|My bed at the hotel in Awassa - loving the shiny sheets and mosquito net.|
Today was a full day to say the least. I slept well last night, the bed at the Guest House was firm and wonderful. We were up at 4:15am this morning getting ready for departure at 5:00am. We had five vans full of us, our stuff for the overnight trip, the medicines for two boarding school visits (one to Shashamene and one to Akake), and lots of bottled water.
Our ride began in the dark but it was lovely watching the sun rise over the city. It was oddly quiet and empty, the hustle and bustle of Saturday gone. There were a surprising number of people out jogging, although whether it was for exercise or transportation is unknown. We saw a group of kids playing soccer in an empty street. Shortly after we began, our caravan stopped for unknown reasons and I saw a man peeing on the side of the road. Not an unusual occurrence here, but this man didn't even bother to turn his back to traffic.
On our way out of the capital city of Addis Ababa, we were warned that we would likely be stopped as we approached the city limits. In order to leave the city, a permit had to be purchased and paperwork is given that must be able to be presented when requested. Luckily the two times we were stopped we were waived through fairly quickly. We road through the country for at least two and a half hours before stopping for breakfast. The houses in the country are different than houses in the city. Aside from small towns, most houses in the country are round, with mud or something looking like stucco walls, and roofs covered in straw or grass.
|Typical country villa.|
|Small town on the side of the road. These are more like what a typical house in Addis looks like.|
|Every section of road has potential as a livestock crossing.|
We saw a lot of animal crossings, mostly cows. I asked Maste, one of the translators, if cows were a sign of wealth and he said not really. I saw a decomposing horse on the side of the road, not too far from two grazing wild horses - they most likely took no notice of their friend's unfortunate fate. There were also some detours for road construction, and a ton of amazingly beautiful trees. We saw a lot of people walking along the side of the road with large containers for water. Some people carried them themselves on their backs or by their sides, some used a kind of cart pulled by either themselves or a donkey.
Breakfast was awesome. On the way to Shashemene we stopped at a place called Hotel Beteliheem.
The leaders and drivers sat at their own table and ordered a communal dish of injera, some kind of meat, eggs, and a few other things. Beth and I went over to try a bite and the guys fed it to us, which is apparently a high honor. It was very good, albeit a little spicy.
After breakfast, we drove another 45 minutes to Shashemene to see about 200 boarding school kids and give them medical assessments. We took vitals like height and weight, blood pressure, age, etc at the triage station, and then the kids were funnelled to one of four doctor's stations. The final stop was the pharmacy for any medicines they were prescribed. The kids were really cute and most of them just had minor issues like coughs or stomach upsets. We gave out lots of ibuprofen and tums, and each kid got a dose of Mabendazole for de-worming.
|Some of our supplies|
|The pharmacy station|
|We set up in an amphitheatre for the clinic. Shortly after we got all set up and decided we were ready to go, it was time for lunch. Here are some of the kids (and Jake) waiting to be called to be seen.|
|Dr. John checking for lice with Yiesmachew interpreting|
|Evelyn taking down some basic information in triage|
|Janet getting some vitals|
After dinner we returned to our rooms at the hotel in Awassa and crashed. We got to sleep in a little compared to how today started and were headed to Akake tomorrow for our second boarding school visit. Here's a few pictures of our hotel room.
|This is the door to the bathroom (the door into the room is on the same wall). Beth and I found it comical that the t.v. had a plastic bag over it. We don't know why. It wasn't plugged in either.|