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Oct 30th, 2007, 08:38 PM
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One of the things I've been impressed with when I've visited schools in Africa in a variety of countries, is the wonderful behavior of the students. When I stayed in a Maasai village, I witnessed hours of interaction among the children and also saw their respect toward adults, and of course toward me. When compared with a lot of the kids (of several races)I work with or encounter in the US, I feel our young people fall short by comparison in civility and attitude.

I especially remember one young lad in Uganda, about 10 years old, who walked about a mile with a few of us tourists as he left school and headed to the orphanage where he lived in. He was speaking very good English that allowed us to communicate well and we commended him on it. His reply was, "next year when you come back I will be speaking Swahili too." Luganda was his native tongue. Walking in the midst of these orphan school children (many orphaned by parents with AIDs)and chatting with them in English was a beautiful experience.

Thanks for the clarification, Twoteachers. In person, we could have cleared that up right away. In this medium, it can take some time and explanation.
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Oct 31st, 2007, 07:18 AM
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Dear Twoteachers,

I would like to weigh in on that sticky part of your report which I first addressed on 10/9 and which Tennisbum addressed on 10/28. I recommended checking out a NY Times editorial by using the NYT search feature and keying in the word and phrase "articulate" and "racial politics". Here is the link to the actual article.


I think it's a very informative read for anyone.

Cheers - and keep travelin'!

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Oct 31st, 2007, 09:01 AM
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Thanks, doohickey, I had tried to open the article before unsuccessfully, so with your link I was able to read it. "Articulate" is a word I use often because I appreciate a well-spoken person. I certainly never have seen it as the very basic skills where Webster was referenced. Thanks for raising my consciousness about the AA reaction to the word. I never knew that, since I personally am often described that way, and I always consider it a high compliment. It is also a high compliment when I am not even thinking of race when I use it to describe a person. I will know now to be more sensitive to the perceived implications. " Do not use it as the primary attribute of note for a black person if you would not use it for a similarly talented, skilled or eloquent white person."

I think my emphasis in the comment was also intended to be more about the formality of the groups we met. When I gave a check to a Water Committee in Kenya, I think half the people (5-6) of the members made speeches, and it was obvious I was expected to respond. Whether in the main World Vision office for the country, or the smaller district offices, there would be a series of formal introductions and speeches, with the highest
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Oct 31st, 2007, 09:11 AM
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...with the highest ranking person speaking last. I certainly can not speak Amharic or Swahili, so I was additionally impressed they could greet me in my language. I wish I had never mentioned it now because I see now I wasn't clear, but when I was there, I was thinking of my students and wishing they were there. I also wished they were with me to see the animals and to enjoy the people and the scenery and many other aspects of the journey. Today in class we were talking about how we all wanted to go to Africa together, and I would do it in a heartbeat if they and I could come up with hte money.

Hey, did anyone look at my little pathetic videos?
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Oct 31st, 2007, 09:38 AM
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Hey, did anyone look at my little pathetic videos?

I tried. What looked like a movie thumbnail-intro was not, it was a still photo. Would not work by selecting the thummbnail. Apparently (?) you have to down load an executable file from picasa to play the movies? I really really really do not like being required to have a special exe file to do something like this. What am I doing wrong?

And finally, people think their movie clips are wonderful just like they think their photos are wonderful. Actually 98% of them are wrong, their videos/photos are booooooring. (Yes, I know, not a polite thing to say in western cultures. Sorry, excuse me.). It's easier to click off a still photo after 1 second than have to wait to see if the uneditted video clip 40 secs long has anything interesting in it (very unlikely). I'm not picking on you 2teach, just saying why perhaps in general no one has seen your videos. FWIW I did very much enjoy your trip report.

regards - tom
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Oct 31st, 2007, 11:40 AM
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Like you, I've never thought of the word as having any negative connotation and have certainly used it myself to describe individuals of many different races and ethnicities with the same positive intent. I could say a lot more but I think I'd better stop here
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Oct 31st, 2007, 02:37 PM
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Hi, Cary999, I have no idea what the problem is with seeing the videos. I just tried it again using the link from Fodor's and they came right up. It could just be that it recognizes me differently. I enjoy other people's photos because it reminds me in different ways of when I was there, but to each his own....
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Oct 31st, 2007, 03:27 PM
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I finally had a chance to read your report, and just wanted to join the chorus saying thank you so much for taking the time to write it. What an amazing experience you had! Thanks for sharing it with us.
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Oct 31st, 2007, 05:50 PM
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Excellent trip report - thanks so much for taking the time to write it. Loved your style of writing!
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Nov 1st, 2007, 01:13 PM
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Twoteachers, as Iím not as boring as Tom, I downloaded the Picasa thing. I hope it isnít a virus. I very much enjoyed your videos, especially after having read your report. The rhino (Shida) looks a bit big to be bottle-fed though.
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Nov 1st, 2007, 08:09 PM
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Nov 2nd, 2007, 08:05 AM
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I missed this before and have, as many others did, read the entire thing in one go. What a magnificent report of an incredible experience! Thank you for sharing it with us!
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Nov 2nd, 2007, 12:06 PM
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twoteachers - Thank you so much for taking the time to write your report - I really enjoyed it! I was also reduced to tears by Ethiopian Air in public too so you aren't the only one...
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Apr 22nd, 2012, 09:53 AM
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I am yearning to return to Africa, and I just re-read my report to refresh my own memories. Does anyone know of volunteer opportunities for teachers?
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 10:37 AM
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This is a fabulous trip report that is written in such a different tone than most of the typical reports one finds at Fodors. It truly gives one the feel of the real country and the experience rather than the artificial that is so often created just for tourists.

So, when you want a good read and have a free hour (yes, it will take at least that long) sit down with this.
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Dec 7th, 2013, 08:58 AM
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Dear twoteachers

I am moved by your report. I am Ethiopian. I pictured every scenery in my mind. at the end of the report i forgot i was reading rather i felt like i have finished a well-done Hollywood movie.

I wish I could meet you in Ethiopia. if there is any possibility you come to Ethiopia, please contact me. I want to arrange two free excursions to Wenchi crater lake and Ankober, the hottest weekend retreats from Addis plus you can stay in my apartment for one to two weeks.

You are An Ambassador!
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Apr 4th, 2015, 08:33 AM
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I hope to visit Ethopia next year. I will be sixty seven then, and i have gained confidence in my ability to travel there at my age.
I hugely enjoved your trip report, laughing out loud at times. You have a huge skill as a writer. Thank you for the report.
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