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Ethiopia by E-mail

Subject: Good morning from Addis
Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2005 15:55:25 +0000
From: Pat Rollin parollin9923@hotmail.com

We are doing well. James has just finished teaching the first class to the 42 new students who started the program in October. Next week they start another class with Sandhay Joshi the professor they hired from India. The unrest that we have seen in the last couple of weeks has now calmed down and things are almost back to a normal Ethiopian way of life. There are still a lot of troops and police on the streets but we do not hear of any problems. We keep praying for a peaceful settlement to the May Elections and that the troop build up near the Eritrean border stays peaceful. The UN is watching that front and so far so good. We are still staying a little close to home. Jim and I have purchased a mobile phone so I have one to carry at all times. I have Thomas's phone number (our cab driver) programmed in case I need him quickly. IFESH did not want James out without his mobile which they provide him with so they helped us get another phone for me.

Yesterday Jim taught his class then joined me at Gemini to watch 3 films that the students there wrote and produced with the help of a team from Wales. One was in English because it was the Wales team film about their trip to Addis and the second one was subtitled in English about the Gemini Trust and what they are doing here. The third film was about HIV/Aids which the students wrote the script and acted in the film. The drama class is very good and the students worked hard on the film. It was in Amharic so we did not understand it all but got the general idea. After we saw the film, heard a group of musicians play, and saw a skit, the students that produced the film received certificates from the College the Wales team is from. The musicians are being taught by a lady from Holland who is working as an exchange students here until December. She will spend 6 months total here then go back home to write her thesis for her graduation. The students at Gemini are very talented. Gemini Art Student with Pillar I have started to buy a new set of Pillars from the art students. They are making them special for me because of the size I need to bring home in my suitcase. I have purchased the first one this year. So we now have a new decoration on our wall. I have attached a photo of Yordi with the pillar she made for us. It shows the Mother & Christ Child, the Amharic at the top are the numbers 1 2 3 for the Trinity and the cross at the top is a Lalibella cross with an angel above. They have been visited by the owner of an art gallery in Seattle called Music for the Eyes. He is purchasing some of the pillars for his shop. Shannon bought the art students colored pencils when we were home for the summer and I have delivered them. They did not have colored pencils and they really like them.

I broke the frame on my glasses. I had an old pair of glasses so I am doing ok there but we UPS my glasses to Shannon to have them fixed and sent back. We sent them and it only took the 3 days that the UPS office said it would but they did not tell us their would be a broker fee for the package we sent her. Shannon ended up paying $23 to get the package that cost us 560 Birr to send (about $65 US). We had forgotten a few presents when we were here last year so we purchased them and sent them with the glasses. They told us here it goes by weight and the package was 2 kilos then they put insurance on the package after the weight for the package price. This was a test to see how much it cost. Probably the last package we send unless when we leave here in August we need to send something home because of suitcase space. Shannon has had the glasses fixed and will be taking them back to UPS to send back to me. We are not sure how much it will cost on either end for me to get them. This is why we have not asked for people to send us packages here. Shannon did mail us 2 National Geographics which cost her about $20 to mail US Post office. We have not received them yet. Mail was not delivered here for about 2 weeks but I have received a card from a friend in Chicago this week so I hope things will start being delivered. We know of a couple of cards and letters that have not arrived yet.

We wish to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers and please continue to keep Ethiopia in your prayers.



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