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School Visit in Lalibela

Our last day in Lalibela was very relaxing and some of us used it to recover from the Tej drinking event the night before. After a quiet morning and another tasty lunch at the little “Unique” restaurant we went to visit a local school.

At the school we had the opportunity to visit two different classes and the school’s library. First we went into the English class of a 8th grade. Since we had some native English speakers with us the teacher used the opportunity and involved our fellow traveller Andrew from Australia to teach for a few minutes. The kids were reading an English text and then they needed to extract the similarities and differences of the two leading characters from it. Andrew took the lead in moderating the collection of points and the resulting discussion.

Next we went into a science class where the kids were showing us some of the electrical devices they have built. One was a little airplane another one a globe rotating around the sun. In general I had the impression that the knowledge level of the kids was very much behind the level of knowledge kids of the Western civilization have at the same age. We also learned that school isn’t compulsory in Ethiopia and so it’s basically up to the parents if they sent their kids to school or not. We also saw lots of kids on the street during daytime fishing for western tourists to extract money from them (e.g. for cleaning their shoes). I wish they would understand that a good education is much more worth at some stage than the few pennies they are making from cleaning shoes.

In the evening we were relaxing in the hotel and I was close to kill my fellow traveller Marek in the room next to ours. Marek has the special talent of continuously speaking also when nobody replies to what he’s saying. This afternoon I had the impression that he was speaking loudly for four hours in a row which drove me crazy at some stage.

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