Thursday, October 29, 2009

Progress and Plans for Ethiopia


This morning I talked with my family on Skype again. It is so fun to see their faces and talk with them. I'm sure my company will appreciate the much smaller phone bill. Last time the cell phone bill was over $2000 for my 1-month stay! And I didn't even get to call home as much as my employer granted.

Last night I met with members of the team, including the owner, Paul Morrell, to discuss our progress and plans here in Ethiopia. At times I am overwhelmed by what we are trying to accomplish here. But Paul has an incredible vision of what can be done here, and he has the drive needed to support us in getting it done.
We were just leaving to meet with an equipment dealer at the Land O’Lakes office, when one of their representatives called and said that the meeting would have to be cancelled because a flight had engine problems, preventing the arrival of the dealer. Not wanting to waste an opportunity, I asked if we could meet with the representatives anyways. We met with them for almost two hours, discussing the dairy industry in Ethiopia, and our plans to be a part of it. As we left, we all agreed that the past two hours was some of the most valuable hours that we had spent on this trip.
Later that evening, Evan, Haven and I walked to the "Beer Garden Hotel" for German food. The waitress struggled to understand us, and became so confused that Evan ended up not getting to even order a main course. She brought us carbonated water instead of regular water, and assumed that the appetizer that Evan ordered for all of us was his meal. The manager even came out to clarify the order. It was a frustrating experience, but not atypical. The Ethiopian waitresses, in general, are not very well trained on how to take orders and provide good service. There is definitely a need for education in restaurant management in this country, if any of you are looking for a reason to come over here! ;)


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