Monday, September 22, 2014


If like me your image of Ethiopia is around 40 years old, with memories of the famine of the 1970s, you will be pleasantly surprised by Ethiopia today.  I flew to Ethiopia for the Learning 2.014 Africa conference that was held at the Inter-Community School of Addis Ababa and my first impressions were of a green country with plenty of space.  On the first day I arrived very early in the morning so I had some time before my first meeting.  I checked into the Hilton and had a walk through the gardens to the pool and then took a taxi to the National Museum.  This museum is famous for Lucy - the skeleton of the oldest human which dates back 3.5 million years and which was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974.  About 40% of the bones of this skeleton were found.

On the way back to the hotel I went to the Holy Trinity Cathedral.  It was built to celebrate Ethiopia's liberation from the Italians and is where Emperor Haile Selassie is buried.  Another famous person buried here is the suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst, who was an anti-Fascist campaigner and who lived in Ethiopia for the last years of her life.  She is the only foreigner buried in front of the cathedral and is in the section reserved for patriots of the Italian war.

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