Blogs from Ethiopia, Africa - page 2


Africa » Ethiopia January 16th 2014

I am standing at a fork in the road and I am about to go down the rough side. I know once I take that step forward there is no turning back. It is a step that leads into the unknown and uncomfortable yet I must take it. The reason I must take it is because I hear my name being called to go that avenue. There are desperate, refugee children alone in a desert calling to God in whatever form they know. They are calling for help. The God of all creation hears there cries and He decided for some reason to call me to be one member of a team that goes to comfort these children. Tomorrow, Friday, January 17, I start my journey to a part of Ethiopia where it is dry and ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar January 11th 2014

I began my CUSO International volunteer appointment in Ethiopia in April, 2013 believing it wouldn't be long before I opened a blog and began sharing stories and photographs with friends who asked me to stay in touch. Telling about experiences here always seemed less important than, well, doing them. At any rate, some 9 months later than expected blogging begins on December 26, 2013. I chose the title, "view from the roof" because the city where I'm located, Gondar, is close to the beautiful Simien Mountains frequently referred to as, yep, the roof of Africa.... read more
Valley life

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar January 11th 2014

CUSO needs the help of all friends of volunteers. Please see attached link. The best part of helping CUSO with your tax deductible gift is it's generously matched by Government of Canada. A small gift can do a heckuva lot. ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar January 11th 2014

A gallery of friendship moments from 2013. Human contact is woven into life here in a way that would likely be considered "different" or uncomfortable at home. It starts with infants being carried on the backs of mothers, or when, mothers are occupied, the backs of older siblings. Boys and girls alike hold hands and even adults (including soldiers on public patrol) out for a stroll hold hands. So putting one's arm around the shoulder of a friend and affirming, "you are my friend" (guar-dane-ya in Amharic) is an every day occurrence. I go most places by foot, although a 3 wheeled bajaj (better known as tuk tuks in India where they're manufactured) is handy for longer trips into Gondar's main square (the piazza) where North American staples like corn flakes and Snickers bars can be ... read more
With guide and scout on Simiens trek
With Simiens Lodge manager, Ato Tamirat, and Heather
Florida International Hotel head waiter extraordinaire, Birhanu (r.)

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar January 6th 2014

It's been a while! Since my last blog I have been pretty busy. I won't bore you with all the details but will highlight a few recent events... I went to Bahir Daar for a weekend (see photos) which was great – a refreshing change from Gondar. The town is situated by lake Tana and has the Blue Nile falls and source of the Nile close by. We visited monasteries and even saw a hippo in the lake! Went to an “Asmari bet” one evening which is a place where they have traditional music and dancing. I got dragged onto the stage and had to dance with the professional dancers in front of everyone. It was so embarrassing. Then disaster struck – I ran out of dental floss (no joke!). I promptly booked a flight home ... read more
Bahir Daar, Teller - traditional beer
Bahir Daar
Bahir Daar monastery


Africa » Ethiopia December 9th 2013

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9 For years I have been speaking up for the children in Kenya, before that it was Romania…now it is both. However, I am compelled to speak up for another group of children of whom I just learned about. They are refugee children living in camps in Ethiopia. I heard their story and I must share it. If I were those children I would hope that those that have the power to help would hear my story and respond. On Tuesday I was in a class called, “Perspective on the World Christian Movement” ( I saw pictures of children that live ... read more
Concrete bed...

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar November 24th 2013

My darling brother in law has requested that my next blog entry is about weekend trips away and Ethiopian food rather than face masks and suction catheters so here goes…. Ethiopian staple food is “injera” which is a sour pancake with a consistency of a wet face cloth. They eat this with various sauces called “wot.” They also have meat dishes called “tibs.” When they kill a goat, they keep the gallbladder and bile and serve it to their special guests. I am so glad I don’t eat meat! The vegetarian food is tasty but I wouldn’t be able to eat it every day. Wednesdays and Fridays are fasting days – they don’t eat until the afternoon and even then they only eat vegan food. At the guest house I have made a few concoctions consisting ... read more
Football fever
Come on Ethiopia
Off to watch the football

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar November 13th 2013

All us foreigners are called faranjis. If you hear people mention the word “faranji” in a sentence then you know that they are talking about you! I have survived 5 days in the university guesthouse (more now but it has taken be 5 days to get round to finishing and uploading this entry)! Went for apartment 2 in the end. No sign of the rat – long may it stay that way! I have had water in the morning for the past 2 days, which is nice, but it is always disappointing to return home to find yet again that I am out of water. I have to go to the communal tap and lug buckets of water across the courtyard and up 2 flights of stairs. It is really irritating. The apartments are in a ... read more
Spot your card
lounge/dining room

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar November 8th 2013

The time is currently 21 39 on Friday 8th November 2013. In Ethiopian time this is 03 39 at night and the date is Friday 29thOctober 2006 which is written as 29/2/06 as September is the first month of the year. Confusing or what! I have been in Gondar for 10 days now. It feels like forever. It’s hard work out here. I am still staying in a hotel but am hoping to move to the “university guest house” tomorrow. The “guest house” consists of a collection of flats about a 30-40 minute walk from the hospital. I have a choice between: Apartment 2 – no running water at the moment but has good natural light and is in reasonably good condition. There was however a rat in the flat above!!!! Apartment 5 – dark and ... read more
Gondar University Hospital
Medical school building

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Lalibela November 8th 2013

What a change! Women in public. Guys and girls holding hands. Beer! The roads also changed almost immediately, twisting up in to the Ethiopian Highlands. The temperature was cooler too, which was a welcome relief after our time in Libya, Egypt, and Sudan. We stayed in Gondar on our first night in Ethiopia. Like many places in the area it was well over 2000m above sea-level. The following day Jaap was under the weather, so I headed north for an explore in the Simien Mountains. After 100km the map said to turn right if I wanted to reached the Simien National Park. But the road was just a rutted dirt path, and I wasn't convinced. However I tried it, and it improved to a rocky dirt road. I was stopped at the gates of the park, ... read more
The National Park guard that accompanied me on the bike.
So cool

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