Editor’s Note

by  Janet Lee (Emdeber 74–76)

This is the first issue of The Herald completely under my helm. Once again, I express great thanks and appreciation to Barry Hillenbrand for his dedication and years of service and his confidence in me as an editor and writer. His will be big shoes to fill, but will be made much easier by the patience and guidance of Marian Beil, our stalwart president. It has also made easier by the number of Volunteers who came forth and volunteered with articles, suggestions for articles, suggestions of authors, books to review, or willingness to review a book.  The Herald belongs to all of us. It just needs a few people to tie it all together.  Please keep the ideas coming.

I have long admired the dedication of Gloria Curtis (Asmara 63-65) who has continued volunteering and being of service to Ethiopia through the Denver Sister Cities Initiative and its partnership with Axum.  Others may want to follow suit and investigate ways in which their hometowns may become involved in like partnerships.

Many of us have had an opportunity to return to Ethiopia and to our town or village and search out our old home or school.  Linda Seal (Debra Berhan, Asmara 1964-66) had such a chance and reflects on the changes that she witnessed on her journey back in Home Again.

I have been “lurking” on a couple of Facebook Groups, one for current Volunteers and one for the incoming group that will be traveling to Ethiopia in June. The current Volunteers, experienced all, use Facebook to share work-related materials, make hotel arrangements for the big run in Awassa, pass on favorite DVDs and reading material, or share extra socks and toothbrushes from caring family members. The incoming Volunteers use their group to introduce themselves and seek advice from the more experienced Volunteers on what to pack: skirts or pants? Contact lenses? Shoes or boots? Laptop or netbook? They cannot contain their excitement or their fears and the experienced Volunteers have provided them with sage advice through the use of videos (here is my toilet, my shower, my school) and blogs.  I came across a blog that illustrated the same joys and frustrations that we all faced during our years of service, well, with the added complications of laptops and cell phones.  With permission, we are publishing Jennifer Miller’s (Debre Markos, 2011-), The toughest job you’ll ever….love? 

By popular request, Nancy Horn (Ethiopia VII) has summarized the Education and Population Update she presented at the 50th Anniversary Reunion in Washington, DC last September. It is chocked full of valuable information.

We follow with an update from our President, Marian Beil on the RPCV Legacy Program, an ongoing success, and also general news of interest to E & E RPCVs about the upcoming Return to Ethiopia and our very own Facebook Page.

We couldn’t let Barry off the hook and reached out to him one last time.  He put together some recent news from Ethiopia and Eritrea. I am sure the beer labels will bring back some fond memories.

Finally, my favorite! Book Reviews!  Remember that if you click on the book jacket, and purchase the book through Amazon, E&E RPCVs gets a small portion of the sales. And by all means, suggest that your local library purchase these titles for others to read. It is in this way that we keep the books alive — and further the Third Goal.

8 responses to “Editor’s Note

  1. Janet–an impressive first issue. Congratulations! You and Marian and all the Ethie RPCVs writers have another great edition. John

    • Thanks, so much John for your words of encouragement. And thank you also for your recommendations of book reviewers. They are coming through for this issue and the next.

      Janet (I think I have figured out this signature thing….)

      Have you read Paul Theroux’s new book? The Lower River? I just downloaded it this morning.

  2. Nice story by a capable writer. Just a quick note to say “Wu haym warim” – I was a PCV teacher in Emdeber 1965-1967, and spent the next year as a Ministry of Education contract teacher – teaching successively opening grades of the then Emdeber Secondary school (now the primary school). I returned to Ethiopia in the spring of 2009 on a Fulbright senior fellowship at AAU to teach and do research in Economics. During that time my wife and I had the opportunity to return (I have made a few trips over the years to Emdeber) to see how things have changed. Anyhow, enough of this at this point. Congratulations on taking on the editorship!

    Phillip LeBel,
    Emdeber PCV

  3. Phillip: I had a chance to go back to Emdeber in 2009 as well. I was the guest of Abba Teshome, the Vicar of the Catholic Church. He has a dream of getting all the RPCVs Emdeber together to do some type of project. The Church has a very nice guest house with electricity during the day. Have you read “One Hand Does Not Catch a Buffalo” the Africa volume of Peace Corps @ 50. Two of the Ethiopia RPCVs were from Emdeber.


  4. Great start Janet. Will you be joining us on the “Return to Ethiopia” trip? You could do an article on it.

    Leo Cecchini

  5. Still thinking about it. If I go, I need to go earlier and come back earlier. May still try to catch you at the airport. Definitely need to do an article.

  6. Janet. I will be going around Sept 19 from my home in Mallorca. I am the advance person for the trip.

  7. Lawrence F. Lihosit

    Thank you very very much Ms. Lee for the book review. If you had the time and inclination to post it on Amazon.com, I would be very appreciative.

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