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Ethiopia by E-mail

Subject: Hi everyone from Addis, Sunday June 25 to Sunday July 9
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2006 00:58:10 -0400
From: Pat Rollin parollin9923@hotmail.com

Saturday June 24th was the last NGO Bazaar that I will be able to attend so I went and bought gifts to take home and was surprised to see a lot of friends from Gemini that don't usually attend the bazaar. Two of the preschool students and a couple of children I have met in the compound at Gemini were there so I was walking around looking when I heard little voices saying "HI Pat." So I went to visit with them. After we finished shopping Donna, Sandhya and I went to Alert Hospital so I could pick up an order I had made. I also had pictures of the women there to deliver so they were really happy with the pictures. I walked in and asked about my order and the lady their said it was done plus the potholders I had ordered. I said to her I don't think I ordered potholders but when she bought them out I remember having told her I would like that design so she ordered me some. So I got my purchase and Donna ordered 3 shawls to be picked up in two weeks. I asks if she needed to leave a deposit. The clerk told Donna since I was a good customer that we did not have to leave a deposit. So we will go back in a couple of weeks to get the shawls. I think the clerk was happy I came back to pick up my order and I also delivered pictures of her.

Then we went to Trampled Rose to see the ladies and I bought a couple of baskets and we arrived in time to be there for the party. They had a mysingo player and singer and the women were dancing, singing and having a good time. They are always so nice when I go there and Donna and Sandhya were soon dancing and having fun with the party. I took a lot of pictures. Then we stopped for lunch and then went home. I arrived home about 3 and had enough time to talk to Jim and show him my purchases before I was off to Yorde and Beti's house to pick up a couple of mortars she was painting for Shannon. Of course in Ethiopia you don't just run into someone's home for a minute; you must at least have Chia or Buna but Beti had fixed a meal so I had to eat. Then I went home and less then an hour later Jim, Nathan, Mel and I were off to visit Thomas, Tigist and Yohanna for dinner at their house. Thomas had gone and got Donna so we had a really nice time and watched some cultural music videos of Ethiopia which we could not always understand but the places they were filmed at were very beautiful and Thomas and Tigist told us what culture we were watching and what area they were from. Sunday we did our usual thing and had lunch with Donna, Nathan, Mel, Carolyn, Becky and Kassa at Bombay Brassierie and then we had a kind of quiet afternoon. Deribe, one of Jim's students who has taken us around and out to dinner,came and picked us up for dinner. I had told him the last time I would not go out to dinner again with him unless he brought his family or the very least his wife. So he came with the whole family. He has 3 sons and his wife came and they are very nice. When we go to the restaurant the boys were happy because they had a TV and they could watch the World Cup game. They got to see England score their winning goal of the game. All Ethiopians are very much excited about watching football and you can always get into a discussion about who is winning. Then they came back to our house for tea and a little visit. Children in Addis are for the most part on break or vacation. They go to school from September to June because the rainy season is the worst July and August and a lot of the time they don't even leave the house those months. So we had a busy weekend and a lot of eating.

June 27th. We have not done to much extra stuff during last week but this weekend has been very busy. Although with the end of the stay for all IFESH people, we have been having more visitors coming to Addis to stay on their way to travel to the USA and also some leaving for vacations to Kenya and other places. Next weekend most of the IFESH people will be leaving. So I am sure it will be busy. Joetta is here now and will be leaving on Thursday for New York and her family. Carolyn came in for the NGO Bazaar and is staying this week. She was with us Friday and Saturday night and is staying with Nathan and Mel for a couple of days and then, when her husband gets in from Mekela, she will go to the hotel until she leaves for New York next Sunday. It is good to have friends here to say goodbye to after being together off and on for a year.

On Wednesday June 28th one of the girls from Gemini invited Jim and I to St. Mary's Day celebration. Jim had to work so I went and took a lot of pictures until the battery on the camera ran out of power. It was really nice. Every month on the 21st in the Ethiopia calendar they celebrate St. Mary's Day. They have food, tella (the locally brewed beer which the hostess makes) and singing and praying. They had an elder of the church come Dabo in Meseba in and pray with them. A lot of neighborhoods do this and this group had 8 women who came together plus all the neighbors, families in the compound and families of the person in charge of the celebration for that month. They have a special Meseba and drink jar which goes from house to house along with a picture of St. Mary. They had me participate in the celebration and there is a picture of me holding the dabo in a meseba (bread in a basket) and the picture of Jesus. After the celebration at this house, the articles are taken to the house it will be at next month.

July 1st: Jim is still working on Theses and admissions for the next year's class plus thinking about finishing the grades for his last class which have to be in soon. They have talked to the Dean and the Graduate School of Social Work will be moving in August to Bole Road 2 blocks from our apartment. It is a very nice and new building but the area is more expensive for the students to get meals and snacks. Apartment cost are higher in this area as well. They will also have to travel more of a distance depending on where they are living in Addis so they will have transportation costs. Addis Ababa University is growing fast right now and they have no more room on the main campus for some of the schools so they are moving them to other parts of the city. Right now the University is all up and down Entoto Road so it is already spread out. The other down side is that the office manager and secretary will have to travel some to see officials on the main campus.

In the afternoon, we went to see Yorde & Beti in their home. Donna, one of the visiting professors came with us. We went to pick up a pillar that Yorde made to take to a dinner where another friend who bought it would be. Market After Hail While we were there, it rained and hailed. The home has a tin roof and we could not hear each other while it hailed. Thomas told us later that hail is normal this time of year but not frequent. The picture shows the piles of hail in the streets. We had told them we had dinner to go to but they insisted that we have tea & injera with watt. They would have fed us all afternoon if we had not had to go to the dinner.

I have been at Gemini twice last week. It has started to rain everyday and sometimes the storms are very heavy and when you go out right after it stops there is a lot of water standing but if you wait about a half hour everything will still be wet but not many puddles. We are told it will get worse so we are waiting to see.

Jim and I have been starting to think about packing so he has some time so Sunday afternoon so we took our umbrella apart because it would not fit in the suitcase. I had an appointment with Nuguisse from IFESH to go to customs to see if we can get a letter saying it is not a historical/significant Ethiopian artifact so we can bring Jim's spear home. We have been checking different shipping companies about sending it home and they won't touch it unless we have a letter saying we can take it out of the country. We went last week after most of the IFESH people were gone and Nuguisse had time. We do not think it is old or a national treasure but who knows. I have also received a shield to hang on the wall from one of the Gemini youth so I am taking that along to have checked too. If I can not bring it home I will return it to Yednegechew the student who gave it to me.

Nathan and Jim decided that we would take the day off on July 4th and we had a picnic. But it rained so we had the picnic inside. We had some Ethiopian & Indian guests and served burgers, potato salad & all the traditional picnic food.

Donna and I went to have dresses made for the graduation party that day because July 4th is just another work day here. I talked to Serkalem and the ladies in the class are going to wear formal gowns. They will be European but I am thinking of getting some Ethiopian cloth and having something made which will probably be more European style. We will see what we can find.

I will write again soon. It is getting close to when we go home and trying to get everything done and all the people who want to see us and invite us over before we leave so it has been getting really busy.

Pat Rollin


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