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Ethiopia by E-mail

Subject: Hi everyone from Addis July 30th
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2006 10:38:49 -0400
From: Pat Rollin parollin9923@hotmail.com

We are getting ready to come home this week. We have had a very busy week. Nathan wrote he is on vacation in Italy and getting ready to meet his daughter. Alice has moved into Nathan's house and will be here for graduation in August. Donna and her son had a good trip to the historical sites and are home now.

On Monday July 24th I went to Gemini Trust to see the students and the women who work there asked me what time I was leaving in the afternoon. They asked if I could stay a little longer, they wanted to have tea with me. So about an hour later we had tea, coffee and since I don't drink tea or coffee they bought me Miranda to drink. We had popcorn and dobo (bread) and they gave me a present. I received a gabi from the women. They all work at Gemini because most of them have twins. It was a really nice party and I did not expect them to buy me anything especially a gabi because most of them don't own one. I asked them to buy me a bag of cotton which I did pay for to bring to the USA but they misunderstood me and they bought the bag of cotton, took the time to make it into thread and then had the gabi made for me. So I will have a wonderful remembrance of my Gemini friends to wrap up in when I am cold in Michigan. Then on Wednesday I went back to Gemini. I had written out thank you letters for all the women. I was told one letter would have been enough but I felt they each needed a thank you. They were concerned because I used so much paper. Of course most of them do not read English but I am sure they could find someone to read them the message. I told them in the thank you letters that I have learned a lot about Ethiopia, the way of life here and their culture from them. It was St. Gabriel day so I went to one of the women's houses for lunch. All Saints in Ethiopia have a day every month and twice a year each saint has a special celebration. Gabriel has his special days in July and December so the church named for that saint has a special service but all churches and people celebrate so everyone is dressed in their white church clothes and attend special services and fast that day. It was a really nice lunch with a lot of vegetables because of Fasting. Then one of the women, Kelemwa, gave me a special present. She is the woman who invited Jim and I to her daughter's wedding. All of the women are very loving and kind to me. Jim and I will go back to Gemini on Monday so I can say my last goodbyes and take a few more pictures. I have been given the mail address so I can write them from Michigan. I plan on sending each women a post card as soon as I get home. I think they would like to see what Michigan looks like and postcards are an easy way to show them.

Wednesday night Jim was to go out to dinner with the director of the Police Academy and Mesfin one of his students. He had left to go downstairs to meet them when he called and said I was supposed to go with them. So after a quick change of clothes I was ready to go out for dinner. So we had an Ethiopian dinner. It was at the Addis Ababa restaurant. Jim asked the next day how many times we had been to the Addis Ababa restaurant this month I said only twice but we had been to about 6 other traditional places this month.

Jim is done with Thesis defense now, the last one was on Friday. He has reread two thesis this weekend and has to get them signed so the students can graduate. He has been busy signing forms so the students can graduate on August 12th. We have finished the applications (I did the data input and Jim checked it and did the stats on who got in, so I am a little help. Last week at Gemini the students wanted to know why I did not grade papers and do something to help Jim so we were ready to leave. I told them I did not think the students would be to happy if they found out they were being graded by me instead of Jim. Of course they might have been if I would have given them all A's.) Melese has the final 40 people who made the class. They are only admitting 32 because the PHD program will start and they are accepting 8 students. They are only going to have 40 students taken in each year until they get a full group of instructors. This year they are hiring two more professors from the USA who are supposed to arrive in time for classes to start. They are going to keep the house Nathan lived in for one of them and we are not sure about the other yet. Of course it is a two bedroom house so maybe they can stay together until they get another place. They still have not heard about the move to Bole Road where we live but the other house is close by. The move to Bole they have found out is just a temporary move until the new building across from the main campus is done in a year or so. There are just too many new schools or colleges starting up at AAU and not enough room on Campus. Next year they will probably have to move again back to the campus across from the main gate. They are building new places there but they are not ready to move in yet.

Friday we had lunch with two students from the second class at Addis Ababa Restaurant again, it was a buffet of all fasting food which we had not been to before. It was very good and we really liked the food wish we would have gone there for this buffet before. We went out to dinner with Melese and Alice at Rainbow Korean, a change in food style. It was really good. We have invited them both to Bombay Brassiere for lunch on Sunday. It will be our last buffet at Bombay for a while.

Turtle Saturday we were getting ready to pack and visited with Yorde and Beti in the morning to say goodbye and we took a picture of the turtle that lives in there village. The turtle (eli in Amharic) is about 87 years old & the shell is about 3 feet in diameter. They told us they do not eat turtles here. I took a present for their mother and we got another pillar and a dish from them and a present for Shannon which we are not allowed to open. They made us promise Shannon would get to see it first. Yarn Lady

We went to the Japanese Market to visit my "yarn" lady. Here is a picture of her shop. It is a corrugated metal shed about 7 feet wide and about 12 feet deep. It is the first in a row of ten under one roof.

Moges, Rose and Sara came over in the afternoon and we had dinner together. We had a really nice visit. I am trying to get rid of some of the food we have so I made Mac and Cheese and date and banana bread. I have more frozen bananas so I will make some to take to Gemini tomorrow. It will be my last day there. I have to take some photos, CDs we made and a book I need to return to the English teacher. Jim is suppose to take the day off to take some pictures of me and some of my Gemini friends but he has already said he has to go to work for awhile in the morning and then maybe again in the afternoon after we are done.

This will be the last message before we fly home. We will write when we get home and settled.

Love Pat


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