Blogs from Ethiopia, Africa - page 7


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 sorry state ... read more
Spot your card
lounge/dining room

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

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 » Addis Ababa Region » Addis Ababa October 31st 2013

Farewell to Gondar My morning has started off on rather the wrong foot. Something I ate last night disagreed with me. In the classic traveler’s manner. For some undetermined time since the dawn, I’ve been up continually, stumbling over bags, bumping into corners, apologizing to my poor and very kind roommate, and heading to the bathroom and then going back to collapse into bed to fall half-asleep until the next bout. It’s not terrible and I feel fine otherwise. At least it’s the last morning and at least I still have energy and excitement enough to carry me through. In fact, when the alarm finally does go off, I can feel the sagging ache in my body, craving more sleep, but I’m moving quickly with bleary purpose. No birdwatching for me this morning. I’ve gotten up ... read more
Sedake telling us about microfinance
Injera makers!
Addis Mercato

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar October 30th 2013

Welcoming the benefactor Our second and last day of service finished yesterday. I dressed appropriately that time and set to work continuing to build the school in Ategaye. After three hours of slathering, mooshing, and squishing cement between the cinderblocks, my arms were on fire. I couldn’t help but admire Shuli whose perseverance never flagged and who ended up working longer than any of us because she just wouldn’t quit until lunch was right in front of us. By the time the morning ended, the walls were high enough that we were balancing on cinder-blocks placed on top of raised wooden boards (also balanced on cinder-block stacks) that bowed and shook with passing movement. I started to feel distinctly unnerved about the prospect of falling because a) it was becoming much more likely and b) if ... read more
Welcome sign for Gondar Science Center
Masenko musician
The Israeli ambassador, Gondar official, and The Benefactor

Africa » Ethiopia » Addis Ababa Region October 30th 2013

It may be midnight to you, but here in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, it is 7:00 a.m. I am NOT bright eyed and bushy tailed! Our flight from Dulles was almost 13 hours long, but I dozed off for only a few minutes at a time...zzzzzzz...oops! Did I just do it again? Anyway our large jet was less than half full, so I had a window seat, Karen had the aisle seat, and there was an empty one between us. In fact there were numerous rows of three empty seats in a row, so Karen moved to one of them to try stretching out to sleep while I did the same across our row. Not much luck: the ride got very bumpy, which caused several kids to cry, and no nap... We were fed ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Lalibela October 28th 2013

Addis Ababa: Nothing to write home about really. Pretty much a building site as they are building a metro. Reminds me of a cleaner, less developed combination of Calcutta and Delhi with the following differences: -Churches instead of temples - Fewer cows. More donkeys - The Chinese instead of the Russians have designed the metro - Less spitting in the streets - Blue taxis instead of black and yellow ones So quite different then I suppose! Trek near Lalibela: After a couple of days in Addis, we flew to Lalibela and started a 4 day, 3 night trek. Unfortunately we had to cut it short by a day and a night as Dad decided to spend the entire 2nd night throwing up! Oh dear. He’s better now thankfully. It was a fantastic ... read more
Day 1 trek: Werkhaye to Mequat
Lalibela - Bet Giyorgis
Addis Ababa, Tomoca cafe

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar October 28th 2013

A morning of service Today is our first service day and we’ve self-elected into three different groups: 1) deworming & children’s games, 2) building school, and 3) painting mural on school building. Again, this is my first time to ever involve myself in international humanitarian endeavors. While I am highly skeptical of any lasting impact of our brief time here (I liken it to a back-rub versus long-term medical care), I do think these service days might be worthwhile in that they give us, the participants, time to interact with JDC projects and Ethiopian people in a way far different than snapping photos or staged conversations. And yes, I do feel these days are more for our group than the Ethiopians. But that doesn’t negate the positives of service, just tempers them. Groups 1 and 2 ... read more
School houses at Ategaye
Deworming station
Heads, shoulders, knees and toes!

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar October 27th 2013

The Castle of Ethiopia When we arrive shortly after dawn at the Addis airport, luggage tickets and boarding passes await us. No waiting in line only to be told you’re in the wrong line and the rules changed but the signs didn’t and now you have to please hurry along because you need to be in the waiting area an hour ahead of time and nobody informed you previously of that rule either. (Sound familiar, world travelers?) Hmmm….there are perks to group travel! In Ethiopian airports, like Kenyan ones, there is a security checkpoint at the front of the airport as well as the one entering the waiting area. We joke about needing two checkpoints just in case one metal detector or scanner isn’t working so well (these are very old-looking machines) but perhaps there’s something ... read more
Decked out jeep
Fasilides Castle
Fasilides Castle

Tot: 0.121s; Tpl: 0.014s; cc: 8; qc: 67; dbt: 0.0261s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 4; ; mem: 1.6mb