Ron Peterson, P2R Account Director and published author, has embarked on a trip of a lifetime. Ron was a Peace Corps. volunteer more than 30 years ago assigned to assist in Peace Corps support efforts in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
This is an official “reunion-type” trip sponsored by the Peace Corps and the Ethiopian government. Ron left on his journey on September 22 and will be in Addis and other cities through October 8. He is the author of A Time to . . . A Baby Boomer’s Spiritual Adventures.
P2R will be posting his updates to this blog as we receive them.
Our Man in Ethiopia – Sept. 27
Yesterday was a long day, traveling 12.5 hours on a road that was paved for the first half of the trip and unpaved and under construction on the last half. After arriving in Nekempte we were turned away by our hotel because it said it didn’t have reservations for us, so we went to another hotel that didn’t have hot water showers. After dinner, Alemu and I walked around the downtown to get our bearing and spark memories.
Today, we got up early and walked to the house where I and Alemu had lived. Unfortunately it was replaced by a new building that is serving as a computer center. My friend Roland’s house that was across the road from mine was replaced by a college. It was disappointing not to see the original buildings, but nice to see the places where they had been.
We then went to the school where the 3 PCVs in the group had taught 47 and 37 years ago. The building, built by the Italians in the 1930s were still being used as an elementary school, but renamed. I couldn’t see any of the school repair improvements I had made, which is not surprising after all these years. New building were also added about 3 years ago.
We then visited a friend of the Ethiopian student who were traveling with us and learned that my friend Tadesse had been imprisoned by the military government in 1976, the year I received my last letter from him in which he told me not to write to him again because he was going away. The day before he was to be released, he was executed for no reason. I’ve learned that this was typical of the “Red Terror” that was taking place at the time.
We will explore a little more around town this evening and leave for Addis early tomorrow morning. I’m told the drive should be about 2 hours less because the route we will take will have better roads.
Bye for now. It is really an amazing experience that is hard to put into words. I will have to have more time when I return to do this.