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Ethiopia by E-mail

Subject: Hi from Addis
Date: Sun, 11 Feb 2007 10:27:07 -0500
From: Pat Rollin parollin9923@hotmail.com

We hope this message finds everyone in good health and keeping warm. We are doing well. Jim is very busy at work with getting the budget done and a report for future plans for the University. So he has been having meeting with NGO's, other social workers and staff. He is teaching one class for the PhD students which meets once a week on Wednesday afternoon. They now have a car which was promised last year and internet in the new offices but still don't have phones in all the offices (only the secretary's office).

I have not been doing much. I have been lazy and crocheting some. Tigist is still coming and cleaning and doing laundry. Last Friday she did give me lessons on how to cook Shiro. It was interesting learning how they cook and we used charcoal and clay pot. We used onions, garlic, ginger root and tomatoes which all have to be chopped. The food turned out good and we will see how well I learned when I try to make it myself. Kids at Gemini

I did go to Gemini and visit all my friends there but have not decided if I am going to volunteer there again or not. They have done some changes in the complex and so rooms have moved and improved. The preschool has 17 new students and 16 have graduated. They divided the preschool into two groups, one with the 17 new students and the other with 11 older children.

Firewood Carriers On Saturday we decided to go to two churches. One was a climb up a mountain. So on the way down we decided not to do the other church today. The tour book said it was a 30 minute climb up a hill but it took us over an hour to get to the church and it was really a mountain. Thomas went with us and kept saying it would be easier to go down. I am not sure it was because I was being very careful not to slide down the rocks. Jim kept saying something about renting me a donkey to ride down on but I did not agree. I think maybe I should have done a little more walking before we decided to go to this rock hewn church. We met a lot of woman carrying firewood but there were a few donkeys also carrying wood. There is a picture attached. Rock Hewn Church

The Rock Hewn Church was bombed during the war with Italy and has a lot of weeds and grass around it. But some of the walls are still there and it is interesting to see. When we got to the top, there was a car parked in the church compound. When I pointed to it, Thomas told me his taxi would not climb the hill and that it is better to walk up as you are more interested in what you see. We went inside the church and the picture shows Thomas, the keyholder (guard) to the church and me inside an area carved out where there was a spring.

We walked a different path down and Jim took some good pictures and we got a good view of Addis from up there. View of Addis Ababa

It was a hard walk but well worth it. Some people lived up there in small villages and walk up and down a couple of times a day. It guess I would get faster if I did it more often. I told Jim I should write the tour book and tell people who are not in good shape that the trip up is hard.

I have visited Yorde and Beti and they came to visit us on Saturday afternoon. We had American snacks and pineapple and soda drinks. They are doing well. Yorde is in school everyday. She is taking an art class Monday to Friday in the morning and at night and the weekends she is taking an architecture class. Beti is still doing her secretary class Monday to Friday and then taking pictures and selling them on the side. So her and Jim did a few things on the computer with her pictures to save them to disc. They left so they would get home before it was too late. Then we went out to an Italian Restaurant with some of Jim's new friends. It was a really nice place but a little more expensive then we are use to going to. It was nice to meet some of the people Jim has been talking about in his emails to me.

This morning we got up, I talked to Tom our son and then went to church and Bombay Brassiere for lunch. Jim is sleeping on the couch and said he is a little sore from the climb yesterday. I think maybe I am coming down with a cold and runny nose but took some medicine and it seems better. Not much planned for this week but I'm going to pay bills and maybe go to Gemini again on Wednesday.



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