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Ethiopia by E-mail

Subject: Hi everyone from Addis
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 22:28:12 -0500
From: Pat Rollin parollin9923@hotmail.com

We are doing well. We made it through Thanksgiving and the first IFESH meeting. Jim worked because it is just another work day here, and then Moges and Rose came to dinner. Moges is a friend and Jim's student at AAU. He did a documentary for Save the Children about street children this summer and met Rose. She is 9 years old and was selling lemons on the street to make enough money to buy tea and bread for one or two meals a day. Her parents are dead and her sisters who are older could not support the family so Rose was working and going to school. She has completed 1st and 2nd grade. Moges was so moved by her that he adopted her. He lives with his father, sister and brothers and they all accepted Rose as a family member. She is a very bright and loving child. They had dinner with us. We had Mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes and ham and vegetables and I made date bread for dessert. After dinner Rose and Moges and Jim looked at the National Geographic magazines while I talked to Tom and my mom on the phone. They took some pictures of Rose and Moges. We have pictures of our family and friends on our wall and Rose looked at them. I explained who they were but she talks little English and I am not sure of all the Amharic words. We got to the picture of Jim's mom and I told her it was Jim's mother and she told Moges in Amharic it was Jim's mother. So she understands a little. We had a really good time.

Jim worked on Friday and then we went out to dinner with some of the IFESH teachers. On Saturday we went to the NGO Bazaar and then IFESH had a meeting of all staff to see how they were doing and discuss how classes are doing and any questions the staff had. We are going to have a Christmas gift exchange so we drew names for buy a small present for. We went out to dinner with some of the people at Rainbow Korean. On Sunday we walked or ran in the Great Ethiopian Race. It is held to raise money for the poor children. It was a 10K. It took me about 2 hours to walk it. We started training before the taxi strike and we were not going out much then and we just had not gotten back to walking but I don't think 20 minute miles is to bad of a walk. Then we went to one of the IFESH staff's Abeba to have lunch. The Ethiopians from the Orthodox faith have started there Christmas fast. They fast for 45 days before Christmas on January 7th. But we like fasting food and vegetables. It was a good weekend. Jim and I ended it by attending the candlelight service for Advent at church. They have a service where most of the room is dark and you read everything by candlelight. There are hymns, reading, scripture and a short sermon. It was very nice and a really nice beginning to the Advent Season. I have started to decorate the apartment. We made an Advent wreath on the coffee table with a white doily, candles and the dried roses that Yonas gave me. I think it looks nice anyway and then we put out nativity on the corner. We have not put up the decorations on the window yet and we will be putting up the tree Jim's sister Nancy sent soon. I have a little cleaning to do before I get all the decorations out. Of course we will be celebrating until Jan. 19th when Ethiopians celebrate Timkat (Epiphany). So I am not in a big rush to get decorated. I have most of my Christmas cards ready to mail but will be finishing them tomorrow. Jim is getting more stamps today and mailing some of them. We bought 60 stamps then realized there are a few more cards we should mail.

Jim has finished teaching his research class and is working on the placements now. He will teach again in January. Sandhya the new professor is teaching now and Alice will be coming on Dec. 5th to teach until just before Christmas so she can go home to be with Bill and her family on Christmas Day. She will be between classes at UIC. Nathan will be coming to join the staff in January and, until he finds a place to live for 6 months, he will be staying with us. We are looking forward to him joining us for Ethiopian Christmas. Jim will have a little time off in February so we are thinking about a trip to the historical sites in the north. But we have to do some checking into the cost and arrangements we can make. Carolyn would like us to come to Mekele to see the stone churches with her so we might go. We have to get schedules coordinated.



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