Monday, April 30, 2018

Newspaper students feast
on praise, pizza

(GONDAR, ETHIOPIA)—At a celebration party yesterday, I probably got carried away a bit when I told my seventh grade newspaper staff that they were Gondar’s best journalists. I meant no slight to the city’s fine professional reporters. What I should have told the kids is that they will soon be Gondar’s best journalists. Also, I definitely should have said that they are among Gondar’s most dedicated journalists.

We gathered at a local hotel to honor the student’s efforts in producing the University of Gondar Community School’s first student newspaper. (Click here to view) Before my co-advisor Peggy Landers and I passed out certificates to the kids, they ate copious amounts of pizza and guzzled numerous sodas. I teased the editor, Eyasu, about having to give a five minute formal speech. He did end up quietly thanking the staff for their “above and beyond the call” efforts. Each student in turn politely thanked me, Peggy, and the paper’s other advisor Habtie Marew.

I promised the kids that I’d continue to serve as their honorary advisor via the internet, and that I’d be happy to critique stories, page layouts, and so on. I hope the students take me up on the offer, since working with them has been the highlight of my semester in Ethiopia. 

I do stand behind one statement that I made yesterday when I told the kids that they are definitely my favorite Ethiopian journalists.

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