Welcome to Agaro

There were tourists in my town yesterday! I was walking with a friend, when three farenjis stepped out of a jeep. I’m not used to seeing other white people in Agaro, so I was very Ethiopian-like in my curiousity.  I assumed they were from some NGO in Jimma, the next biggest town over. Nope! Turns out, they were French tourists. Tourists. Meaning they weren’t here to try and fix anything. They weren’t here for research. They were merely here to see the town, and the beautiful birthplace of coffee.

I found this video, randomly, while working on my Community Needs Assesment. I couldn’t quite get it all to load here with my speedy cdma internet, but thought it might be fun to post anyway. It’s centered on the main streets of town. The rural areas not shown are where the lush, green beauty is… but I love this town. All of it.

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3 responses to “Welcome to Agaro

  1. Katie, My husband and I were PCVs in Agaro in 1972-74. From the video, it looks the same but bigger… We taught at the Junior secondary school there. We lived behind an Italian guy who had a bakery, restaurant and showers. Hope things are well for you. I will follow your blog. Karen Taylor, Vermont

    • How interesting! I’m sorry I haven’t been much of a blogger lately. I’m really enjoying the town though, and the whole experience in general. How was your service? Did you enjoy it?

  2. Katie, thanks for the reply. I hope I am not freaking you out about all this..It is all innocent.. I wanted to draw your attention to my blog which incorporates some small information about Ethiopia in my rather random posts…. the blog is: ktclosertothebone.blogspot.com There I ruminate about “gunfo” which I did not eat as far as I remember until one of our Agaro students popped up in NC with her familiy and then in 2009 or so shared with me, during a visit to NC, an experience that encorporated gunfo.It was, in my mind an Ethiopian experience (maybe Tigrinyan) but gunfo, nonetheless. I would like to be more knowledgable about the cuisine but feel a bit stumped here in Vermont. Also, I am just really interested in seeing what is going on in Agaro, which was one of our earliest homes. We were marrried in ’71, went to Ethiopia in 1972, were there through the lead up to the downfall of Haile Selassie, There was a Sudan Interior Mission Hospital there when we were there and they helped us with some of the critical episodes of life there. We went from there to NY where hubby got a PhD in the History of Africa and other connected countries. Our Eth friend in NC is still involved there with family members. Nevermind that, I have such deep and abiding memories of Agaro, but the revolution of the time pretty much cut us off from our contacts. It is interesting to me to see the town and its development, for whatever reasons, but I am always interested in the PC involvement there. I will write more about our experiences there shortly. I love Ethiopia, its profound history and culture, its embedded religious inputs and struggles, be they Christian,( which is embedded with ancient Jewish rituals), Muslim (which is embedded with Jewish rituals) or animistic… I cannot judge them. I hope you will see Ethiopia not in terms of the struggles and difficulties you have with the culture, but in its own glorious culture, which is not necessarily obvious to Western eyes, but is part of its story and provides richness and flavor in its telling and experiencing….

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