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Ethiopia by E-mail

Subject: Hi we are home from our short vacation
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2006 23:13:41 -0400
From: Pat Rollin parollin9923@hotmail.com

It is good to be back home. We left here on Wednesday morning 6 A.M. with Alemayu as our driver in a marked Federal Police vehicle. We went to get Camel Mel and we were off to Alemaya University. It was a 9 hour drive into the mountains and through the Awash Park. We saw a lot of Camels, baboons, cattle, sheep and goats. The scenery was beautiful. We followed the railroad tracks for a while. Upon arriving at the University we were informed that we could not go in because of some student disturbances. The University Police had been joined by the Regional Police and neither wanted to give us permission to enter. After getting ahold of Joetta who got ahold of the Dean, we received a letter of admission for us and the driver. So it took an hour at the gate. Joette has a really nice apartment on the 3rd floor. We had dinner and then took a walk thru the campus and early to bed. On Thursday we went to Harare and the walled city. Jim had a meeting with his student Yusuf at the NGO he was placed at for this month. Mel, Joetta and I went to the old city and walked around and started our shopping. They have baskets they make there, beautiful material which is imported and the walled city was a maze of streets and alleys which no car could drive on and mostly up and down. At Noon we went back to get Jim and Yusuf took us to Lunch at Yusuf's Home his house for lunch. Harare is a Muslim City and Yusuf's house was a Muslim house. There was no furniture in the living room. You sit on plush rugs and lean against the walls with pillows behind and underneath you. They place the food on a plastic table cloth and we were given a feast then, chai (tea) and buna (coffee). As some of our friends know I am not a tea or coffee drinker but the tea was really good. It was ginger tea with spices that tasted good. So I drank it and Yusuf give me a recipe so we are trying to duplicate it. That afternoon we went to a talk given by a Pakistani woman from Colorado with a group of Muslims given by the US embassy. Then we went to meet Nathan and back to Joetta's. Friday we were back in Harare to Kulubi Market see the Museums and go to the markets. Saturday we went to Dire Dawa which is a very hot city where the railroad starts and bring the goods that are shipped from other countries into Addis. The Train goes from Dire Dawa to Debra Zeyit. Then the goods are bought to Addis by truck. We went to the Taiwan market and a couple of smaller markets then had lunch. After lunch we went to Kulubi to the St. Gabriel Monastery and Church. This is the church where Haile Selassie worshipped when he was growing up and had a Kulubi Market (Empty) special throne in the church after he became Emperor. The picture included was the road we went down to get to the church. It was market day in Kulubi so we had to go thru the crowd. The next day when we left for home Jim took another picture of that same street in Kulubi when it was empty. The number one cash crop in the area is Chat which is a plant which is legal in Ethiopia which you chew and it makes you high. So a lot of Chat is grown and transported around Ethiopia and other countries. So besides Chat farms there are coffee farms and a few other crops.

We will write more later after we rest up. As with all vacations it is back to work the next day. Nathan did get home before us so he fixed Easter Dinner. Bye for now.



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