Below are some notes on a trip in 2012 to Jimma Ethiopia. Clicking on the photos will provide a full size image. Here are:
In 2012, I had an opportunity to visit Jimma University in Ethiopia on a Fullbright Specialist assignment. The project was targeted on helping the department of Information Science at Jimma to develop a focus on advanced web techniologies, digital information architecture, and library automation. My host was Professor Getachew Bayissa. I had the opportunity to work with about a dozen and a half graduate students. We met over the six weeks about seven hours a day and they were still willing to talk with me at the end! My son Jono joined me about mid way through and gave two lectures on network security.
Jimma, Ethiopia is frequently credited as the area where coffee was first cultivated. In the local coffee ceremony, the coffee is roasted at the table before it is ground and brewed! There are a number of stories about the origin of coffee. One has it discovered by a goat herder named Kaldi, depcited here, who observed excited behavior in the goats who ate the berries.
While my son Jono was visiting, we took a few days and traveled to see other parts of Ethiopia. In the northern part of Ethiopia is Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with 13 churces that were hewn out of solid rock during the 12th and 13th centuries. Shown here is the last to be built, the Church of St. George (in Amharic: Bete Giyorgis).
I kept a fairly detailed journal of the trip which includes many more photos. To preserve the formatting and placement of images, I have uploaded it as a PDF file, which is rather large, so be prepared for a long download. The journal details my day to day experiences, but might be summed up as follows. I found Ethiopia, particularly in the southwest highlands, to be verdant with a very pleasant climate. The Ethiopian people are very friendly and quite engaging. They have a great sense of family and of national hertitage. They are optimistic about the future and hard working. It was a most enjoyable experience to work with them over the time I visited.
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