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Ethiopia by E-mail

Subject: Hi Everyone from Addis
Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2005 12:50:38 -0400
From: Pat Rollin parollin9923@hotmail.com

We are doing well. This week has been a little more interesting. On Wednesday we had the maintenance men come over to fix the couch. It needed to be welded and a support put on the middle because it was sagging. Two men came with the welding tools. They took our couch apart so all that was left was the metal frame. They wanted to weld it in the apartment but Jim asked them to take it out on the balcony. Just as they got outside the people 3 floors up threw out a bucket of wash water. It came right down on the balcony. So Jim went up to talk to the people. The lady said no one lived here so they did not think it mattered. I had been watching when I washed clothes to make sure I kept an eye out for falling water. She promised she would not do it again. Then they started welding. They had an extension cord that was put together in 2 places to make it longer then wrapped with scotch tape. They asked to plug it in to the electricity and there was no end just the bare wires to stick into the outlet. I don't think they used the face shield they brought with them. They welded the frame then took a piece of metal and made another 2 legs and welded them on. The guards from the compound came because they thought they were doing something to the door so they had to come in and check on what was going on. They were here an hour and a half and then the driver that brought them kept telling them it was time to go back to the college. I guess they were supposed to be back by 4:30 or 5. It was interesting to watch.

HOPE Enterprise On Thursday we went with one of Jim's students, Zenebe, to visit the NGO that he is running, HOPE Enterprise. We started by seeing the breakfast feeding of street children that they feed 2 rolls, a banana and a cup of milky tea. Before they eat they have a couple of people that give them lessons that they have to do. After they eat they have to get ready and go to school. The NGO pays for their uniforms and school fees. Next we went to the college area. They have school from kindergarten to college at the edge of Addis. They have a training school where they teach wood working, metal working, auto repair, electric installation, housework and cooking classes, a garden center where they sell plants and the kitchen where they make the food for the other centers. Next we went to the ceramic shop. Hope is where I have bought nativities as presents and for our home. They were making the material they use for the ceramics and then some people were making the pieces to be dried. It takes about two weeks to dry them, paint and fire them. Next we went to see the lunch feeding program. They feed from 12 noon to about 3 PM. They feed 660 people a day, all street people who get one meal a day at this site. They eat in shifts so people are waiting in line for awhile. It costs the center about 2 birr (24 cents) a person for the feeding. It was a very nice tour and this NGO is doing wonderful things. There is no government help for street, homeless or the poor of Ethiopia.

Friday we had lunch with Claire. She has been in Addis since spring and is going back to France in a couple of weeks. She had been with us in Sodere last June. Her parents are coming from France to see where she has been living and working on her masters. She has to go back to France to write her paper so she can graduate in December. She said she had a good visit and it was a learning experience.

Jim is having meetings to get ready for class next week and I did a couple of loads of wash. Not much else exciting going on here.

Bye for now, Pat.


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