Ethiopian journalist visits farm, newspaper

This article submitted by Molly Connors on 7/30/96.

Before July 19, Ethiopian journalist Mulugeta Aregawi had never spent much time with white people. He was uncomfortable; he didnÍt know how they would treat him.

After a weekend at the Curt Wegner farm in rural Paynesville and a couple of days at the Paynesville Press, he was no longer anxious.

"Now, I am very comfortable," he said.

Aregawi, whose primary goal in the United States is figuring out how the most diverse nation in the world manages to get along without internal bloodshed, found several distinct differences between Ethiopia and the United States from his short stay in Paynesville.

Rural Ethiopians are "illiterate and uninformed" and rural Ethiopia lacks services „ running water, electricity „ that Americans consider essential.

In the United States, Aregawi said the only difference between the urban and rural populations is the level of privacy. Rural Americans are as "brilliant" as their urban counterparts, Aregawi said.

Aregawi will travel throughout the United States for four months. He is here through the World Press Institute, a program sponsored by Macalester College.

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