Dr. Alemayehu Wassie Eshete (Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia) writes:
Meg was here from Jan7-13/2012.
She arrived Monday Jan 7 and made an excursion on Lake Tana to show some preliminary cultural settings of Ethiopia to the three american students.
Jan 8 she had to show how to undertake insect survey for the students and brief some equipment.
Jan 9 we all went to Zahra and undertake insect survey and social interviews. It was exciting as all the wall is finished and the gate is all set.
Jan 10 we went to one church forest in Bahirdar town ‘ Bata’ which I propose we need to work on it so that school kids can learn here in town . (Most school kids in towns never have a chance to see our indigenous species). Then we went to Debre Tabor and on the way we stop at ‘ Woji’ where I propose to be fenced this year. We walked all round the boarder and we all convinced this forest has to be rescued this year.
Jan 11 we spent the day in taking samples in Debresena (Debre Tabor University students joined the sampling).
Jan 12 was the big day for us. Undertaking the workshop. My plan was 100 priests and church official would participate but they came 150. It was so amazing!
Then Meg gave a very inspiring presentation which links the importance of Church forest to the global problem and their status . Every body was so touched. Then they had a discussion and the most important issue was deterioration of the boundary! I am so happy to tell you that now every church is fighting to mark their boundary. Then Government official was invited to come to the meeting and assured them the local government is willing to help in demarcation. After we settled the discussion then I gave a presentation which focused on Ethiopian church conservation values and their scientific significance.
Finally the whole participants demanded to undergo such workshops for other priests and officials. Then the workshop was closed by awarding Meg a certificate of acknowledgement and gratefulness for the contribution she has been making. It was so emotional moment!!
Then for few minutes we discussed with leaders that come from Mosha; Dengolt , Debresena and Woji so that they can finish their walls this year which otherwise the chance will be given to other church forests who are keen to do so!
Then we came back to Bahirdar and Meg flew next morning.
Really she has done a lot to push forward my ambition and she is now one of us in Ethiopia.