Teaching ICT Without (Much) Computer Access

I remember a viral photo from a few years ago, showing a blackboard on which the teacher had drawn out what Microsoft Word looks like on a screen. It showed all the menu buttons, all of the toolbars, and the black page, all drawn perfectly neatly and to-scale on the blackboard. It might have seemed... Continue Reading →

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Maftarya (Iftar)

Leila and her husband, Ibrahim are sitting outside of the house, cooking wot for maftarya — the breaking of the Ramadan fast. They’ve got a clay stove set up, and Leila is adding scraps of wood, which Ibrahim is splicing off with a homemade axe. They’re both devout Muslims, and would never complain about the... Continue Reading →

Pre-1977: The Time Before Junk Food

I am not the first foreigner my village has seen. In the 1970s, a group of evangelical missionaries set up camp at the edge of town, building a mud-walled school, and trying to win converts. I get told stories about “the mission” every so often, and it’s always interesting to imagine the village at that... Continue Reading →

Phenomenal Women

Here in my village, I have the privilege of knowing a lot of phenomenal women. I know a woman who sells vegetables in the markets — three days per week, three different villages. She loads her donkey up with onions and potatoes and chases it down the road, running after it with a stick. She... Continue Reading →

3km/h (2mph)

Note: Peace Corps (for security reasons) doesn’t want you to know exactly where I live. So, I’ve replaced the actual names of the villages in this post with the English equivalents. Yes, the name of my village actually means “fetus peak” in English. The history is a long story. I arrive to the bus station... Continue Reading →

Goat or Sheep?

I wake up at 6am today, knowing that today is Fasika — Ethiopian Easter. I assume that church would start around 7:30am, like it has for the other Orthodox holidays I’ve been here for. But, I can still hear my neighbours’ voices from across the fence. They’re the most Orthodox people in my village, so... Continue Reading →

It’s not trash if you can trade it in!

I was sitting out on the main street this afternoon, hanging out with my friend T’aytu, when I heard the sound of plastic containers bouncing along a rocky path. T’aytu paused for a moment, and then yelled to her daughter — “get the jerrycans!” A few seconds later, a man appeared from a path, dragging... Continue Reading →

No-Electricity Sundays

Last night, the electricity went out, as it usually does. Our town technically has a power grid, if you consider a web of wires tied together with plastic bags to qualify as a power grid. The official grid doesn’t go to all of the houses, so neighbours oftentimes jerry-rig wires between yards and buildings. It’s... Continue Reading →

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