|First look. Houses on the road from the airport to our house in Dire Dawa.|
So we walked to the uni, Gavin and I. Gavin walks fast. I had to keep up with him, of course. I see the gateway arch to the campus. Dire Dawa University, it says. It's as dismal as it looked on that one photo of it I've seen online (the only online photo I've seen of the uni, oh, and I've searched long and hard on any information on Dire Dawa University, first to ascertain that it's a real uni and that they they really did have an architecture program, sorry VSO, you know how it is, of course, my search was futile, but luckily, the uni referred me to an actual Filipina architect who was working at the architecture department, so, yeah...), the archway, more pitiable than estimable.
Gavin's office, the ICT Directorate, is in the President's Building, a 3-storey building very near the gate. Gavin lets me wait out on his work station while he and his line manager (that's how the superior at the job placement is caled in VSO) and Bizuneh holds that meeting.
When my turn came up, I am sitting with Bizuneh and the Scientific Director of the Institute of Technology (IoT) of the Dire Dawa University. The Dire Dawa Institute of Technology (DDIT) is a semi-autonomous institution within DDU, the College of Engineering to our unis back in the Philippines. The Architecture Department is still lumped with the Engineering disciplines here, something which even my small hometown university has done away more than 20 years ago. Architecture is a separate distinct discipline from Engineering, after all. The meeting was very brief, almost perfunctory. There was no signing of the tripartite agreement because Bizuneh didn't bring a copy with him. (He even, upon greeting me, asked me for it: Did any of the staff hand you a copy of the tripartite agreement? Uhmm, no.) I doubt very much if that was a proper briefing for the Scientific Director, it sure didn't seem enough for me. But I wouldn't be answering to him directly, my line manager is the Architecture Department Head. The Scientific Director is the one who signs the tripartite agreement (aka the contract) though.
At that point I just wanted to take a rest. Maybe, eat. But which I couldn't because I didn't know any place yet. I am yet to shop for food, supplies, etc. And Gavin didn't offer me anything when we went back at our place.
Salvation came at about 7, though. Bizuneh invited us for dinner. (Yes!)
I live to die another day.