Our Man in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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 – Oct. 1

Hi:

We’re in Lalibela this morning after leaving on a plane for a 30-minute flight from Gondar. On the flight, I sat next to a 32-year-old Ethiopian shopkeeper who was on his way to visit a sick relative in Axum, where we will be flying to on Wednesday. He was giving me lessons in Amharic to help expand my vocabulary. We had a good time chatting.

Gondar was great. We spent most of the day visiting the castles of the Ethiopians kings and their families that were completed in 1682 and occupied by the royal family for about 200 years. The 5 castles are side-by-side in a compound. I took lots of video, including a wedding ceremony of an Ethiopian couple who were dressed in western clothes. As we watched, a musician played the traditional Ethiopian, one-string guitar, and a woman danced a traditional dance. She invited several of our group, including me to dance with her. The dancing was primarily a matter shaking one’s arms and shoulders to the rhythm of the music while she sang. I hope to get a still photo of me from one of the group. I was also pulled into a group dance of Ethiopian women at the restaurant where we ate last night. I was exhausted after that and ready for bed.

Gondar was the capitol city of Ethiopia for many years and is now a regional capitol. It has many new, tall buildings, with many more under construction. It is undergoing great growth.

We also visited a church with many famous paintings that fill the walls and ceilings. I took lots of video of the church and the castles.

Today we visit some of Lalibela’s churches which were carved out of solid stone about 900 years ago. They will be great to see. Tomorrow we will see more of the same.

The weather is sunny and about 70 degrees.

As you can see, Internet is available just about everywhere we’ve been.

Bye for now.

Ron

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