This morning myself and Donal (a Camara volunteer out for 3 months
helping to get ICDL set up) went to visit a hospital/hospice/orphanage
run by the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Therese’s order) in Addis.
I won’t describe the type of lives led by people helped in this place
because their lives are indescribable but what I will say is that I
always find it a very emotional experience to visit there. In the
hospital I met one young girl who has a mental/physical disorder that
I had first met 3 years ago in the orphanage next door. Her face was
covered in food as she hobbled over to me with a big smile on her
face. I don’t know how many hugs she has had in her life but she
certainly got a big hug from me today.

Our next stop was a short drive away but a world away in terms of
lifestyle – The Hilton Hotel in Addis which at Є200 per night is a
place that most Ethiopians can only dream of. How ever this opulence
didn’t stop myself and Donal making generous use of their extensive
buffet to stock up for the day. As a matter of note, The Hilton hotel
is only the second most expensive hotel in the Addis, the most
expensive being The Sheraton which is a favourite haunt of World Bank
and UN officials trying to save the world!

This evening there was a reception in Addis hosted by the new Irish
Ambassador to Ethiopia, Sile Maguire. The guest of honour was Trevor
Sargent who was out on official business looking at agricultural
projects in the country. Trevor made a short speech on behalf of the
Irish Government but it was clear he was saving himself for the major
event of the trip which was to take place tomorrow evening (see
below). The high-light of the night was Stephen Wall, the lead singer
of Irish group ‘The Stunning’ who gave a wonderful rendition of his
famous song (sorry forgot the title but everyone else seemed to know
it). Stephen is out with a group from Connect Ethiopia
(www.connectethiopia.ie) and is looking to promote Ethiopian music and
bands in Ireland.

Monday November 24th – Addis Ababa