I am in Addis Ababa making final arrangements and handling last minute problems for the arrival here Monday, Sept 24 of 95 Ethiopia and Eritrea Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and their companions by direct flight from Washington DC to commemorate the arrival 50 years ago in September 1962 of the first Peace Corps Volunteer group to serve in Ethiopia.  The group will be joined here by six other E&E RPCVs to form a total of 101 participants, including 21 from the original group,  in our “Return to Ethiopia.” The group will be met by Ethiopian Officials, the American Ambassador, the Peace Corps Ethiopia Director, the Peace Corps’s Regional Director for Africa and several others involved in the visit.

During their stay the travelers will meet with the President of Ethiopia.  This will be followed by  a conference on education in Ethiopia where they will be joined by 27 PCVs now teaching in Ethiopia.   That evening they will be the guests of honor at a reception hosted by the American Ambassador, Donald Booth,  where they will meet and mingle with Ethiopian Government Ministers, notable Ethiopians, Ethiopian friends, RPCVS from a host of countries now working in Ethiopia in a host of endeavors, and current PCVs in Ethiopia.  The last formal event will be as special guests for the annual Meskel Festival, one of Ethiopia’s most memorable celebrations.

Following the round of events in Addis Ababa the travelers will travel to their communities of service, to visit historic sites and to explore parts of the country they have not seen.  They will be meeting current PCVs in communities where they served as well as renewing old friendships.

All in all our “Return to Ethiopia” promises to be a memorable commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the arrival of the first Peace Corps group and celebration of 50 years of Peace Corps service to Ethiopia.