Yesterday we had fabulous visits to Merawi Reading Room and Durbete Reading Room - both rural and new since last year in the regions around Bahir Dar. Durbete put on an incredible welcoming ceremony with the children performing songs, traditional shoulder dances and small plays. They presented us with flowers and a traditional coffee ceremony. Even the local media came to cover the festivities.
- Ann Speak
One of the girls who introduced herself to us at the Durbete reading room said she wants to be a journalist. This is quite different from most students: doctor is the answer we usually hear. There is a great emphasis on the sciences (chemistry, physics, math and biology) in the Ethiopian school exams. But journalists, policy writers, and arts graduates are also necessary. The pride expressed in the fate of this future journalist gives me hope that she has the confidence and persistence to achieve her goal.
- Marlene Asselin
People’s gratitude for CODE has been overwhelming. The gifts presented to each member of the group were so moving it brought tears to my eyes. The gifts will be treasured forever and remind me of this special visit with Ethiopian people connected to the reading rooms. I have hopes that the students and children we talked to today will benefit immensely from the education and literacy programs. This remarkable day has certainly been food for thought.
- Loraine Rowan
The reception and celebration at the reading room was nothing short of extraordinary and overwhelming. The kids all dressed up and sang welcome songs that they wrote for us, gave us flowers, and the coffee ceremony put on by the women of the village served the best coffee I have ever tasted......what a people!
- John Casey