The two Ethiopia teams finally met up en masse at DTalk on June 19th, and
the sort-of final details of the schedule were hammered out shortly thereafter.
The Red team is going to teach in Awassa, Asela and Abomsa (presumably towns
beginning with B are being kept for next year), while the Green team will
be teaching in Adama/Nazret and Muketuri, as well as setting up a hub in
Adama. Eoghan will be joining us in Ethiopia, as will environmental consultant
Mairead, in mid-July, to assess the environmental impact of the various Camara
projects ? including the disposal process for end-of-life computers and parts.
In the meantime, the team is focusing on what we’re going to teach and how
we’re going to teach it … All teams will be teaching at basic and intermediate
levels, so it’s up to everyone to make sure they’re familiar with both. Three
of our coordinators are already in Ethiopia, so will hopefully be able to
provide some information to us on class setups, levels and so on before we
start. After months of preparation, the big adventure is almost upon us!

Some thoughts from four of the Ethiopia team follow …

Irene: With only 5 days to go until we get on the plane to Addis Ababa, I
imagine I’m like most of the team in that I’m simultaneously nervous and
excited about the trip, wanting very much to do my best. I imagine every
class will be different, and am prepared to fall flat on my face at least
a couple of times. But if I can give my students even one or two really useful
things to take away from the class and pass on to their own students, I’ll
feel I’ve done a good job. I’m also hoping to learn a few things myself,
not least whether I could do this sort of work on a longer-term basis. I’m
looking forward to experiencing first-hand the culture of a truly fascinating
country, having my preconceptions turned upside-down on a daily basis, and
boring my colleagues to death with my collection of 1970s Ethiopian jazz.
I’m hoping the team will get along famously (musical differences notwithstanding),
that no-one gets seriously ill, and that we will consider our month teaching
in Ethiopia one of the best things we’ve ever done.

Miriam: I am really looking forward to getting out there now, it feels like
it’s been coming for soooo long. However I am apprehensive about a few things
– I’m terrified of snakes or at least the thought of snakes (the few times
I’ve actually seen them I’ve been fine), I’m apprehensive about what to expect,
about getting ill and about other people getting ill. I’m also nervous being
coordinator but I guess these are normal feelings. I am looking forward to
the challenge however, to spending time with the team and to getting over
each (and there will be many I’m sure) hurdle together as a team. I can’t
wait to try the coffee and perhaps get the opportunity to introduce tip rugby
to ethiopia!!!

I think that sums it up – nervous and excited!

Niamh: I’m really excited about heading out to Ethiopia next week, although
I really have no idea what to expect, I’m really looking forward to getting
out there and started. Because the Ethiopian culture, in my mind, is a world
apart from ours here in Ireland, I feel experiencing this is going to be
one of the most exciting parts of our trip.

Linda: I am expecting to be nervous & excited, to experience a big culture
shock…to be in awe. I am expecting the experience to be challenging, exhausting
and rewarding. I am expecting to taste great coffee, to witness unbelievable
poverty…but to see a country rich in culture, spirit, tradition, religious
beliefs and many other great values…I am expecting to return home and question
why we get so caught up in material values….I am expecting to learn more
than what I can teach. I am expecting to be tormented & a bit obsessed with
mosquitoes…..will likely be nervous about getting sick but plan to remain
optimistic and will be determined to stay healthy during the trip. I am looking
forward to making a small difference through my teaching, though am a bit
apprehensive about how good my teaching skills will be…I plan to challenge
myself to give 100% as this is ultimately why we are here ….I am hoping
to be able to pass on my enthusiasm for technology to others….I am expecting
that I will learn from other volunteers…and we will help one another, look
after one another throughout this experience ….volunteers will likely bond
and clash but will be respectful. We will likely be homesick at times….and
I am expecting that when I return home to my small hometown that I will go
through a period of feeling low after such an experience, I will try to prepare
myself for that emotion…and I will likely want to return to give some more……