One thing I forgot to mention is that one of my poor students, Hermella, got arrested for trying to do her animation homework over the weekend. She was shooting a simple scene of kids playing soccer in a public place. The police didn’t like that apparently and she had to go to the police station. They also took away her camera but luckily after a few hours she was released and also got her camera back.
The police are being extra sensitive these days because there have been student protests in and around the city against the proposed expansion of Addis Ababa on Oromo land.
In any case, I arrived early this morning to give students extra help, but as is often the case here, I was waiting about 30 minutes for anyone else to arrive. So I saw this scrawled on the outside of the main gallery and thought it was worth sharing.
Below is a photo my student Kibrom took of me giving an extreme crash course in Adobe After Effects. It looks like no one is in the audience (because of the giant, comfy chairs) but I am pretty sure I was not talking to myself. The students were happy to get the demo along with all the things I covered in Photoshop and Premier this week.
After the midday coffee break, something I can’t live without here in the land where coffee was invented, I helped students individually on their projects. They have just a day and a half now to finalize their projects and since tomorrow is the last work day, I predict a certain usual amount of panic that happens to all animation students right before a project is due. Here, they look happy though right?
We moved to a studio space that had lots of paintings around that I thought were quite interesting.
After lunch where I almost accidentally poisoned myself by cooking myself soup made with local tap water that I forgot to bring to a full boil (but I seem to be OK), one of my students, Messay invited me to the Ethnographic Museum where he works. It’s on the main Addis Ababa University campus which used to actually be the palace of Emperor Haile Selassie.
The museum had all kinds of objects of life and culture from the various people who make up Ethiopia. As awesome as the tour was though, I was extremely excited to see a giant turtle randomly crossing the road outside at a very slow pace. So, William Paterson University where I used to work has its campus groundhogs, but Addis Ababa University has campus turtles. Apparently there are two and they are an old couple that has been around since Haile Selassie’s time.
Finally, giant kudos go again to my guardian angel of a student, Kibrom. He snagged me six bags of the country’s finest coffee so I can give a little extra holiday cheer with my Christmas presents in Berlin next week. The circle on the label actually has a little air vent in it so when you squeeze the bag you can smell the most amazing coffee aroma.
It will be tempting not to keep them all for myself.
Thanks for reading!