While in Addis we spent a morning with Alemseged, the in-country director for Ethiopia Reads.
Ethiopia Reads is great. They have a roaving library of books to reach far-flung locations (I think it's a cart pulled by a donkey) and they stock the libraries of local schools throughout Ethiopia. Without Ethiopia Reads, there would be school libraries, but no books. NONE!
We contacted him through email -- which is firstname.lastname@example.org (if you want to reach him send several emails with catchy subject lines because he will have to just happen to see it while scanning his junk mailbox) and offered to buy some Amharic books for a school. He called one of the local schools and got a wishlist from them, then we all went together to buy the books and drop them off.
We bought 35 books. The ones they picked out were a little more academic than I would have chosen myself, but I was glad we were able to do at least a little something (it worked out to about $75 plus cab fare) and that the books were printed and bought locally and written in Amharic. In retrospect, all these months later, I wish we had spent / bought more, but at the time I was going through so much every day just in hotel expenses. Now, the opportunity to do more is gone, but alas, it is what it is.
Here we are at the bookstand
Dessi helped package them all up for us
With the teachers at the school library
The local printing press
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