Dear Family and Friends,
I'm down to 2 1/2 more weeks here in Ethiopia. This has been a very interesting trip. I haven't had near the amount of time with the school children and orphans as I've spent on my last 2 trips so that has been a little sad for me. But it has given me the chance to explore and get to meet new people and other new adventures. I've met new people and have been able to visit new schools in Adigrat. I love meeting new people. The flute students have also had many more opportunities to perform for these schools and everyone is loving the flute program.
The flute students are doing wonderful. They began classes again last week. We are busy in progressing into learning about key signatures and playing in different keys as well as progressing in their music level. All are playing fantastic and I am very pleased to see such dedication from these students.
I also began the beginners adult program. they too are doing wonderful. It has been a long time since anyone has given them any lessons so we had to back track a little bit and retrace our learning steps. But I can see over the next few weeks they will continue to do fine. As for the beginner students, I think the summer bug has gotten them and they have forgotten that I was willing to start their program again. that's ok, I know that Seyoum will help me in September to begin learning the flute.
I've been staying in a hotel this last week. It has been a lot of fun. I enjoy the hotel staff very much. they have been very accomodating and kind to me. I've learned to eat many new Ethiopian cuisine because of being here. Its pretty cool. For breakfast I eat a dish called special fata. This is 2 rolls (like french bread rolls) torn into small pieces like you are preparing stuffing on thanksgiving. Then they add butter to a pan, fry onions, garlic and other spices. they add berber (chili powder) to the spices and then sautee the bread in this sauce. Then they scramble an egg. They put the entire thing in a bowl and bring it to me with a side dish of yogurt. I add the yogurt with some salt and toss it all together. It is extremely delicious and it goes great with a latte.(which I taught them how to make.) This dish fills me up and I don't need to eat anything until dinner.
I became tired of drinking their machiatto and I went into their kitchen and taught them how to make me a decent latte. they've been doing that ever since for me so I have a decent cup of coffee in the morning.
They other day I went to coffee ceremony at a friends house and learned how to make Ethiopian chiro. It is a dish made from legumes and it is very common in Ethiopia. It's actually the poor man's food because it gives proper protein and is cheap to eat. But it's also very excellent to eat. My friends say that I wouldn't like it if I had to eat it all my life too. But to me it's excellent. I will make it for my family with injerra with I come home. You will also love it too.
Last night I took my friend Atakilty out to dinner for his birthday. They don't celebrate birthdays here in Ethiopia so I told him it's time to do something from my culture and I took him out for a very nice evening. He really loved it and we visited for about 4 hours. It was a lot of fun.
I've kept myself busy with my flute school and watching the world cup. I voted for Spain and partied hard with my Ethiopian friends when Spain won. It was a lot of fun. I've attended a lot of social gatherings too b/c I'm not so busy teaching. I miss my teaching though and I really miss the children. But it's nice to have met so many new people. I've met people from Spain, Ireland, England, and Italy because they are also here to help with projects to help the Ethiopians. It's pretty cool to be around an international community that I've grown to know here.
It's been pretty easy going. I've gotten a lot of sleep which is great because I always run on a sleep deficit. So I'm well rested, well fed, and my social interactions have been fantastic.
Anyway, hope all is well with everyone. I miss all of you. Lots and lots of love to everyone.