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Posted 12/21/2009 in Newsletter:
CHRISTMAS GREETING FROM KARI AND ASLE
Kari, December 2009 Addis Ethiopia
It is Sunday and I am writing while looking out over a field where there are shepherd boys watching their sheep. It is incredible. It is just like going straight into the Nativity scene in the Bible and we are reminded of the stable, the manger and the little Christ child born more than 2000 years ago. A Norwegian song comes to mind:
On a dark and quiet night
you can hear the angels sing
Now a child is born
in a simple stable
Christmas night, Christmas night, the child lies and sleeps
Christmas night, Christmas night, the time of waiting is over
This has been a very different year for us. We have learned what it means to place our future in the hands of God and trust in Him completely. After a year of repairing and fixing our home in Galveston which was badly damaged by hurricane IKE, we were in a strange way called upon to do this work in Ethiopia. Now we are here and the challenges are many. We must be patient as we build trust amongst the local population. Asle has gained the trust and good will of the anesthesia nurses at the hospital in Soddo and they are slowly taking into use the newer and better methods Asle teaches them. The equipment is still a problem as they have very little, and what they have is old and worn. Also pain medication normally used after surgery often does not exist for them. The hospital tries to order new medicine but because of lack of availability they often must wait. Things go slowly and takes time here. The fact that there is such a shortage of lifesaving equipment and medicines makes it so encouraging that many friends in Norway and the US have helped by raising money to buy new equipment. Every little bit helps. Last week we made a visit to Addis to discuss the possibility of strengthening the existing training programs for anesthesiologists. It is doctors from the Haukeland Hospital in Bergen Norway who are initiating this new program. We also are excited that we will soon be starting up the program of going out into the smaller rural areas teaching the health workers there how to better help their patients.
I, Kari, have mostly been using these first few months getting our house in order and readjusting to our new life here. I also am teaching English to high school students which I enjoy. We have many guests who pass through our area and this is also where I can help out by providing meals for visitors.
Our children, Sara Janne, Maria and Filip are doing fine in Galveston and Austin. Sara Janne is in her third year of medical studies in Galveston. She is coming to Ethiopia on the 21st of December and will be here for two months. As one of her electives she is studying malaria and will be working on this while here. Maria is goes to grad school in Austin and is studying public affairs and she will arrive on December 17th. She has an internship after Christmas with Glimmer of Hope. This organization does development work in Ethiopia and when they learned that she was going to be here for Christmas they arranged for her to join a trip to Gondor in northern Ethiopia. She will be together with business and policy students from Harvard. She is very happy with this opportunity. Our son Filip is in his second year of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas. He is very busy with the university band. As their football team has done very well this year he will be participating in the National Championship and means he is unable to come to Ethiopia at this time (I think this is saddest for me the mom). He will be going to visit his uncle in Chicago instead and that I am certain will be very nice.
So yes, this will be a different kind of Christmas for us but the Christmas message is the same! The angels showed themselves to Joseph and said "Be not afraid to take Maria as your wife. The child she is carrying is of the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you shall name him Jesus for he shall save his people from their sins"
Posted 12/15/2009 in Newsletter:
Kari, Ethiopia 2009
We have now been in Addis for a week. I will tell you a little about our stay as it was quite interesting and fun.
Upon arrival we were made aware that it was now Advent and we were invited to an early morning Advents breakfast. Somehow when you live in such different surroundings and different climate, etc, etc.... you just forget to follow the times of the year as closely. There are no decorated "palm" Christmas trees yet, but when the guest house here got decorated with purple tablecloths and we put out the advents candles there is definitely a feeling of Christmas I am pleased to say.
We also attended the IEC, International Church in Addis. It is and American church with all the trimmings of a big screen, choir, good pastor and all that accompanies a big church in the United States. Afterwards we went to Kaldis which is a local Starbucks shop. And then we went to a Christmas market at the German Church. So a good and busy day.
On Monday I started the language school here. I walked into a classroom where 8 Korean young men were sitting and I asked if I was the only woman and got the answer yes! Well, they clapped for me and yes, we got off to a good start. Amharic seemed so impossible for me to learn but now after a good week here I feel that yes, I can do this. I have learned a lot and will be bringing this back to Soddo to build on as there are four of us there trying to learn. I am confident that with time we will accomplish this. I will return to Addis at a later time to do another week at the class here for new impulses and inspiration.
