Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Update from Ethiopia

Selam!! De'na wot!? (Hello, how are you all? In Amharic).

We arrived in Ethiopia's capital city Addis Ababa yesterday. After some negotiations (no, we won't pay bribes to get humanitarian aid through customs...) we got through unscathed.
We were met at the airport by the staff from our two guest houses, which are an easy 3 block walk in a safe neighborhood, from one another. We freshened up, and went to the new embassy for South Sudan. It is a beautiful building, with fantastic gardens. Deputy Ambassador David Deng is very supportive of our work, and offered assistance for security if we needed it. He may also accompany us as far as Gambella, Ethiopia. We'll discuss that more later today at lunch.

In the afternoon, we did some tourist visits including the Ethiopian Orthodox Church that Hailie Selassie attended, which was modeled after Moses' temple.

This morning, some of the guys are going shopping for equipment, but the most of us will stay home—foreigners shopping just raises prices. Gach will work with our guide and right-hand-man Abraham, who has been a tremendous resource for us for the past several months.

In the meantime, the rest of us will re-pack our cargo containers to go by truck to South Sudan, while we wait for our flight on Friday. We'll go to lunch with the deputy ambassador of South Sudan, and then some tourist visits just outside of Addis for the rest of today.

Andrew, the last member of our team arrives this morning around 8:30 at the airport.

We appreciate your prayers for safety and health. So far, everyone is feeling OK—we have a couple of people with colds, but otherwise jet-lag is our major concern.

Friday we fly to Gambella, and Saturday we arrive in Malual.

Wishing you the best,
The team,
Gach, Jane, Bob, Kathlyn, Nyareu, Kong, Peter, Colleen, Judy, Jessica, Andrew and Reuben.

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