Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from June, 2014

Expedition Ethiopia: A School Built

On our last day in Ethiopia, the contingent from Saint David's School, New York City arrived at the Saint David's Kalina School.  Led by the three Student Council Presidents Colin '11, Jack '12 and Skakel '13, the contingent was met by an excited mass of children, family members and teachers.

It was a hot and dusty day, but none of it tempered the spirits of those visiting or those being visited.  This first clip is upon arrival:



At Kalina today and at Mimi's school yesterday we were greeted with traditional dance and song.  A few short clips follow to illustrate.  Ethiopian dance is all about the shoulders, neck and head:



Between the two visits, Colin, Jack, Skakel and I managed to catch lunch in Mek'ele where we reflected on the trip to date.

The boys each expressed feeling moved by the impact of their hard work and the work of their respective classes and the Saint David's students.

They were proud of their efforts and the obvious impact their effor…

One Down, One to Go: The 7th in Salamanca,

This blog entry is adapted from a letter I just received from Tour Leader Dr. Gilbert:

The boys had a tremendous first week, capped off by a wonderful weekend. On Friday, the 7th graders played indoor soccer, or "futsal" with a group of local students and really enjoyed seeing how their skills compared to the faster paced play of the local Spaniards. One of their baseball catchers even volunteered to cover the net and made 2 out of 4 possible saves!

Yesterday and today were special days as the group traveled to Segovia, Avila, Ledesma, and Arribes del Duero in Portugal.

Early Saturday morning, some of the boys joined in for the classic churros & chocolate treat from Graci's around the corner from the residence. They then headed off to see the aqueduct and the Alcazar (castle) of Segovia. Their guide was so entranced by the boys' curiosity and great listening skills that she accompanied them into the castle to continue sharing her expertise on her own tim…

Kalina, Day 6

The group woke early this morning for its 2 1/2 hour drive south from Mek'ele to Kalina. A beautiful, clear sky morning greeted us. The rainy season, it would appear, remains late. It was a fresh 16 degrees Celsius. 


Save the Children in their 4X4 led the way as we moved in convoy up and over the Gira Castle Mountains and through several small villages. Children frequently ran onto the road calling "Chinese, Chinese".  
To many of the locals in this remote region of Tigray, the only foreigners they see are the Chinese whose government is working on rebuilding old roads (ones built by the Italians during their occupation), and building new roads. 
The smell of Acacia wood (introduced from Australia in the late 1800s) burning in breakfast fires filled the valleys and plains as we moved through the canyons. 
Unlike Bahri Dar, Addis, Condar, and Lulibela, most of the dwellings in this region are made of stone, chiseled and laid to form houses where it's found. 
Christian farm…

Mek'ele, Day 5

Colin '11 is leading us in a game of Spades at our Mek'ele hotel while we wait for the rest of our party.  It's been a long, complicated, but productive day.

Ethiopian Air, using their infinite wisdom, decided to cancel our early morning flight.  We had to unexpectedly revert to plan B.  I took the three presidents and Mr. Dearie with me on the next available flight out of Addis, while the remainder of our contingent did their best to make the most of an extended stay in the nation's capital. They'll be arriving late this afternoon. 

In the meantime, the boys and I, after arriving in Mek'ele in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, visited Dagia Reinhold School, about 5 miles outside Mek'ele. 

The trip though took some time. Our van couldn't quite make it all the way to the school due to crater like ruts in the earthen road. We got out and did the last stretch on foot. 

It was all worth it. Our welcome was spirited and warm. The children were excited.…

Lalibela -- Addis, Day 4

The Roha Valley at 6:30 this morning, looking north from Lalibela, the main town in Lasta, located in the North Wollo Administrative Zone--700 km north of Addis. Beautiful day, 15 degrees. 

Two generations of Saint David's boys. Behind them the Roha Valley looking north from Lalibella. 

The teachers representing the Saint David's school faculty. 

The entire contingent with our guide Mulugeta. 

Leaving Lalibela for return to Addis aboard our trusty Toyota 'Manhattan,' ironic.  

It's a spectacular drive down the mountain road from Lalibela. The countryside is dominated by ploughed fields and small village communities. 
The fields are still ploughed, as they have been for centuries, by a single blade pulled by two oxen controlled by a farmer with whip. 

All the houses are traditional. Remarkably beautiful. 

This afternoon we visited Lucy at the Ethiopian National Museum and Trinity Church, home of the Patriarch, in the heart of Addis.