Update as of this morning is that I received an offer to be hosted at the International Watershed Management Institute (IWMI) offices in Addis Ababa. I have been in loose communication with their offices since fall 2011. This is very good news as up until now I had no affiliation with any agency or office in Ethiopia and was not sure how gaining access to officials or identifying appropriate communities was going to pan out. Aside from a very nice Peace Corps volunteer who lives some hours south of Addis and an Ethiopian Parliamentary member I met in Oregon, I have not had consistent communication with anyone in Ethiopia. My research in the Lake Ohrid watershed (in 2003 & 2004) would not have happened had I not met wonderful local staff at the World Bank and UNDP lake project offices.
I've also been put in touch with another PhD student out of McGill University in Montreal. She's been working in Addis this year and has offered to look into housing situations for me with her friends. We have a Skype date on Monday to discuss logistics and to get acquainted. We will both be working out of the IWMI offices in the fall.
Tuesdays are good days for good news.