Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Meetings and Merriment

Marie Paiva, Institute of Ethiopian Studies Library, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 1176, Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA.
Mobile: 251-11-913-1744-55
At the University: meetings continue with the Institute's planning and organizing of future activities. There are plans for a new building and hopefully there will be a groundbreaking ceremony when I am still here. The library acquisitions committee work continues. We met the regional manager for Africa from Blackwells Publisher-a vendor- and hope to set up a Horn of Africa profile with him so that library materials will automatically be identified for us for possible purchase. We also met with some distinguished scholars and donors from abroad and were busy preparing the Museum and Library with special displays and meetings. While awaiting the group, I happened to look out the window for them on the second floo where the library guards were hanging around. It looked like someone had thrown up on a windowsill-some disgusting looking mess. When I looked closely, I found it was almost a whole ingera (Ethiopian spongy bread) covered with some remnants of greay wot (stew).When I asked why it was so prominently displayed, the guards said it was for the doves (pigeons). I told them that sight was not impressive and to immediately clear it off before the speical guests saw it. It was cleared off-probably someone shoved it off to the first floor windowsill...The guests seemed happy to be visiting us and a few of them asked questions about my work as well as about life in Ethiopia.
Last week was a lecture about possible Ethiopian images in western art and just got the text of that speech. It was an interesting topic.

Other:I received a phone call about a town meeting at the U.S. Embassy for its citizens living in this area. The group was 90% Ethio-Americans. There were addresses by the security officer, the political officer, a nurse and then Ambassador Yamamoto also gave a brief speech. They had some little snacks but the whole event was held outside and we were freezing. After 6pm temperatures drop sharply from the 60-70s range to 40s or below. Some of the info was useful, some familiar and I saw some familiar faces from the wildlife group and a couple of new people as well.
Attended a holiday concert and tea held at an area church. It was good and enjoyed that as much as another holiday choral group (Motley Singers) singing Christmas music.
Now I just noticed a few days ago some greenery and Christmas trees in local supermarkets and restaurants.