Gondar 2

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I’m delighted to report a new project under way.  We have funds from church sources to support traditional education in the Orthodox Church.  This is one of the unknown riches of Ethiopian culture – I’m especially fascinated by qene, a style of improvised, allegorical, theological poetry, unlike anything I’ve encountered elsewhere.

Two days of discussion with the bishop and others in Gondar has produced a great project.  The biggest school is at Gabriel Church, Abun Bet Gabriel to give the full title.  400 students studying under Yeneta Netatabab – like many poetry teachers he is blind.  The school is in a beautiful setting on two small rivers at the point where they converge.  But rivers in towns mean rubbish – which means insects – which means illness.  There’s no money for medicine and three students have recently died of preventable illnesses.  Their plan is to build a small house  12 m X 4.5 m by the roadside with three rooms.  Two will be rented out to provide money for medicine and one will be a workshop.  Materials will cost 2000 pounds and labour 500 pounds.  A simple achievable project with a clear objective.  If this works we’ll do more.

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