While in Addis we also went to the American Embassy to take care of getting a drivers license. We had been told it could take "forever" and with the many people there we thought oh no, here we will be a long time. However, much to our surprise, most of the people there were waiting to make visa applications and therewith we fortunately got our errand finished in 2 hours! Nice surprise. We had to go there first to get confirmation that our American license was valid and from there we went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Addis to get confirmation that the paper from the US Embassy was genuine. So a long day in offices and we did not get further. The next day though we went to the Motor Vehicles Office or equivalent of one. We sat and waited and waited to only find out after about an hour that, oh no, we were in a wrong building! We were sent to the correct place and very fortunately got help quickly. Ethiopians just are so happy when Asle comes and is able to speak to them in their own language and it helped here also. Asle did a lot of running back and forth and it took its time while I sat patiently waiting, but finally we were finished and had to sign a paper saying that the process had taken 15 minutes! Well, that was far from the truth but it was something that had to be done. We were given a temporary license as the printer needed for the new license was "out of paper"! They have promised us that we will soon receive the permanent license and not to worry; we do not need to come back and go through the same process. What a relief.
Beyond that I have been to the Women's Pottery shop where I bought an advents candle for us, an angel which now has a central place in our home, a simple candle holder and a candy bowl; all for a very small price. It is impressive to see what these women can make with such simple materials. Women work here to make enough to support themselves and their families.
I have also gotten a better sense of direction since arriving here and I am now ready to try to start driving a bit, though the traffic is terrible.
We have now finally decided on buying a car from a Norwegian doctor who has been here. He brought it in tax free but now we will have to pay the tax and this will take some time with paperwork. It has been difficult finding and buying the right car and we are so relieved, especially Asle. The doctor leaves in February. In the meanwhile we will borrow it during Christmas while the doctor is home in Norway for the holidays. In addition we will continue using the mission's car which Asle refers to as the missionaries Cadillac.
Yesterday was a big International Christmas Bazaar in the Botanical Garden. There were many foreigners and therewith foreigners prices which is very high by comparison. Surprising how many foreigners are here in Ethiopia or "forengies" as they are called here.
Now it is Sunday and we again went to the International Church. My head is worn out from this busy week and I was not feeling well afterwards so I went straight back to the guest house. Asle went to meet with the doctor who is here from Haukeland Hospital in Norway. They are planning the anesthesiologist program to be developed here. This will be his focus for the next 3 days. I will be enjoying getting my hair cut which my friend Gro Heidi is sponsoring!
I also want to mention that I was at a prayer meeting for the mission on Thursday and it was at the home of Tone and Lars (Astri and Martin Mosvold's niece). They have found a nice house close to the mission. Tone gave me a very nice book about Addis which I look forward to reading. It is called "Sheltered by the King, by Martha" and is about the first woman senator who worked for Haile Selassie and how she had to flee from Ethiopia when the communists took over. She was a strong Christian and came from a family who trusted in God and depended on his help during their dramatic escape which fortunately went well. Martha is back in Ethiopia and works with homeless children.
Now we are looking forward to Christmas and hope that all our readers are having a good Holiday Season. We certainly appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers.
Greetings from Kari and Asle; Addis, Ethiopia
Posted 12/06/2009 in Newsletter:
Kari, Ethiopia, December 6, 2009
This week I broadened my horizon here in Soddo. I was walking home with Sofie who is an American nurse working here with Equip Ministries. We wandered through many different streets of town and also through a section of better built homes on the west side of Soddo. As we climbed up the mountain side we ran into several of the students I teach English to and it was interesting to see where they lived. The walk took us over 50 minutes by the time we arrived at Sofie's house. There was a beautiful rose bush and a vegetable garden outside, but when we came in it was quite noticeable that it was in need of some paint, some more furniture and what it normally takes to make a house more livable. It is sad they use such a poor quality of materials when building these comparatively new houses like ours, and therefore they just do not stay nice. So tomorrow I will meet Sofie and we will go and buy some paint and get the job started. I enjoy decorating so it is nice to be able to help. When I was going to leave, her garden boy came with an armful of rhubarb and that was very nice. I went right home and cooked rhubarb porridge which we use a lot in Norway in the summers. Asle was so happy when he came home and right away got the milk and sugar to put on it.
