearranged the house and it looks really nice.

Jim went to work on Friday morning then came home early so he could go to the bank and cash a check and get some money. As you remember banking here is different. So he had to go to the check deposit line to get the check authorized; then to the line to deposit the check; then deposit then to the line to change dollars for birr which we brought with us; and then the line to deposit cash. So he was at the bank around a hour going from line to line. I put the stuff we had brought away and checked to see what we needed to go buy then took a nap. We had forgot to change the phone line from the computer to the phone so Jim could not call home.

On Friday afternoon we went to buy another phone line and groceries shopping since all we had in the house was some cans we left, snack food we brought with us and 4 beers. Jim had gone and bought a case of water (6-2 liter bottles) but nothing else. So now we have cheese, bread, and I am in the process of soaking beans to cook. We have to cook with the electric right now because they are having a propane gas shortage here in Addis. We have a little propane left but I told Jim we should save that in case the power is out until we get tanks filled. We are hoping Mekonin is able to find us some gas soon, he is looking for us. We walked down to the Women Center to check the price of rugs and bought a shawl Shannon had ordered. We are going to try shipping that to her next week. We both were tired and Jim had left overs from Bombay so we had that for lunch and sandwiches for dinner and called it an early night.

Saturday we got up and Thomas took us to the NGO Bazaar and we got some vegetables, a new shirt for me, some placemats & a basket, cards and some potholders. We took everything Ethiopian we had here back to the Michigan so we bought some new. We were in the Gemini booth and they have new pillars but they were all really big. I will have to get a few more custom made for me and my suitcases. Zewdie was there and wants me to come back to Gemini on Monday. I told him I had to get settled a little before I came to visit and see if the new manager will want me to volunteer and what days are free. I am thinking about going back but only one day a week. We went to a new German restaurant for lunch. It was in the building which had a pizza parlor and beer garden before. They have only been open since the 1st of September. They food was good and it is not to far away. It will probably be one of the spots we go to regularly.

Jim went to Bombay and they have the same bartender and people who makes out the bills but all the wait staff has changed. The food was as good so we will have to make new friends at Bombay. We will miss the buffet the next two Sundays. Jim went to the Police Graduation today and next week we have orientation for IFESH. It starts on Wednesday and goes to the following Sunday. I will be attending too. I need Amharic lessons and will see what IFESH does for orientation this year. Jim will be working at AAU and attending when he can.

Sorry I have taken so long to write. Jim sent out one email but I have been attending the orientation and getting stuff put away. Jim attended all sessions except one afternoon when he meet with the Dean & Melese. On Monday, Sept 26, we went to the Meskal (Finding of the True Cross) Celebration with IFESH. We got to sit in the VIP tent and had a wonderful view of the parade of groups that showed the President and Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church what they have done this year. There was singing, dancing, floats and marching bands. It was really nice. We were told by Carolyn we were on TV when they showed the celebration her friend Jon saw us.

I am now getting down to the actual living again in Addis. I have a lot of clothes to wash and Jim has hung new cloths line for me so I can wash more at one time. I now have double the line space. I have washed once since arriving here on Tuesday a week ago so today is going to be a big wash day.

We have finally went to Bombay and the Korean Restaurants. We went last night with the IFESH people to the Korean restaurant and Allie was with us and she is Korean so the owner and her had a long talk in Korean. The people all liked it and said they will probably go back. We took Ato Mamo and Abebe one of the IFESH staff members with us and then all came back here for banana bread and drinks. It was a nice evening. Jim is starting working now and the rest of the IFESH people have to attend another week of orientation then they will go to their sites. Classes are starting a little later this year so they are on the same schedule as the whole University. Graduation will be sometime the end of July no exact date yet. Last year they started early and their breaks were not at the same time as the rest of the university.

I guess I will close for now and will write again soon.



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