There were a dozen or more  married couple in that group of PCVs who had trained at Utah. They were important to the Ethiopian teaching program, as that fall we were opening a series of new sites on the two major northern arteries of the Empire: the Dessie-Makalle Road, that went into Eritrea, and the Gordar Road, that crossed the Blue Nile, and went north into the traditional Amhara regions of the Empire.

As an APCD I was responsible for about 120 Volunteers, mostly teachers, and a handful of nurses, who were scattered in dozens of towns on these two main Ethiopian arteries. I would visit the PCVs once a month, spending between 24-26 days on the road. It was the best job I ever had.

While driving these gravel roads the year before, I had spotted European kids, Scandinavian Volunteers, who were building elementary schools in small villages and I had stopped to find out what their ‘gig’ was. What were they doing in Ethiopia?

They had made arrangements, they told me, with these villages to build two-room elementary schools if the village came up with half the cost of construction and gave them a plot of land.

The problem was, of course, getting teachers to these schools once they had buildings. I’d talk to the local chief, get the names of  key people in the tiny villages, and then went back and talked to our CD, Dave Berlew, and together we worked with the Ministry of Education, that was run by a great friend of the Peace Corps, Adam Abdullah, who had befriended us all when we first came to Ethiopia in 1962, With Adam, we arranged for two PCVs, mostly couples, to be assigned to these new two-room schools.

Over that summer one of the PCVs–John Pettit–had as his summer project the job of opening these sites. Pettit traveled these roads through the Rainy Season, renting houses in 9-12 vilages for the PCVs,  equipping them with essentials, a bed, a few chairs, etc. The new PCVs had very little time between arriving in Addis Ababa and their first day of school to buy and transfer household goods.

Charles and Susan Traub were two of the PCVs assigned to one of these villages. They never made it to their site.

Part Two