Ethiopia by E-mail
Subject: Hi from Addis Ababa & Happy Easter
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 12:34:03 +0000
From: Pat Rollin firstname.lastname@example.org
We are getting ready for Jim to go home to Michigan for about 15 days. He is going to have a job interview and take care of some business while there. I am staying here to get ready for his return and he will be flying back with Rosemary Sarri who will be staying with us for 2 months while she does some teaching in the School at AAU. We are very happy that Rosemary will be coming and it will be a really good experience for the students in Social Work. We hope Jim will be able to arrange for a job while there but if not we are coming home in the summer and he will start looking again. It is time to do some family things and earn a little money. The volunteering has been great but we need to put some money away for Retirement. Jim will not be ending his work in Addis but he will have to do it part time and some of it from the USA. I am sure he will be back to Addis to teach a couple more classes. As soon as Jim gets back to Addis, he will be teaching again at the police college a couple of days a week.
I have not been doing very much this year but went to Gemini last week and everyone wanted to know where I was and how come I have not been there so I promised even if I was not really working there I would be there once a week to visit and see how everyone is. The preschoolers were really happy to see me and I had to hug and kiss everyone when I got their. They are still helping me with Amharic and I was helping them learn their colors. It was good to see all my friends. I will be working with the children, teaching them English. English ability is important for them to pass their tests and go on to college. Gemini wants the children to start learning English early.
The church is having a lot of extra services and programs the next couple of weeks so I will be busy while Jim is gone. I plan on going to a lot of the services for the rest of Lent and the Anglican Church has announced that the Horn of Africa is going to have a Area Bishop and our Chaplain is going to be consecrated as the Area Bishop on April 12th. Then on April 15th they are installing the new Chaplain for St. Matthews. So it is an exciting time for the church here. On Palm Sunday they are taking a walk with a donkey up into the hills for a picnic after church. I hope you are all having special get togethers with family, friends and church for Easter too. Happy Easter, Pat
My trip home was a real 'trip'. From Addis to Dulles Airport in Washington DC was good. I checked in about 4 hours early in DC and waited to board the plane to Detroit. When I went to board, they told me I did not have a seat assignment so I could not board. The plane was overbooked by about 6 people and they only had 3 people not show up so I did not get on the plane. They told me that I would be given a seat on the next available plane. It was Friday morning & the next flight that might have a seat was Saturday night but they would not guarantee a seat on that plane because it was overbooked. The customer service person looked at my ticket and asked if I lived in Addis, she had grown up there. She arranged for me to fly to Chicago then Saginaw. I asked about my baggage & they told me it had left on the flight that they would not let me on. I thought TSA rules said you had to be on the same flight as your bags. When I got home, I filed a missing bag claim & they told me it would be on the next flight from Detroit. It did not come on that flight, I spent a lot of time on the phone trying to get it sent to Saginaw. The 1-800 customer representatives kept promising me it would come on the next flight, but it did not come. Finally one of the customer representatives talked to the people in Detroit & they were waiting for me to come pick up the baggage. She had it arranged to come that day, but it did not come as promised but did come the next day. I have talked to Pat, she is doing well. She has had dinner with a couple friends and has plans for Easter dinner with frineds. All our Ethiopian friends are checking up on her.
I have attached a sound clip (~1.8 MB) to this e-mail. It is the chanting that we wake up to in the morning. The clip is about 1 minute long. You can hear the birds outside our window, a rooster crowing in the compound and the chanting from Bole Medhana Alem Church. It is the Ethiopian Orthodox Church near us that we have sent pictures of in the past. The chanting goes on from early morning till about 3:00PM almost every day during the 55 days prior to Easter.
Pat & Jim Rollin