Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm Back... about time, huh.

Yea yea yea… believe me I know.  I did absolutely nothing this summer to let my readers know whats going on with me, or the organization’s I work with.  My sincere apologies go out to my readership, friends and family for leaving you all in the lurch.

Here’s a start

I had a busy summer back in the US.  I worked and played in New Orleans, Minneapolis, Chicago and DC.  And I even made some time to enjoy the great north woods.   On the days, when I wasn’t restoring homes or landscaping, I could usually be found in front of a computer catching up on ER project reports, emails, and spreadsheets.   While I made sure that at least half of my evenings were open to spend time with friends and family.  I happily gained over 15 pounds in in delicious “mom food,” shared innumerable laughs with great friends, cherished time with siblings, and spent as much time on a bicycle as possible.  Just as I miss Ethiopia when in the US, these are just a few of the reasons why I miss US living when I am not around.

When I last left Ethiopia, we were expecting that I would be able to return in late August; unfortunately that was not the case.  The prime ministers death and numerous bureaucratic bottle necks forced us to wait until recently for me to return.   I got back to Ethiopia nearly a week and a half ago, and have gotten right to work.  The first few days back were spent meeting Ethiopia Reads’ new staff, catching up on my Amharic, and preparing for my busiest year in Ethiopia yet.  I will be managing the construction of two schools in the Kembata-Tembaro region, as well as introducing ER’s first tier of its Kembata-Tembaro health outreach program.  We all are very excited to get started, and it seems that we will at the beginning of next month.

I spent much of last week with 3 ER program officers traveling on foot, motorcycle, and mini bus throughout Kembata.   We were preforming the final portion of ER’s needs assessments for the next two school builds as well as visiting 4 potential Ethiopia Reads library projects.   The trip was a success, we made excellent government contacts, and we are very confident that we found two outstanding sites for builds within the Durame and Shishicho areas.  Ethiopia Reads management, Dana Roskey and I are currently talking through potential project timelines.  I should be able to make a formal announcement of the school build recipient communities in the next couple days.

Internet is mighty slow these days.  Here is just a taste of summer activities.

Biking around Mpls river trails.

The last night out in Minneapolis.

Same... good ol' Hexagon 

Same... with the good folks of Boom Island Brewery 

Superior Hiking Trail

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