This is the first post in the newly minted Meketa blog! As we embark on the latest Meketa project – a summer camp for children from the Jewish community – we have decided to start a blog so that our friends and supporters around the world can follow our progress…
I arrived in Ethiopia last week, a full 3½ years since my last visit. Gondar is reassuringly familiar – blue and white tuktuks (called ‘bajajs’) whizzing past the main square, donkeys carrying bundles of wood through sidestreets, the smell of coffee and incense everywhere. But there’s also been a lot of changes: dirt tracks are being paved, new buil
dings are going up everywhere, and there’s even a Swedish massage parlour!
My main task on this visit is to get the summer camp running. Ambanesh (our fieldworker) and I spent 3 days buying furniture, equipment, stationery, art supplies and everything else we need – including a shelving unit which we built from scratch from iron rods and planks. We transported everything by bajaj, which adds an element of danger as the rods are bigger than the vehicle and had to be strapped to the ceiling.
I have also been look
ing after our volunteers from England – David and Sahava – who arrived on Monday. They will be helping to run the summer camp, along with our supervisor Getachew. I’ve shown them round Gondar, and dragged them along to the local marketplace (Arada) to help with the shopping. There’s been a lot of surprises for them here – such as the goats wandering round the marketplace, and the unreliability of their shower – but they’re adjusting well so far.
Sahava even managed to get her hair done in the local style by a group of neighbourhood girls (while the rest of us were setting up the furniture in the Meketa compound…!)
So everything’s ready for the club to start – bye everyone (or ‘ciao’ as they say here)