In late October, 2005, I was honored to tag along to Ethiopia with about three dozen eminent Rotarians led by former Washington State Secretary of State Ralph Munro (a former high school and college classmate) and Ezra Teshome, primarily to help eradicate Polio. The group also visited and supported a number of other humanitarian projects. This was the seventh trip to Ethiopia for Dave Weaver, developing such Rotary projects as a library and computer center, village for single mothers and school. We were accompanied by Penny LeGate and a cameraman from KIRO-TV recording some of the group efforts.
The following week, thirteen members of the group led by Ralph and Benjamin Omara Abe continued on the Uganda, first to its capital, Kampala, and then through war ravaged lands north of the Nile River to the garrison town of Gulu where Ben was born. We were joined in Uganda by Scott Jackson, (former student of mine and) now Senior Vice-President of World Vision, US. Rotary and World Vision are attempting to optimize achievements by coordinating what each group does best.
As the Rotarians flew back to the USA, I stopped in Europe. Winding my way north by rail from Rome along the Mediterranean coast to France, I stopped at Geneva and Darmstadt, Germany, before departing Paris for Seattle. I visited with educational staff at CERN (Geneva) and GSI (Darmstadt) and received fabulous tours by researchers at both Laboratories. Upon arrival in Seattle, I joined a group of 75 K-12 teachers as guests of the SuperComputing 05 Conference. We were briefed on the status and opportunities of large scale computing and started projects to improve educational content.
|Encountering Ethiopia, a country tracing its roots to
Lucy,the oldest known hominid, a country long able to maintain distinct customs due to isolation, is now embracing modern technology.
|garrison town of Gulu where the Acholi culture is being destroyed by a nearly 20 year war mounted by the Lord's Resistance Army which has forced
capturedyoung children to do much of the barbaric warfare.
|2005 Immunization Days in Ethiopia for Polio Eradication. Launched with ceremony by Ethiopian political and religious leaders with Rotarians from Ethiopia and the Pacific Northwest as guest participants, pairs of our group joined Ethiopian teams going door-to-door to vaccination young children.||Kampala, thriving capital of Uganda, a stone's throw from the Equator and nearly half way around the earth from Seattle (11 time zones)|
|town of Lalibela where, when Moslems and Christians battled during the crusades, Ethiopian Christians carved a series of churches from the mountain top so they would be hidden from potential invaders.|
|Pacific Northwest Rotarians visited other Rotary projects in Ethiopia which are typically administrated by local Rotarians but funded by Rotary International and local Rotary clubs elsewhere.
Links to photographs by others