To continue the culinary success I decided the next day to bake a recipe that Asle's mother Guri used to make for him when he was a child here. I had gotten the recipe from Magnhild Lindtjorm. I made them in between teaching class, electric Hi power breaks and several other things.. a busy day but resulted in much appreciated cookies. Asle loves all of these goodies from his past and we both feel we have so much to be thankful for.
While teaching that day I asked the students which was the favorite day of the week for them. Surprisingly they answered very quickly...Sunday. I asked why and the answer was that it was God's day and they liked learning about him! There are many Christians in this part of Ethiopia and they are very dedicated. There is much for some of us to learn from them also.
On Wednesday we had the pleasant surprise that we were to have visitors from Samaritan's Purse. Billy Graham's son is the leader of Samaritan's Purse and the World Medical Mission, whom we are working for, are a group under them. They help to sponsor our work here. So we rushed around fixing up and make it nice if they were going to be staying the night. Unfortunately they did not have much time and came at 10 in the morning, did a tour of the hospital, had lunch and had to return to Addis the same day.
On Thursday Marie Ammitzbol came with 3 students from Norway. She is a missionary in Omorate and they were on their way south. The students came from Tryggheim, Fjelltun and Roedde folkehøyskole (a form of junior college)in Norway. Their schools help to sponsor this mission in Omorate and these students were going to visit it and write a report on the program.
I also want to share with you a story from the hospital. Not all stories are happy ones and this one is to show you under what difficult circumstances many of these people live. A father and mother were at the hospital with their teenage daughter.
She had an operation and a bad infection started in the wound. She was put on strong antibiotics but it still seemed like there was not much chance for her to survive. The parents were forced to choose between staying at the hospital and taking their daughter home. They opted to take her home...reason being that it is much more expensive to take a corpse home on a bus than to pay a passenger ticket for a person who is alive. What horribly difficult decisions that have to be made! Fortunately there are many happy stories from the hospital too. This was just to illustrate the extreme hardship so many live under here.
I am writing all this now from Addis. We will be here 10 days. I am taking a language course and Asle is busy at the hospital here.
And we were invited to come to church tomorrow and celebrate the first Sunday in Advent. I was very surprised as I did not realize we had gotten this close to Christmas. But yes, Advent and the looking toward Christmas is a happy time and it will be very nice to go to church here tomorrow.
Until next time! Kari
Posted 11/28/2009 in Newsletter:
Thanksgivings Day and Eid al-Adha; Asle, November 28, 2009
It's Friday and it's Thanksgiving. Here in Ethiopia we happen to have the day off because of a major Muslim holiday; "Eid al-Adha", "Festival of Sacrifice", a holiday celebrated by the Muslims to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. Ethiopia has a population that's almost equally split between Christians and Muslims. They have a long history of living relatively peacefully next to each other and thus they respect each other's Holidays.
I want to focus on Thanksgiving. The other day when Kari saw a picture of the bay we used to live next to in Galveston she said spontaneously: "We have a lot to be thankful for". She was thinking about all the good memories from Texas; children, friends, and a nice home. But she was also referring to our new life here in Soddo that is rich and wonderful even though we miss some of the things back in Texas.
If you haven't noticed by now; Soddo Christian Hospital (SCH) is a great place to live and work. The hospital is only four years old. It is remarkable what they have achieved during those few years at this place. Quite often we say this is not man's work but God at work and I believe so. I also believe that it is God who wants Kari and me to be at this particular place at this time of our life. The hospital's vision is to follow Christ's example; teach, heal and tell the patients about the Good News from God about Salvation for man. In our daily work we get to do so. People get great physical help at one of the better hospitals in the whole country and at the same time they get to hear about the hope we have for eternal life.
