Late February: Goodbye to French Friends

Another busy and wonderful week in Sodo.  This marks the end of the current time here with Pierre (who has actually been gone a few weeks) and Marion, dear friends from France who were also living and working in Sodo.  Marion is a nurse who works with a French NGO here training rural peoples on family planning and FGM (female genital mutilation) prevention.  She has had great success and has shared some wonderful movies of the role-play/dramas that the villagers she works with put on to raise awareness about the importance and details of these pressing issues.  Pierre is a professor of education history at the Sorbonne and is currently in the midst of his Ph.D. on the history of Education in Ethiopia.

The two of them have been coming back and forth from France to live, work and do research here for almost seven years, spending months at a time (up to a year) each time. They even go married here on one stint!  After getting hooked by the rich history of education in Wolaita, Pierre decided to change/specify his thesis title to History of Education in Ethiopia’s Wolaita Zone.  It was wonderful to have a few foreign friends, especially two who are totally fluent (Pierre conducts his interviews in Amharic and takes notes in Amharic, too!) and who love this country so much, but also have a good sense of outside perspective, as well.  It was also amazing to practice speaking and listening to French for hours at a time in Ethiopia, where so very few people do.  So, we will stay in touch with them and Jillian and I intend to visit them in France (at the Sorbonne and at Marion’s organic, “bio” in French, family farm out in the country near Nantes).

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~ by Jillian & Adam on March 29, 2010.

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