Walked across town through the remnants of a New Brunswick winter, negotiating ice and puddles and soggy snow, temperature around zero, to talk to students at St. George Elementary School about my visits to Ethiopia, eight time zones, seven thousand miles, and three continents away, while in Addis Ababa light rain was falling and the temperature was a pleasant 25C.
A world away.
But for one hour Ethiopia came a little closer (I hope) to Mme. Nadeau’s grade six classroom as students looked at photographs and a video from my visit to Addis Ababa and Debra Zeit last year, and learned a few facts and snippets of history, and heard about the work of the Canadian Organisation for Development through Education (CODE), for whom I was travelling, and listened to a few (of countless) personal impressions and memories, and tried on the gifts of clothing I brought home, and learned a few words and phrases.
I think selam (hi) and ishi (okay) and konjono (wonderful) may be in use by the students, for a few days at least, keeping a little bit of Ethiopia in a New Brunswick classroom.