It seems like a road map for our future work in Ethiopia is emerging. After three months we are about to get a car that can handle rough terrain (we will keep you posted, no pictures yet). Over New Year we will start visiting two clinics that are approximately 2-3 hours drive from SCH (120 km/75 miles). Primarily we will chaperon the medical staff at these remote places. I will be focusing on basic anesthesia that the nurses can provide to facilitate lifesaving surgery in the district. Gradually it is our intention to expand this service to other smaller hospitals/clinics. We are collaborating on this project with a good friend of ours, Dr. Bernt Lindtjorn who has worked for many years in Ethiopia. I see it as fitting that we as a Christian Hospital can give a helping hand to struggling hospitals in our proximity. These first three months at SCH has given me precious experience that I can take with me to these places.
This weekend we are going up to Addis Ababa to meet other friends of ours, and start planning a residency program for anesthesiologists. Two colleagues are coming from the Department of Anesthesiology at Haukeland University Hospital in Norway where I trained many years ago. Along with other friends at the Myungsung Christian Medical Center we will meet with government representatives to discuss the possibility of training anesthesiologist. Currently there are a total of ten anesthesiologists in Ethiopia and no training program for this kind of physicians.
To prove to you the immediate needs here, again yesterday I was able to help another child with a coffee bean that was stuck in the airway. She probably would have ended her life at the age of eighteen months without the service.
Even though there are ups and downs I do see it on a Thanksgivings Day as a great privilege to be here. On such a day I would like to say a big Thank You to all of you that are partnering with us and ask you to join in and thank the Lord who is enabling us to do his work.
Posted 11/21/2009 in Newsletter:
Kari, Soddo Ethiopia November 2009
Today is the big Christmas bazaar at the Norwegian Seamen's church in Houston. I would have loved to have been there and definitely miss all my friends at the church there. I do hope it will be a success and you all will make lots of money for the church.
It is Friday morning and I am home alone. Wongel is sick and the symptoms sound as if she is having a back lash of malaria. When you have had malaria once in your life, you can have back lashes for years. Fever and chills. Asle and I are thinking about starting to take anti-malaria tablets prophylactic.
It is soon the weekend and we will again have time to reflect on the days that have past. We can feel that we are tired but don't know for sure what tires us most. Is it being in a new country with different language and customs? People all around you when you go out asking for money, money, money. All looking to you and hoping for a miracle of a little money. Then there are those working around you also suggesting they have very little and need more. Be it the electrician, plumber, painter or whoever, all seem to be poor and this indirect begging also is frustrating. Wongel, and also the garden boy do not beg. They also get a good meal each day here, a good salary for locals and we pay for evening classes for them which will help them in the future. This is strange to be having so many workers around but at least we can try to help the few though unable to give to everyone.
We continue to have many guests. The eye team that I have mentioned earlier in updates, teams of evangelists, board members from Luke's Foundation in the USA. People evaluating future projects for the hospital. Surgeons and nurses who come for short periods to volunteer their services. Many have never been to Africa before and we try our best to make their stay as comfortable as possible for them. It is not easy for the guests to be able to make their own meals when they do not have ingredients they know or cooking tools. This means we who are living here share the work and take turns with being responsible for the work. This all takes energy and at times I realize we may have to limit how much "extra" can be done.
I have taught two English classes today and still get requests to come and teach at the local school. I honestly do not feel I am competent to do this as English is my second language. My grammar is not strong enough so Paulus, the head teacher teaches that. My responsibility is to get the students to use the language they are learning. To talk, which of course is not easy as they are shy and do not want to make mistakes. We try to use subjects that they know about from their local surroundings. We also read stories to them and have them tell them back. They love Bible stories! Games and contests are very popular and I am always looking for new ways to reach them. We have very little of educational materials for us to use so most has to be made up. Next time Asle and I go to Addis I will try to find some intermediate materials.
I am also still being asked to consider opening a nursery. Asle and I have discussed this and in the case I do this, it will be for newborn babies of the nurses at the hospital. They will be able to come and nurse their babies here and still be able to work at the hospital. This will be difficult though as nurseries are not a part of this culture. I am trying to set up a budget and after this we will have to find out if it is possible. We wonder if it would be better for an Ethiopian to head up this project who knows the customs better. We shall see.
