Blogs from Jimma, Oromia Region, Ethiopia, Africa - page 2

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Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Jimma February 27th 2010

It has been quite an amazing series of events that has led us to the situation we are now in. We happened to be eating at a café, sat next to the NGO Americans and struck up a conversation. Just on chance we decided to visit the university and the Saint happened to sit next to us. Now, all of us are intertwined trying to help one 20 year old girl from a remote region in South-West Ethiopia. We arrived home from Chiri and our beloved Americans on Monday. That next morning I check my email as usual and we had an email from them. Monday morning a girl from Gambela came to their clinic; they attached a pic. She has a massive tumor on her lower jaw. The tumor is more pronounced on her left ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Jimma February 27th 2010

Thursday night was very busy for the hotels in Jimma. I later found out that the head of this region, Oromiya, came through with his entourage. We ran into some serious Czech travelers that we met before. They have been to over 50 countries and go to really remote regions. Anyways, I saw the girl/wife first and asked how it was going. They had just finished 13 hours of bus travel. It was raining heavily and the roads were barely passable. She said every hotel was packed, or over charging. Syf had a room which was “shit” in her opinion and they wanted some outrageous sum for it. Central was full, and Coffee land wanted Birr 300. So I said, “ok, come with me, I know the owner…kind of.” We went up to Coffee Land and ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Jimma February 25th 2010

Before I left for Jimma, I tried searching the internet for any information on the city, specifically hotels. What I found was one short and vague review of SYF hotel. So this post will hopefully serve as a slight insight for the curious traveler and future temporary Jimma resident. First off, power/electricity and water are pretty consistent. This is my 6th week here in Jimma and I have not been without power or water for more than a couple hours. We will lose power maybe once or twice a week for a max of a couple of hours per day. I have only been without water once in the past 6 weeks. That lasted for the latter half of a day, but that doesn’t really matter as you won’t be taking showers everyday anyways. There is ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Jimma February 25th 2010

The Americans at the NGO have talked about the Sisters of Charity in Jimma a lot. They send some of their patients to the sisters for care. A future post will explain the circumstances, but the Americans have a very serious patient that they sent to Jimma and they asked us to act as a liaison between the sisters, patient and a surgeon (the Saint from my previous post) who has agreed to see the patient. They were planning on sending the patient on a bus to Jimma with a note and money saying, “take me to the Sisters of Mercy.” Since I have not been to the Sister’s facility nor met them, I decided to go and visit. This way I will have some prior experience with them before the patient arrives. The facility was ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Jimma February 23rd 2010

1. Many of the side street vendors sell clothing, and President Obama is a popular motif. There are 2 main shirts, one says “Obama, Yes we can, Obama written in Amharic,” the other is nearly identical only it says “I have a dream,” instead of “yes we can.” I don’t know if they mixed up their famous African-Americans and their famous quotes or if it is an intended poignant statement of the struggles and triumphs of African Americans. Either way, step 1, buy the shirt. 2. Wear the shirt. 3. Wave to everyone that yells, “yeah obama” or “yes we can” at you. It’s nicer than them yelling “you”. Some of the kids in town now just call me “Obama” even when I am not wearing the shirt. They love President Obama. I think I am ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Jimma February 23rd 2010

We left the health center for Jimma. One of the Americans was driving to Jimma to pick up meds, so everything worked out pretty well for us. When we driving up he mentioned he was kind of disappointed we hadn’t seen more monkeys, but we said that was ok, we have seen monkeys in Jimma. He said baboons are frequently seen on a stretch of road between Jimma and Bonga and hopefully we would see some. Sure enough, there were several baboons on the side of the road! Just chillin'. They evidently can attack humans but he hasn’t seen any cases. Later, during dinner, he gets a phone call from the health center. A kid had been attacked by a baboon. His stomach was cut open. They know a very dedicated Ethiopian doctor that they called, ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Jimma February 23rd 2010

Also on the grounds of the health center is an orphanage. They currently have 12 children, 6 boys and 6 girls, and they are adorable…and tragic. There were two girls in kindergarten and they were probably the cutest. One of them, Edaly, was very outgoing. I went down to the orphanage with one of the Americans for coffee. We then started playing around with the kids and I showed them how to put their hands together, fold over their middle fingers, and rotate their hands so that their middle fingers could wiggle from their palms. Edaly couldn’t quite get the hang of it, so I would place her hands in the right position for her, and then she would run around showing everyone. I can also make a popping sound by placing my right pointer finger ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Jimma February 23rd 2010

Once again, the Americans we were staying with worked at a health center. They showed us around and told us some of the projects they were working on. Their clinic had an in-patient ward, a tuberculosis program, vaccination out-reach, a malnutrition program, etc. It was all very impressive. We did rounds with the doctor and his nurses; there were only 3 or so patients. One of the patients had measles and he was in isolation. They had to deal with some stuff regarding WHO regulations, and per diem; I won’t get into it here, you can try and find their blog if you are so inclined. We saw some interesting stuff, measles and maggots in a kid’s head, you won’t see that in America. Unless you’re one of those naïve, uninformed parents that doesn’t vaccinate your ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Jimma February 23rd 2010

Sign #1: you have two 1/8 inch wide holes in your head Sign #2: a nurse pulls out a maggot from one of the holes in your head Sign #3: a nurse pulls out a second maggot from one of the holes in your head Signs #4 through 20: a nurse pulls out maggots 3-19 from your head This was one of the more interesting medical things we saw in Chiri. It was the first time any of us had seen anything like that. You only hear about that type of stuff on the Discovery Channel. We were all a little freaked after that. The wind blows and we jump, “get off me! Don’t lay eggs in my head!” So the next time you are having a bad day, just think, “well at least I don’t ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Jimma February 23rd 2010

The best part about Chiri and Bonga is the countryside; it is so lush and green. We hiked one day to a waterfall in Chiri and the other day we hiked to a waterfall in Bonga. There were huge ferns growing along the banks of the waterfalls and it seemed as if we were in Jurassic Park. I kept looking over my shoulder for Velocer Raptors. The Chiri falls were cool, but only maybe 30 feet tall. The Bonga falls however were huge, probably 150 feet or so. There were some monkeys around the area, but we didn’t see that many. We did see some very gnarly army ants, I forget their common moniker, but they are huge communities that eat everything in their path. Soldiers with huge pinchers line their path, while other ants enclose ... read more




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