Blogs from Bale, Oromia Region, Ethiopia, Africa


Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Bale December 13th 2010

I still remember, when I was a child I was always begging my grandfather to tell again and again my favourite story. He just peacefully rolled his cigarette, lit it, deeply inhaled the smoke and in the random light of the pipe he said the following words. It was drought, big drought. We had no thing to eat, no thing to drink. We prayed for rain, but there was none, the sky gave no answer. But there He came. The Black King, every step of his was blessed. HIM, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Lion of Judah. From our fathers we knew there will be the day he comes to us, to free us, His Imperial Majesty, from the house of David, the offspring of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, ... read more
Wondo Genet
Wondo Genet

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Bale April 11th 2008

Monday 31st March - Friday 11th April 2008 I wasn’t sure that anyone I knew was going to use the opportunity of me being in Ethiopia to visit this wonderful country. Finally, after 18 months, my first visitors arrived - my Mum and Dad! I went to Addis to meet them at Bole International Airport and was just beginning to wonder if I should try and get into the arrivals area to look for them, when they appeared. I am very proud of them for coming to what can be a difficult country and coping so well with it. After a day to recover from the overnight flight, and a meal at Delicious Dishes, close to Liza’s house where we were staying, we headed south in a hired car with Elias, our driver. Bishangari Lodge, on ... read more
Lake Ziway
Dad and Hakim
Lake Langano

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Bale March 26th 2008

Selka is a very small town 45km east of Robe, off the road to Sof Omar. I was supposed to have gone there on Tuesday afternoon in preparation to run a workshop this morning, but no electricity in Robe meant that the College driver who was to take me and leave me there, could not fill the vehicle with fuel. Instead, we agreed that he would pick me up at 6.30 this morning. He arrived dead on time! We then waited for half an hour for Lama, the Cluster Supervisor from Sanana Woreda Education Office. As there was no mobile network, and hadn’t been the previous afternoon either, it was impossible to contact him. It turned out that he had gone to Selka yesterday, not having got the message that I had left for him in ... read more
Selka Elementary School
Selka School
Selka School

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Bale February 24th 2008

This morning we woke up around 7ish to go horseback riding and see the various animals around the park. We saw lots of DLT's (deer like thingys) such as Reed Buck, Bush Buck, Nyalla, and lots of warthogs. It was so much fun, but man is my bum sore! We spent the rest of the day relaxing in the lodge, sorting through our photos. ... read more
At the back of the pack

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Bale December 30th 2007

Day 1 (Christmas Eve) - Dinsho to Sodota We were dropped off at the Lodge in the National Park Headquarters in Dinsho and bid Elizabeth and Alex farewell - they had been staying in Robe, but were now heading to Arba Minch for the rest of their holiday. The amount of luggage we had didn’t look too bad but once the kitchen equipment provided by our Guide was added, he decided that the original estimate of 4 horses was too low and that we would need 7! Clare, Julian, Steven and Daniel headed off to Dinsho to buy the last essential provisions - 70 litres of water, injera and firewood, while Anna, Gordon and I stayed with the bags. We eventually set off at around 11am: Me (Robe based), Clare (Harar), Steven (Assosa), Julian (Debre Brehan), ... read more
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Bale November 22nd 2007

Just as the bus was leaving Robe bus station at 6.30am, I became aware of a rustling by my feet. I was sitting at the very front of the bus, with Hannah just behind me, as the conductor had insisted on moving us to the privileged seats at the front. I heard the rustling again, and assuming that the woman behind me was stretching out her legs, looked down to check that I wasn’t kicking her. It was a live chicken. Part way through the journey, I thought a Pepsi bottle falling out of the cupboard in the dashboard had killed it. But it was fine. I kept tidying up the rubbish, except for the plastic drinks bottle it ended up resting its head on, and after Dinsho, accidentally dropped kollo (local roasted barley snack) for ... read more
Stuck in the mud.

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Bale June 24th 2007

What is the point of having access to a horse and walking yourself? Apart from the fact that it would be faster! Daamaa is the slowest horse in Robe, and possibly in Ethiopia - old women on foot overtake us! Being a Sunday, I decided that we should go out for a trip, especially as I would be away from Robe for the summer. I chose Hora Boka as one of the schools I will be working with next year is there and it was as good a destination as any. The ride there was very pleasant … and very slow! There are no cars on the road and we were very quickly (or slowly in this case) out in the countryside, ambling past teams of oxen ploughing in the fields. Once in Hora Boka, ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Bale March 26th 2007

One of the other things that I was keen to do, and that has taken a while to happen (for all sorts of reasons) was to teach in a local Elementary School, mainly to demonstrate that Active Learning Methods (which I teach on the Higher Diploma Programme) can be applied in Ethiopian schools with large classes. My first lesson was a nightmare! I expected better behaviour and the Module that I was given to teach suggested quite a high level of English. Neither assumption was correct. In my second lesson, I displayed ground rules and lowered my expectations. I teach one English lesson a week to a Grade 6 class (ages 10 - approx. 16). Now, lessons are going well and the students seem to have got used to my Farenji ways of teaching. It is, ... read more
Class 6B
Class 6B
Class 6B

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Bale January 20th 2007

I knew that yesterday was a public holiday for Timkat (Epiphany) but I didn’t know what it entailed as nobody told me. Although to be fair, I didn’t make a real effort to find out. Yesterday, as the College was closed, I pottered. I had a really quiet day, enjoyed reading in bed until 9am, did some laundry - I figured it was about time I washed my dressing gown that mum and dad sent out to me. Then in the evening, I hired the DVD of The Notebook, which is based on a book by Nicholas Sparks. I have read the book, seen the film before and still cried! It was such a luxury - watching the film and crying at it while eating veggie mince and onions with potatoes and drinking Gouder (local red ... read more
Timkat Parade
Timkat Parade
Moving Off

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Bale January 14th 2007

Liza (another VSO) and her partner, Rupert, came up to Robe on holiday. Hooray! More visitors with a vehicle! They very kindly took me out with them for a couple of days. They stayed with me on Saturday night, mainly because the Bekele Mola only had a twin room and the other nice hotel, the Bale Park, didn’t have a room that night. So, on Sunday morning, after an amazing number of cups of tea for Liza, we headed to Dinsho, the Bale Mountain Park Headquarters, with Elias their driver. We called in on Deb and Alastair on arrival, who recommended that we get a guide from the lodge and head to the Web Valley as we wanted to walk. It was wonderful. Such a beautiful, untouched place. One of the highlights was seeing giant mole ... read more
Mole rat

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