Archive - November 10, 2011

Talking with Publisher Tom Weck (Ethiopia 1965-67)

Talking with Publisher Tom Weck (Ethiopia 1965-67)

JUST NORTH OF THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL of Dessie in the Debub Wollo Zone of Ethiopia is a small road-side town called Haik (or Hayq), wedged between low range hills and Lake Hayq. It is famous for being the home of the Coptic Church’s Istifanos Monastery, and for being the Peace Corps site where Tom Weck taught 7th and 8th grade English and math from 1965 to 1967. Tom was the only PCV in Haik, though a dozen or more PCVs (including his future wife) were stationed in Dessie, 28 kilometers south on an all-weather gravel road that bisected, north and south, the Empire of Emperor Haile Selassie. Haik was a town through which everyone — from missionaries, tourists, lorry drivers, and the Ethiopian government officials — raced. There was nothing in Haik, beyond the monastery and a 1930s Italian graveyard for the bodies of dead Blackshirt soldiers of the brief . . .

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