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Ethiopia by E-mail

Subject: Hi everyone
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 09:25:16 -0800
From: Pat Rollin parollin9923@hotmail.com

Sorry we have not written in a while. But we have not been doing much except having company. Our home has become the IFESH Guest House for those IFESH volunteers living in the rural areas. Since the last message we have had a lot of company staying at the IFESH Guest House. We have been teasing everyone. On the weekend of January 28, we had a new friend Olga come with Jan to spend the weekend and go to the NGO bazaar. Olga is from the Philippines and is working in Narazet teaching English. They came and we had a good time. The Bazaar was good and we ate at Bombay Brassiere. On Saturday night Nathan got tickets from the US Embassy to go to a Jazz Concert and reception sponsored by the US Embassy at the National Theatre. The group Annette A. Aguilar and the String Beans were here from the US playing Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian Jazz. There was also a group of folk dancers and musicians from Ethiopia and some Ethiopian Jazz players too. It was a nice evening and we were able to get Jan, Olga and Carolyn in even if they did not have tickets.

Portuguese Bridge Last weekend Jim went with the IFESH family to the Blue Nile Gorge or almost there. The trip was planned to go there but the road was closed because they were working on the bridge across the gorge. So they went to the Portuguese Bridge and Debra Libanose to see the monastery. They had a good time. The bridge was constructed in the late 16th century by the Portuguese. The emperor had sent a request to Europe to ask for military help and "modern" firearms to fight the Muslims coming in from the east. Portugal was the only country to respond and the Portuguese built several bridges to cross the rivers and move troops. The attached photo shows the bridge at the top. Jim is at the bottom of a waterfall that is very small at this time of the year. After the rainy season, Jim would not be standing there. I was not feeling the best and with getting car sick when I travel I decided to stay home. So we had a full house. Joetta is in the spare bedroom because she is here working on a workshop they are doing at her college in May. They are doing a workshop on female genital cutting, reproductive health and have been checking with people in Addis to present. The Author of Cut Flowers has agreed to come and present and they are going to the Fistula Hospital today to see the director and doctor. Then she leaves for India on Saturday night or Sunday morning. Carolyn was also here because the Ethiopian teachers are all at a seminar and the TFA's did not have to attend so she came to Addis to visit Jan's family (her husband). Tedyin, Allie and Carolyn were sleeping in the living room on the spare bed, couch and the 3 chairs put together to make a couch for two nights so we had a full house.

We have been to Nathan's new villa and he has finally got his phone and internet hooked up. So he is doing well except his computer fell out of its case onto the floor and the screen cracked so it is going back to the US with the Dean next week to Chicago for CSWE. Hopefully it will not take long for the people in Chicago to get it fixed and ship it back. Other wise Nathan is getting settled into the Ethiopian way of life and slow pace from Chicago. Last Sunday Nathan and I with Jim, Carolyn and Joetta's helped make Thai Pumpkins soup. Nathan had a friend Caroline who he was emailing and she said something about making pumpkin soup and it sounded good so he asked for the recipe. So after cooking a pumpkin we bought at the market we made the soup. Of course we could not get all the ingredients here we needed so we did substitute some things like Mangos for Mango nectar and a few other things but it turned out good. Then on Monday I made pumpkin bread.

Jim finished his class for the first year students and has started teaching at the Police College for 12 weeks. He has gotten all the students into placement and they are doing well. The college has been having visiting Ethiopian Musicians professors and the last two weeks they have had 5 teachers in to do seminars. Last week we went to the Crown Hotel and had traditional food, surroundings & dancing. The attached photo shows musicians with traditional instruments. On the left is the mysinko, a one stringed instrument played with a bow & on the right is a krar in Ethiopian, we would call it a lyre. Then again Wednesday night we went out to an Ethiopian Restaurant called the Yod Abyssinia with traditional food, music and dance. It is close to the apartment and was really nice. Abye and his wife Tigist joined us along with 4 visiting professors and two of their husbands. The two couples were leaving last night for South Africa and back to Tel Aviv.

This week, Jim started teaching Forensic Psychology at the Police College about 40 Kilometers from Addis. He is excited to be working with the police again and they have told him they will arrange for him to go to the forensic laboratory here in Addis and they will arrange for him to go & ride along for part of a shift with the "crime prevention unit" what we call uniform patrol.

Jim & Pat


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