Ethiopia, the Beginning.

??? (Selam), friends. Today we (some pictured below), a team of four University of Notre Dame MBA students, one Masters of International Peace Studies student, one Law student and one management professor as part of the course Business on the Front Lines embark on an exciting two week journey of learning in Ethiopia. We are trading the comforts of our community in South Bend, Indiana (and happily a hectic and sleepless week of finals, for some!) for the opportunity to combine the knowledge fostered during our studies to better understand the work of Catholic Relief Services and Hararghe Catholic Secretariat in Ethiopia. Through our visits to Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa and beyond, we hope to broaden our world views and discover what defines Ethiopia’s NGO context and populous, which includes more than 84 ethnic groups, some 50 percent of whom are under the age of twenty years old.

As we trek to Ethiopia via Istanbul, we read about news of Ethiopian Prime Minister Zenawi embarking in peace talks with Somali leaders, as well as of continued negotiations to free international journalists recently jailed in Ethiopia.  Clearly, this country (see the map below for geographical context), which is thought to be the birthplace of humankind, has much to teach us about both peace and conflict.

Tune into this blog and our Twitter page for regular updates on our journey. We’ll paint a picture of our insights, adventures, struggles, and hopefully a few noteworthy epiphanies. We’ll chat about the people we meet, the things we eat (lots of delicious injera bread, we’re told!) and the lessons and excitement that result.

Thanks for joining us on this adventure… stay tuned!

Team Ethiopia,

Ashley Bernard (MBA,), Aldo Leal (MBA), Ezekiel Freeman (Masters of International Peace Studies), Emily Block (Management Professor), Jose Luis Lopez Amador (MBA), LaDawn Burnett (Law) and Mary Claire Sullivan (MBA)

3 thoughts on “Ethiopia, the Beginning.

  1. I hope all of you have a great learning experience! My best wishes to all of you who embark in this journey.
    P.S. Jose Luis take care of my brother!
    Jose Carlos Leal

  2. Great job guys….very proud of you and what you are doing!!

    Be safe!

    Be well & God Bless.


    Bill Brennan