by Janet Lee (Emdeber 1974-76)
My heart breaks as I hear about the news coming out of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency and has prohibited many activities subject to severe penalties. These are outlined the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia website. The U.S. Government has also issued a travel warning advising U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Ethiopia. Although the Internet and social media has been blocked or severely curtailed, I have received occasional Facebook posts from Ethiopian colleagues. Peace Corps is taking the necessary precautions, consolidating Volunteers as needed, relocating or giving options for early leave. It has also been reported that the 2017 training class has been cancelled. Please follow Facebook for continuing updates.
The focus of this issue of The Herald is on activities related to the National Peace Corps Association conference in Washington, D.C. including the dinner at the Ethiopian Embassy, the business meeting of E&E RPCVs, introduction of our new board, an update on our RPCV Legacy Program projects, and the goals of our co-presidents. In some ways, our evening at the Ethiopian Embassy seems like months ago. What a wonderful event!
I was fortunate to have traveled to Ethiopia just a month prior to the conference including visiting Adama, Axum, and Adwa. I didn’t let the shutdown of the Internet or a cancelled flight curb my enthusiasm for this beautiful country.
Steve Johnson (Dese, GhoaTsion 1969-71) provides an update on the Ethiopian Sustainable Food Project (ESFP). Anyone up for injera made from potatoes? Yum!
Finally, we have my favorite topic: Book Reviews. This issue reviews Afan Oromo: a Guide to Speaking the Language of Oromo People in Ethiopia by Abebe Bulto and edited by Andrew Tadross ((Endodo, Tigray & Mekelle, Tigray 2011–13) Previous titles written by Andrew Tadross include guides on both Amharic and Tigrinya.
During the group business meeting, someone recommended that we publish a link to our Facebook page. I close with a call to “like” us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/eerpcv/