Date:      Thursday, April 22, 1999 (9:23 p.m. EST)
To:         Haeran      
From:     Abiy   
Subject:  Road Trip Ahead

Hi Haeran,

Hope the "Iras Mitat" dissipated and you were able to enjoy the rest of your evening. I think it's a wonderful thing you do tutoring young kids. I wish I knew if such a program exists within the Ethiopian community here in the DC area. The truth is I've never really tried to find out. I don't know how it happened but I seemed to have isolated myself in a virtual cocoon over the years. I wish I could say it was professional demand that led me in this direction but in all honesty it's probably a reflection of my personality. I do have a more active involvement in the Ethiopian community in cyberspace, this happened because enough of my high school class got on the net that we decided to form a "mehaber". This has led to a few worth while projects, including one that financially supporting a charitable organization back home. (Note: It's probably through my activities in cyberspace I came to the attention of "our most honored editor".)

Friday in honor of the NATO summit here in DC I'm going to do one of my favorite activities. I'm going on a road trip :-) I'm driving out to Ohio to visit a few folks in Columbus and Cincinnati. I love long distance driving. Its something I've been able to do more and more the last few years. Last summer I drove from one coast to another, and for the most part it was a great experience. I enjoyed driving through the Colorado Rocky Mountains so much I hope to repeat that part of the trip this summer. Other things I enjoy doing tend to be more sedate (and probably geeky).

I'm a computer junky, in the best sense of the word, I attend computer shows and collect parts in hopes of one day building a dream machine, I also try to write code in every obsolete computer language I come across. I've also recently discovered the joy of second hand bookstores. Now I buy books real cheep so I don't feel too guilty about never reading them (actually I do plan on reading them all, it's just going to take a few years).

In answer to your question: do I drive or walk, the three blocks to work? I drive, that way I avoid any walking related injuries, one can never be too careful.

Let me stop here.. Its getting late and I'm not sure if what I've written so far makes any sense.
Have a good Friday and a great weekend


Date:        Monday, April 26, 1999  (1:44 a.m. EST)
To:           Abiy
From:       Haeran
Subject:   Speaking of Ohio

Abiy, Selamtta Besefiw.

I meant to write yesterday but Saturday flew by before I knew it. Funny how that never seems to happen Monday to Friday !! Yes my "Iras Mitat" did indeed dissipate and the rest of the day went well.

So I guess you must have left for Ohio already. Does this mean I won't be hearing back from you for a few days ?! Oh no, and we're supposed to wrap up our conversation by like tomorrow !! (I'm flying to Texas tomorrow afternoon for a couple of days with some clients, but I'll have my laptop so I can email you from there.)

Speaking of Ohio, I was in the Cincinnati area last weekend for a friend's wedding. She was a friend from high school back home. Surprisingly there is supposed to be quite a big Ethiopian community in Columbus. They community has it's own church there. At least you seem to be quite connected with the cyberspace community. I think it's great your classmates support community organizations in Ethiopia. (I assume you went to St. Joseph.)Hopefully, we'll see more of that comming together in cyberspace .. By the way, I have never heard of alumni from different schools working together; we all kind of stick to our own, which is kind of weird, don't you think, that decades later and thousands of miles away we have yet to cross those boundaries.

It sounds like you do quite a bit of driving, and the road trip across the US sounds like a lot of fun.

Anyways, I did promise to write about what a "global supply chain management consultant" does. Basically, if you have say a manufacturing company with suppliers and operations throughout the world, the supply chain is the network of suppliers and customers that this company interfaces with. With globalization and outsourcing (especially of manufacturing), this is becoming an important phenomenon. The consultant helps such a company structure their strategy and business processes such that it optimizes this supply chain to meet its customer's needs by making the most efficient use of this global network.

This can involve just strategy/business process optimization and/or use of software tools such as those used to manage the manufacturing planning and execution process. This is certainly different from the EMC work I used to do; that was a more hard core electrical engineering kind of job. I kind of switched gears after that by going to grad school in industrial engineering. While we're on the topic of work, I just saw in the paper that the FDA is having to account for some infected sutures that were produced in Texas I believe. I don't think this is your department though, but thought I'd mention it anyway in case someone says something when you're back at the FDA come Monday.

Well Abiy hope you enjoyed your visit in Ohio (hope it wasn't as cold and rainy as it was last weekend) and we have one more correspondence before we're done with our bit so back to you .......