What, the Placement Description Lied?
Feb. 17th 2003
Today was the first day at work. I had to decide whether to go for shirt and tie, or just a shirt. I chose just the shirt and temperature wise, I am quite glad I did so. Having said this, I did find the evening quite cold. I don't know what the temperature actually was, but I am pretty sure that I have already started to feel the cold more.

In the morning, I met with my immediate superior and head of the college. Also present was a member of VSO staff to discuss various things such as accommodation. It was agreed that they would find a place for me to live in Mekelle town.

Contrary to the placement description, it was confirmed that there is no Internet set up yet, I will make this a priority once we have the equipment. I have also been looking on the campus for a machine room and working out how we can get more computers and cabling for a network. It seems that there are some resources available, I just have to work out how to get to them.

Today there were many people visiting the campus. I was introduced to many of them but immediately forgot their names. It would be hard enough if they were names that I already knew, but they were Ethiopian names. It would be good to remember these people though because many were connected with the government and seem to have some influence. In the afternoon, one of the visitors quickly gained a large crowd of students around him and was talking to them, inspiring them, and building them up.

Before heading into town for a meal with the other VSOs and some of the program staff, I was waiting just inside the MIT compound for the driver. While waiting three students chatted to me in absolutely brilliant English. It wasn't long before there was a much larger group of students. They were slightly put out that I didn't support football but listened, slightly bewildered, when I explained about Korfball. In the college there are 105 students. Six of these are girls. That's not really enough for korfball. They decided to call Sarah 'Mona Lisa' after seeing her photo.

The VSO who had previously been doing some work at MIT gave me his text book. It was written in 1994 but feels more like 1984. However, it is the one text book that they all have so I should try to use it in some way.