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An Ethiopian Odyssey

March 2004

Chapter 15 - A call from the Palace

My plan to get in contact with President Girma Wolde-Giorgis of Ethiopia had succeeded. I needed to hear more about what had happened to Hiruth, his daughter and my classmate. Neither Sister Weynemariam nor Marta Asrat seemed to know of her whereabouts. In chapter 15, ‘A call from the Palace’, you will learn what had happened to her……

“As I got into the car for the return journey to Addis, Eshetu turned round from the front seat and said with a sly grin, as though he was keeping a big secret, “There was a phone call for you today.”

“Oh, who called?” I tried to think who it might be – perhaps Mary, or Marta Asrat from Nazareth School.

“It was the President’s office. He can see you at 10 am tomorrow.”

“Wow, that’s just fantastic! Have others in the office heard about the call?” Smiles wreathed my face, and I wanted to punch the air with excitement.

“Yes,” he grinned broadly, “everyone knows about it. We’re very excited for you,” Eshetu replied, squeezing my hand.

I called Tirlaye as soon as I got back to the orphanage. “Tanasterlign Tirlaye, I’ve got good news. The President can see us tomorrow.”

“Oooh, Annette that’s betam, betam turu – very, very good. What time would you like me to collect you?”

“Can you be here for 9.30 please and no later, as we must be on time.”

“Of course, your request is my command.”

“Tirlaye, one more thing,” I added, thinking about the day before, when three men had had to push Tirlaye’s borrowed car up the road when it had run out of petrol.


“Please make sure you haven’t been robbed by the petrol station and you have enough petrol this time.”

“I will do,” he laughed, “don’t worry!”

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