public diplomacy

ከትላንት ወዲያ

Conversation with a ፈረንጅ at the bus stop:


“is there instability in your country?” instability being the polite word for “war”

“I was waiting for you to ask about that and about famines…we are doing better than before in both respects…if you come to Etyopia, you could see both high rises and beggars…the population is over 90 million…even now we have been having a drought…some part of the population may be facing food shortage but that does not mean the whole of it starving….”

“has your family been affected by the drought?”


“I am glad to hear that your family is doing fine”



English oral proficiency test for TA (teaching assistantship) purposes. Role play: I am supposed to argue in favor of a school lunch program for children from low-income families.

My shitty argument:

  • Biochemistry tells that most of the food (glucose) that we take in is consumed by the brain. The brain cannot function on an empty stomach
  • Coming as I do from Etyopia, I have seen a lot of children unable to realize their full potential at school because they would be lucky to get even one decent meal a day

ይቅር ይበለኝ! ሀገሬን ጥያቄ ሲከብደኝ አድበስብሼ ለማለፍ እንደምሳሌ ተጠቀምኩባት:: In the hope they will eat my answer up since ያው አንድ ጊዜ ስማችን ስለጠፋ::

ለማንኛውም ክፉውንና ደጉን, የሰራነውን ያልሰራነውን እና የምንሰራውን እያሰብን እንዲህ እንላለን:



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tibebe
    Aug 20, 2015 @ 22:55:38

    ማን አንተን ይቅርታ ጠየቀ? ደፋር!

    I know that people’s perceptions of other people and places is shaped by the news and for lack of a better phrase, conventional wisdom.

    I just wanted to share the “has your family been affected by the drought”. He sounded really concerned I found it funny.


  2. geTere
    Aug 20, 2015 @ 16:31:44

    You have been forgiven 🙂 And I hope you have now come to love those type of questions. He could have thought “Oh shit, he is from that country where people starve and die. Better shut up before I offend him”. He gave you a chance to explain 🙂 Got a friend from Iraq. First thing I asked him was about the war.


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