Capt. Scott Vasina, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Strategic Communications Director wrote:
DIRE DAWA, Ethiopia – A three-man team from Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa went to Dire Dawa, Ethiopia, to dedicate a water well constructed by CJTF-HOA Navy Seabees. The U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Booth, was also present and was the primary speaker at the dedication.
The weather in Dire Dawa was very pleasant compared to Djibouti. The city was very colorful and the people were very welcoming. After check-in at the hotel, we wanted to see the town and surrounding area. It was a very beautiful drive to the town of Harar, one of Islam’s most significant sites, where we had dinner and got to feed hyenas.
The next day was the dedication. It was a very positive experience for everyone. There were more than 100 villagers and approximately 30 U.S. military and embassy personnel. After speeches by both Ambassador Booth and myself, the local men performed a celebratory dance with the women and children celebrating behind them. It was a very festive afternoon full of gratitude, celebration and friendship. The locals were very happy to have fresh water nearby.
They also commented on how hard the Seabees worked on this project. They were very impressed that the Americans would come this far and work so hard to help them out.
That night we all went to the team house to have dinner and relax around a campfire. It was a very pleasant evening; even the Ambassador and his wife commented about how it was a nice ending to such a good day.
Our last day consisted of sightseeing and shopping until it was time to head to the airport to fly back to Djibouti. I didn’t want to leave Dire Dawa because I had such a positive experience and can’t wait to support another mission.
Visit us at: www.africom.mil