Archive for December, 2012

Ambachew, his wife Workie, and I

Ambachew, his wife Workie, and I – Ambachew has a lot of penguin qualities also. His support was invaluable in the workplace and at his house during afternoon ‘chats’.

It looks like it’s good-bye VSO Ethiopia and hello to secondary history teaching in Khartoum, Sudan.  It is never easy leaving a place.  Where would I be without my driver Desalegn?  We were encouraged to come to our placements and find metaphorical penguins.  In Cuso pre-departure training, two cultures were presented as icebergs because icebergs are largely hidden from view.  A penguin would be able to come to the surface and act as a guide through Ethiopian culture. I’m not sure if this means that I have to become a penguin too.  Everyone calls Desalegn my driver here, but there is no vehicle involved.  Everyone recognises the guidance he has given me, and that generosity has earned him the nickname.  What Cuso termed as ‘penguins’ the people here term as ‘drivers’.  Either way, they are invaluable.

There are other drivers that do not carry the moniker, though.  Desalegn, Ousman and Eshetu have made a social life possible.  They introduced me to the DSTV house.  It shows Premier League Football and serves cold beer.  It’s a rare combination in these parts.  They also introduced me to everyone in the town, so that now when I walk the streets it feels like I was born and raised in these parts.  It’s a complete flip from 6 months ago, and it’s thanks to the efforts of these people to go around town, tell people who I was, and get them to accept me.   Solomon, Abdul Moujid, and Ambachew have made work life run smoothly.  Solomon and Ambachew are department heads and help me navigate the College.  Abdul Moujid is my counterpart in coordinating the ELIC, and has been enormously helpful in getting the English conversation classes to take root at the College.

This experience was made possible because of the kindness of those around me here.  Asaita is an isolated town, but it has not felt so isolated in recent months.

to be continued…


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IMG_1484Here are some biographies written by students at the College that are working to improve their English.


First of all I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Abubeker Yimam Ali.  I am second year language student. I was born in Aseb on December 24th, 1986.  I was there for 3 years, then I went to Mille and I learned from Grade 1 up to 10.  When I was in elementary school I was lazy student, but when I got to high school I started participating in the class very nicely and I got good results and also I was late only one day over 2 years.  Now I live in Ayssayta because I am learning how to teach English.  I’m a hard-working student now.

First of all I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Abel Tegegne.  I am a second year biology student in Asaita College of Teacher Education.  I was born in Wichale on September 3rd, 1987.  I studied in elementary school from Grade 1 to 8 in Wichale Primary School and then in Wichale Secondary School.  Next, I came to Asaita CTE to study natural science.  My favourite food is fish.  This is the history of my short life.


Agenew studies English hard and has great pronunciation

Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed

Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed

First of all I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Agenew Tantu Leza.  I am a second year biology student.  I was born in Melkasde on June 19th, 1986.  I came to Asaita two years ago.  I studied from Grade 1-10 in Melkasde.  At that time I was a mediocre student, but now I am a great student.  There are three people in my family.  I have one sister.  My father died in 1999.  My mother is alive at this time.

First of all I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed.  I am a second year biology student at Asaita CTE.  I was born in 1980 on December 20th.  I got my education in central Amhara in Kombolcha.  I graduated from that city, then I came to Asaita to study at the teacher’s college here.  After one year I will graduate and become a teacher, but first I would like to attend university in order to continue studying education.  In the future, I hope to become a fair, loyal and polite person and teacher.  I want to be a responsible citizen, and help Ethiopia avoid poverty.

Everyone smiles more when they aren't alone in the picture.

Everyone smiles more when they aren’t alone in the picture.

Thank you my friend.  I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Edris Abdalla Salih.  I was born in 1986 (Ethiopian calendar).  I have two brothers and four sisters.  I started my education in 1994 in Konoba PS where I studied from Grade 1 – 8.  After completing the national exam at the end of grade 8 I began studying grades 9 and 10 in Konoba.  After I completed grade 10 I came to Asaita CTE.  I am a second year student in the Natural Science department.



First of all I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Ali Mohammed.  I come from the town of Kuteba and I live in Asaita.  I have two brothers and a sister.  I like playing football and drinking Coca-Cola.  I am Ethiopian.  I learnt from Grade 1-8 in Sinble Primary School in Asaita.  Then I went to Mohammed Hamfre High School for Grades 9 & 10.  At this time I am a second year language student at the College.  In the future I will be a teacher and I will have a laptop.

Please let me introduce myself.  My name is Endris Ali Outba.  I was born in July 1983 (e.c.) in Dalole.  I started my education in 1994 (e.c.) at Asafara PS.  I studied Grade 9 in Dalole and Grade 10 in Koneba High School in Afar.  Then, I came to Asaita CTE to study to be a teacher in the geography department.



First of all I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Abdu Ahmed Ali.  I am a first year student in the history department.  I was born in Asaita in 1986 (e.c.).  I am close to my father and my mother.  My father’s name is Ahmed Ali and my mother’s name is Issa Hassan.  I used to go to Eokechora PS and then I went to Mohammed Hanfrere HS after achieving good results in primary school.  I took the national exam in grade 10, but I didn’t get a good result.

IMG_1531First of all I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Ranma Oumar Ahmed.  I am a second year language student at the Asaita CTE.  I was born in Desse.  When I was in grade 3 I was a lazy student, but nowadays I am focused on my education.   I studied in primary school until grade 8 and high school until grade 10.  But I didn’t do very well at math, and I did poorly on that section of the national exam.  That is how I ended up studying education at this college.

Please let me introduce myself.  My name in Gebre Egzabihir Assefa.  I was born on December 19th, 1986.  I was born in Aba Ala, where I studied primary and secondary school.  Now I live in Asaita because I am a student at Asaita  CTE in the Biology Department.

First of all, I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Solomon Adefa.  I was born on June 16th, 1986 in Dessie, Ethiopia.  I went to primary and secondary school in Dessie.  Now I live in Asaita and study at the Teacher’s College.  I have one brother and one sister.

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