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Ethiopia by E-mail

Subject: Hi from Addis
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 11:27:12 -0400
From: Pat Rollin parollin9923@hotmail.com

We are doing well. James has started teaching on Monday Oct. 24 after orientation on the 20th and 21st. They have 42 new students in the first year class and the 39 that started last year are back for their second year. James, Klaus Sur and Melese did orientation. Klaus is teaching the second Orientation year students this semester. A picture of Klaus working with the students at orientation is attached. He is from Australia and is teaching Monday and Tuesday. Melese will be doing a seminar for the students' Master Thesis and they will have placement 2 days a week with some NGO's in Addis. This week the second year students had a seminar from an English Professor, Karen Lyons. The first year students are still being taught in one month blocks. So James will teach the first month of both semesters. Classes are going good and the students seem happy to be back at AAU. James wants to report that Mussie got his new glasses and is wearing them to class. We were a little worried because it took so long to get them. They were a specially thick lens and the only place in Saginaw we could get them had to send them back 3 times before the lab got the right lens made. I picked them up the day before I left for Addis.

James and I sent books from Michigan for the AAU and a few for Gemini Trust. The books came on October 17th. James had to pay 15 birr storage fees but got three M Bags full of books in only one trip. So we sorted the books out and this week I went back to visit my friends at Gemini Trust. I met the new manager W/O Aklil and her new assistant Ato Tesfaye. They told me they would like me to come back to volunteer but I needed to have an interview with Ato Bekele at the main Gemini office since I had not met with him last year. Ruth Woodhead got me the volunteer position last year and she was in England this year when I went to Gemini. So I asked for his phone number to get an appointment. W/O Aklil told me she would set up the appointment and called his office and I was to meet him on Wednesday the 26th. That afternoon she called and said he said since I was returning it was ok with him just schedule me some days. So on Wednesday I went back to Gemini to meet with her. They have hired an English teacher so I will be just doing conversational English with the students. She wants me to work a couple of days a week until they find a new math teacher then we will reschedule my time. Their math teacher has told them he has to leave so they are looking for someone new. They do not want the students not to come so I will work until they find a replacement. They also want me to work with the preschool students more so I have to talk to the preschool teacher to see what they want me to do. The preschool students were happy to see me. They have 9 new students that at first were not sure about me but when the other students held my hand and talked to me they decided it was ok too. The preschool students have really grown taller over the summer. The staff at Gemini seemed happy to see me too. I had forgotten a jacket the last day I worked before returning to the USA and the librarian had found it and put it away for me. So I have my jacket back. I took 33 books which had been donated by Phyllis Jacobs a friend in Saginaw and my mother. I took them on Monday and when I went on Tuesday some of the staff was in the library reading them and the librarian was really happy with the new books. We also took 20 boxes of crayons, some colored pencils and paint brushes for the art students. I had also bought a new checker game for the students to play with at Gemini. They did not have a full set when I left. So next Monday I will start to work. Jim is happy because he said I was getting bored with nothing to do. I have the laundry all caught up and been doing some crocheting and reading some books. But it was nice to see my friends at Gemini and I know I will have a good time catching up with their summer.

We have been very blessed this week we have talked to both of our mothers and our two children. They are all doing well and they reported that the whole family in the USA are doing well. We have a world space radio with us this year so we have been getting news from NPR, CNN, BBC and Fox. It is really nice. I still have not gotten a cell phone. Jim and I are sharing his. He does not like to have it when he is teaching so I will be taking it until we can get one for me. The phone company is supposed to be releasing new numbers soon.

Last Sunday we went to Bombay Brassiere for Buffet and some of the old wait staff came in and they all came to the table to greet us. The new wait staff watched and seem to be more friendly since then. Tomorrow is the NGO bazaar and we will be going. We are looking for cards to mail out for Christmas. The people who make the Banana Art cards have not been attending the bazaar so we hope they are back this month. Otherwise I am not sure what we are going to do about cards. Maybe we will have to just buy any cards and write Merry Christmas in them. But if we don't get the cards this time we will not have cards to send out so you get them for Christmas. With Ethiopian Christmas being in January the regular store don't carry Christmas cards until the middle of December.

I guess that is all for now. I wish to say that we were happy to hear the White Sox won the World Series even though we know that our Cubby Fan friends would rather it had been the Cubs.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.



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