Thank you for you letters!!!
I was so happy to receive your
pictures and questions that I made
another presentation in order to
answer all of them!
How far are you from the waterfall in the
The waterfall is in a big city called Bahir
I live 2 hours from Bahir Dar by bus in
What kind of climate does Ethiopia have?
If you look on a map, you can see that Ethiopia is
covered in mountains! Most of the country is located
at a higher elevation than the surrounding countries.
This makes the climate very diverse.
In some areas in the south
there is a tropical climate
where people grow
papaya, and bananas.
Where I live, in the north,
we have a temperate
climate. It rains often and
freezes at night. We mostly
grow tomatoes, wheat,
potatoes, and onions. In the
far north (Tigray and Afar
Are there gardens and farms there? What
do they grow?
There are so many farms here! In the tropical areas there
are mango, papaya, plum, banana, false banana, and
coffee farms. At higher elevations there are potato, onion,
carrot, beet, wheat, teff, and tomato farms. In my town,
they are trying to teach farmers to plant pear and apple
trees! I am very excited about having apples!!!
in Ethiopia are
teff and coffee.
(This is a
picture of a
What kind of wild animals live in your area?
What is your favorite Ethiopian animal?
Ethiopia has many endemic animals. These are
animals you can’t find anywhere else in the world!
Google “Ethiopia endemic animals” to see all the
different animals that live here!
In my area, the only wild
animal that people talk about
is the hyena. I have never
seen a hyena though.
These are the strange wild
animals that I have seen:
(monkeys are definitely the
best! They are fun to watch and
they steal your food!!)
How deep is your toilet?
Really great question! I often wonder the same thing…
When I shine a flashlight down the toilet hole, I can see
the bottom. Thankfully, mine is not close to full. Some of
my friends’ toilets overflow when it rains though…
Here are two
toilets. Mine is
because it is
(the hole is
When did you start to learn Amharic?
I started learning Amharic when I first arrived in
Ethiopia. It is difficult to learn Amharic without a
teacher. Thankfully when I arrived Peace Corps
had great teachers for us!!
There are 230 different syllabic characters to learn.
What is your favorite nature place to hike?
The most beautiful place I have seen so far is the
crater lake called Ara Shatan in Butajira. We walked
around the entire lake (1.5 miles) and we also met a
man who lived with his family in a cave near the lake.
Here are 3 of my favorite photos:
Is the school in a town or village?
How many people live there?
Injibara is a town and there are 7 elementary
schools. 4 are public and 3 are private. About 40,000
people live in Injibara. Each school has 250 - 500
students (half in the morning, half in the afternoon).
The photo is an example of what all schools look like.
Is the school in the center of the village or
on the outside edge?
The farthest elementary school is a 45 min walk from
town. Most students attend a school close to their house
because everyone walks to school. The college that I
work at is a 3 mile walk from my house. Unlike the
primary schools, the college is definitely on the outside
edge of the town!!
Do you know any Ethiopian constellations
stories about the stars?
I am excited that you are learning about stars;
the Star Lab was my favorite part of Shannon
When I first arrived in my town, I was sad and
surprised to learn that Ethiopian children never
learn about the stars or constellations! There
are no Ethiopian stories about the stars.
The stars are so bright here that you can see
almost every constellation clearly! I love to look
at them and to teach my friends the different
stories. We also make up our own!
Right now in our sky Orion and the dog near
him are very prominent. The big and little
What do the students do at recess?
Students do not have recess because they
only are at school for 4 hours before lunch
or 4 hours after lunch.
How old are the students in your school?
I mainly teach at a College of Teacher
Education. My students are 17-23 years old
and when they finish 3 years of College they
will become elementary school teachers.
My second school is an elementary school
with grades 1 to 8. The students in 1st grade
are usually 6 or 7 and 8th graders are about
What books do the students read?
This is a great question with an interesting
answer. Unlike in the United States where we
read for fun, there is no culture of reading here
in Ethiopia. Students only read their textbooks
and what their teacher tells them to read. It is
sad, but many organizations are trying to
encourage kids to find books and read for fun!
What are your favorite books that you would
suggest to a 3rd grader in Ethiopia?
Do students us paper and pencils?
No, students only write in blue pen. Pencils
are very rare.
They also use small notebooks, one for
What are some words and phrases we
should know if we were students in an
Salam no! = Hello!
Daihna? = How are
Chow = Goodbye
Misa = Lunch
Chawata = Game
Kwas = Ball
Escripto = Pen
Weraket = Paper
Defter = Notebook
Tamari = Student
Astamari = Teacher
What do the students do for fun when they
are not in school?
Often, when students are not in school, they
have to help their family with chores. There
many more chores in Ethiopia than in the
US. Many girls have to cook dinner, carry
water from the well, care for smaller
children, clean the house, or work in the
Boys often have more free time and like to
play soccer in the streets. Sometimes kids
can rent a movie from a shop in town for 3
This is a bajaj. This is
how we get around
town, it is our taxi. I
can pay 5 birr ($.25) to
go from my house to
This is one of
my very favorite
It a powder
water and oil.
These kids are dressed up in their fanciest
clothes for a special day. These are
Ethiopian traditional clothes.
Have I answered ALL your
As always, ask some
Po Box 7
Injibara, Awi Zone