Just like a year ago, the PROJECT-E Team Europe gathered in mid-January for the first strategy weekend of 2019 in the windy and rough harbour city of Hamburg to evaluate the developments of the last few months and to work out concrete plans for the future together!
The first-year housekeeping students gathered excitedly outside the building, eagerly awaiting to start their first day of classes. After an insightful and busy first week at PROJECT-E, I was nervous to start my lesson plans. Would the students be willing to speak to me in English? Would cultural differences be stressful, amusing, or remarkably different between the two groups? As a new instructor, I was very nervous but excited to see how my teaching would go!
In mid-August, the PROJECT-E Team Europe met once again for the traditional Strategy Weekend to plan the upcoming year, reflect on past work and, of course, meet old and new team members.
When coming to Ethiopia, many people expect English to be an official language and are surprised to learn that, in contrast to other countries in East Africa, English is not among the official languages. Ethiopia is probably one of the oldest independent states in history. The country successfully fought and prevented a colonialization and could therefore preserve its own languages. Ethiopia’s official language is Amharic (Amharigna) and its origin goes back to 2000 years ago. Amharic belongs to the Semitic language family, which also comprises Arabic and Hebrew. Besides Amharic, there are around 80 other languages and 200 dialects spoken in Ethiopia, as for example the languages Tigrigna, Wolaytigna, Somali and Oromigna. However, Amharic represents the official language and is spoken by a quarter of Ethiopians population, with around 22 million speakers.
It has been a stormy first week for me as the new volunteer at the hospitality institute in Addis. I am currently writing my master thesis in Development and International Relations at Aalborg University in Denmark and arrived here from my internship in Brussels where I was introduced to Ethiopia for the first time. The more I was working with Ethiopia the more I wanted to go and see what this country has to offer. So when I finally arrived in Addis, I was full of excitement and curiosity and so far I am still stunned by everything I see and experience every day.
On the 22nd of February, PROJECT-E’s Swiss association held its first event themed “PROJECT-E presents…”. More than 20 interested peopled and friends of the association attended this event, which took place in the Ethiopian-Eritrean restaurant Mesob in Zurich.
On the second weekend of January 2018, PROJECT-E’s Team Europe came together for our traditional bi-annual Strategy Weekend. This time, we met in the winterly and windy harbour city Hamburg to evaluate, plan, and discuss PROJECT-E’s previous work in 2017 and forthcoming plans for 2018 – and of course to catch up with old and new members of Team Europe.
For the PROJECT-E team in Europe, October was strongly marked by the fundraising competition “1000€ für 1000 Vereine“ organised by ING-DiBa bank. The competition aims at supporting NGOs and charity organisations: During a six-week long time period, people can vote via a secure one-person-one-vote principle for the different participating organisations on the Ing-DiBa website. Those organisations ranking among the 200 organisations with most votes in their size category win 1000 Euro.
Christmas known as Genna in Ethiopia is a celebration rich with culture and rituals making it a beloved holyday amongst all Ethiopian Christians and tribes. Being the oldest nation in Africa Ethiopia continues to use the old Julian calendar especially the Orthodox Church thus Genna falling on January 7th each year.
This autumn, a class of twenty new students started their studies at the PROJECT-E Hospitality Institute in Addis Abeba. For two years, they will work towards their goal to receive their degree. A lot has changed for the students in the recent weeks, as they were leaving home and moved to the student accomodation of PROJECT-E. We wish all of our students, who have just started, a very warm welcome and all the strength, success, luck and fun they will be needing in the coming semesters! One of the new first years students, Misrak Hailu, sat down with us to talk about school and life.