Sunday, 27 January 2008
First work: I had to prepare a proposal for the regional education bureau explaining how much money we would need and what we would use it for. I seem to have managed to get up to about 35,000 birr for training, more number cards and resources! It has been back to me a couple of times now – due to incorrect prices. Even though I asked my colleagues, they obviously didn’t know how much a ream of paper was. The latest is that I forgot to include the cost of drinks when we do training. The Dean came and told me Saturday afternoon at home… And so begins another weekend of lack of privacy and personal space – I had a sleep Saturday afternoon and at one point the girl who stays in the house held the baby up to my window and it was banging on it – all I can say is it is a good job she doesn’t understand English swear words!
Also at work, we may have finally tracked down an Amharic version of a CDP (Continuing Professional Development) course for teachers in Addis. If they really have found it, it is good news. It has everything we need to improve the teaching skills of teachers already teaching and it is delivered by one of the teachers in the school so is self-operating. What we will have to do is reproduce it, introduce it, give some training to the “facilitator” teachers and then monitor it. If it works, it will run in all ten cluster schools before the summer.
Yesterday I walked a bit more of the river after actually getting some eggs at the market. Then later in the evening just before dusk, the wind got up and the sky was amazing with dark thunderclouds lit up pink in the East and a good sunset in the West. I went out for a walk and up the first hill I had climbed over here. With the wind, it was quite exhilarating. It was dark by the time I set off back home and some Gumuz people asked where I was going, what I was doing etc, so I just spun round like Maria in the Sound of Music – well I couldn’t exactly explain in Gumuz how I was feeling! As I got near home I realised the electricity was off. A guard near the prison asked me some questions and then another said “Ferengi” so they let me go without shooting me.
Back in the house, I waited for a while to see if the power would come back, but it didn’t. Without Kerosene, I couldn’t cook using my kerosene stove, but I got the frame out and improvised… with some candles. In the end I had seven candles under my saucepan and managed to boil water and cook some porridge for tea.
Today I headed off back to the place where the rivers join and the waterfall, but either I took a wrong turning, or there has been a lot of cutting down of the reed-like plants. Anyway, I came across an Ethiopian and he asked where I was going, I said “Fwa-fwa-te” and he took me in the opposite direction to the other river (which was quite close) to the North. When we got there, there was a huge expanse of rocks and clambering over them, he showed me another (smaller) waterfall and lots of rapids in a mini-canyon. It was pretty impressive. I spent a long time there and followed the river west climbing over and round the rocks at the river’s edge. About 400m from the rapids the river was very calm and I sat and ate my banana and biscuit lunch. I walked back to the rapids and the rocks. The whole area was about 200m wide, and judging by the mud and debris, in the wet season I think the river covers it all.
I haven’t had any post for about two weeks. I hope it’s all stacking up somewhere and will all arrive next week. There are a few things I know people have sent that haven’t arrived yet.