This is the fascinating story of an American family and their adventures set in the Semien mountains, the 8,000 feet highlands of northern Ethiopia. Dr. John Summerskill, the author's spouse, had been president of San Francisco State University during the student upheavals of the late 60s. He had a major run-in with then Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, about the handling of the student demonstrations. The Ford Foundation found the perfect candidate in Dr. Summerskill to be an advisor and administrator to the newly founded Haile Selassie I University in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Following the career trail of her husband, the author and her family moved into one of the great homes of Addis Ababa, situated on three acres of eucalyptus trees and lawns. There were lion cages but no lions; a mammoth aviary, but no birds. And the house had no furniture, but what a house, with round stone towers at each corner. Here, the thrilling adventures of an American family in Ethiopia begins.
Taking two of their five children, Wendy and Robert, "kicking and screaming," the Summerskills began their odyssey in Ethiopia, a country with the oldest civilization in Africa. Two of the Summerskill's older children who came to visit were on a plane that was hijacked to Aden, Yemen. In this book, you will explore each of the thirteen provinces of Ethiopia with the author and her family, as they camp near remote lakes as far south as Kenya. The author tells in vivid detail of life in Ethiopia during the final years of Emperor Haile Selassie's reign. The bustling marketplace of the capital, Addis Ababa; learning to prepare spicy Ethiopian food; a close look at the last Ethiopian Emperor; radical student activism in Haile Selassie I University; the historical sites of Ethiopia such as Lalibela, Harar and Gondar; all these and more come alive in the author's recollection of her sojourn in Ethiopia.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mimi LaFollette Summerskill is the grand-nice of Wisconsin's former senator, Robert LaFollette. She is the author of Seduced by a Greek Island; Aegean Summer; A Family Odyssey, and; The Land That Glaciers Passed By. Ms. Summerskill operates the LaFollette Vineyard and Winery near Princeton, New Jersey.