February 19, 2018

So I am posting this on the 21st but wanted to keep the title on February 19 as that is the 1 month anniversary for Caitlin’s arrival in Ethiopia – only 26 months to go. She spent a week in the city as a result of strikes in her village and she just recently returned to her village and her host family.  The hotel she stayed at did not have wifi and the only place to access wifi was at the PC offices. However, timing was difficult as she was in class until 6:00 p.m. each day and curfew was at 7:00 p.m. so that gave her barely enough time to get dinner before she had to be back in her room.  On Thursday she was able to make it to the PC office and access the wifi. I received a face-time call just as I was pulling into work at about 8:30 a.m. which would have been about 5:30 p.m. in Ethiopia. It was great to actually see Cait and to talk to her. She panned the room she was at and it was like an old classroom with vinyl floors but no desks, instead there 5 or 6 Peace Corps volunteers scattered across the room with opened cases of  water bottles at the center of it all.

Here are a few of the pictures Caitlin was able to send:

chicken coop 1.JPG

chicken coop 2.JPG

chicken coop.JPG

These are pictures from the chicken coops training. Caitlin said they successfully built this chicken coop after only 4 hours.

She also shared some pictures of her host brothers:

host family twins 2.JPEG

Here they are watering some of the seedlings Caitlin is helping them to maintain.

When Caitlin said she was being moved from her host family to the hotel because of a strike, in my head, I assumed it was a labor strike. But after she mentioned this, I started reading articles and quickly became aware of the political unrest in Ethiopia and strikes are political (not labor) and demonstrations are against the ruling body. Last Thursday, the Prime Minister resigned and the country has been claimed “A state of Emergency” which I have gathered means that military will be used to limit possible violent protests. This is a little concerning as one of the comforts I had when Cait was first planning to go to Ethiopia, was that the country was politically stable. Well, I guess not so much. Just a month into her 27 months of service and the news is reporting activities of a ‘revolution’, ‘unrest’ and ‘protest’.  I am encouraged that the PC moved the volunteers to a safe location when the strike was announced in her village, and I am counting on them to continue to provide for the safety of the volunteers. Caitlin, Siin Jaaladha.

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