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Hi everyone!  Michael and Georgia here! We had a very productive first “official work” day here in Addis Ababa. We visited the Nehemiah Autism Center in the afternoon. Here, we toured the classrooms, met with teachers, and watched their interactions with students. We then met with an administrator to assess the school’s needs, as well as strategize and discuss plans for our subsequent visits (professional development/training for teachers and parents). Finally, we met with the director, who founded the school after her difficult experiences finding education services for her son, who was diagnosed with severe autism when he was 2 years old.

The playground at Nehemiah Autism Center

The playground at Nehemiah Autism Center

TC SLPs visiting one of the classrooms at Nehemiah

TC SLPs visiting one of the classrooms at Nehemiah

Our meeting with a Nehemiah school administrator

Our meeting with a Nehemiah school administrator

For lunch, we had a traditional Ethiopian meal at Yod Abyssinia, which was an AMAZING experience! We started with a coffee ceremony, which involves drinking rich Ethiopian coffee poured from a clay teapot and paired with popcorn. Then, a waiter came with a silver ewer to wash our hands with warm water. Why? To prepare us for the main course, which we ate with our hands and injera (bottom left in the picture). Injera is a traditional Ethiopian “bread” made of dark or light teff, is spongy, and tastes a bit sour from its fermentation process. We had an amazing variety of meats, spices, and vegetables on our platter, pictured below.

Ethiopian food of all types. YUM!

Yod Abyssinia

Yod Abyssinia dining room

And… in other (but also important) news, Michael got his suitcase! Tomorrow, we’re off early in the morning to Bahir Dar in the north to see Lake Tana. Stay tuned for more!