Ethiopian Library Project Update
I have learned that my perceptions of the Ethiopian people were very much dated. The young people who are going to staff this library are well educated and in many ways more educated than the everyday person in the U.S. They are well dressed and their women are quite fashionable.
The city of Addis Ababa has a dichotomy of cultures. There are those who live a life conquerable to middle class America. They live in nice homes behind walls. Outside these walls are uneven unpaved roads with rocks, dirt and dust. Closer into town the roads are paved and you can find nice restaurants and stores that sell new computer equipment. The staff in these stores speak fluent English. But it is not unusual to find a herd of sheep with a herder walking down the sidewalk with a flock to sell to local merchants. Donkeys can be seen carting goods and some traditionally dressed women can be seen carrying packages on their heads. The people are a colorful people. Their clothing, buildings, cars and buses reflect this.
The library's main room is just about all set up with shelving and books. Badeg had access to an on call carpenter who could construct a table, desk or cabinet with specs in about a day. Amazing...in many ways these people have something we have lost.
Barb and I haven't traveled too far out of the city yet. We have lots more work and it has been physically exhausting as there is no air conditioning in the library. Worked on computers today but lots more to do. The sun is intense here and the internet is hard to get to and slow.
More later, Evelyn Yee and Barb Strother
Posted: January 28, 2006