Asle and I continue to take time to stay in shape. Asle likes to jog and has a lot of little children running after him trying to keep up. I use some big rocks to exercise my arms...one must use ones imagination! We both are still reacting to being at such a high altitude and quickly become short of breath.
Yesterday we had a group of girls in on the compound to cut the grass. I mention this because here it is quite common that girls do the heavy work. They were down on their hands and knees to cut the grass with a type of small sickle. Afterwards they carry big bundles home on their backs and the grass is used to feed animals they keep. This is a popular job which many want.
Last week I was going to buy some more clay pots. The garden boy went to find some and came back walking next to a very old woman carrying them on her back! I just shook my head as I cannot get used to this but there is nothing I can do about it either.
To a more pleasant experience...we had a big birthday party yesterday for all of those working here who have their birthday in November. The Americans have an ice cream maker and we had vanilla and lemon ice cream. I baked a cake and made waffles. We were 20 people and had a great time.
My list of new recipes is steadily growing. I made homemade mango porridge for Asle and it was a big success. Asle right away was back in Jinka where Guri served this to him daily. Asle associates many memories with tastes and smells from the past.
This is it for this time. I have written about many daily things. But this is what the update is, a way to stay in touch and share our every day experiences. I hope if any of you readers have any suggestions of ways to reach these children I am teaching English to; please write to me. I am always looking for new ideas to help them develop. So anyone with experience teaching English as a second language...please, all suggestions are welcome.
Until next time. Greetings from Kari
Posted 11/15/2009 in Newsletter:
Asle, November 15, 2009
My last update was written while feeling rather down. Faced with the overwhelming needs here it resonated with my deep felt feeling of inadequacy at that moment. Let me use this opportunity to share with you an event that helped me see that being here does make a difference.
Have a look at the charming little boy with the bandage on his throat (see picture). Thursday morning he came to the clinic with his father and was having breathing problems. The symptoms were rather peculiar. Within seconds he would change from normal breathing to severe respiratory distress and then back again. It was an emergency and we brought him in to the OR (also pictured).
He was given anesthesia, Ketamine, and we made our way down his airways using the old bronchoscope that I have written of earlier. Down in one of the larger bronchus, on the right side I saw what you see in the bowl in the picture, a coffee bean! After all we are in the land of coffee.
How did we remove it? With the bronchoscope I was able to get past the coffee bean and subsequently lift it out of its stuck position. We held the boy by his legs and really gave him a slam on his back. When I reexamined him through the bronchoscope I could see that we had managed to bring the bean up to his trachea (upper airway tube). Now it was time for surgeons to do their part of the job and Dr Paul Gray, our general surgeon, together with his teammates, performed a tracheotomy. This is a procedure where you make a cut through the skin into the trachea (main airway tube). Right under the knife they found the coffee bean. There is no way that the coffee bean would have made its way out on its own.
I am also posting some photos showing that we are making a difference. Have a look at the boy who was born with severe S-shaped deformities to his legs. He is pictured on the operating table as he is about to have his second leg operated on. The one leg was straightened earlier and is in the cast.
You can also see the satisfied and proud orthopedic team, Dr Anderson and his assistant Dr Daniel, a surgical resident, after the job was done.
We do have many sad stories where people do not get here in time. We are encouraged by each one we are able to save.
I will update you if I am able to find out what became of the young man I wrote about last time. I hope that he does return so we can try to find a way to help.
Until next time! Greetings from Asle
Posted 11/08/2009 in Newsletter:
House becoming a home, Kari, November 8, 2009
I am so very happy to tell you that this busy week has resulted in our house feeling more like home. There have been workers here all week doing what was much needed to improve our daily living conditions. For 8 weeks I went in and out of this house and was wondering how I would ever feel at home here? How can I make it a cozy place to be? It has been one of the most difficult parts of my adjustment to moving here. The bathroom toilet had not been installed correctly so there was a constant slight sewage odor. The walls in the kitchen had a strong mildew odor as there had been a leak in the wall. In the bathroom things had been installed wrong...for example shower curtains hung so high that the water leaked out on the floor every time we showered. The guest room was painted in an incredibly strong color so that it took time for the eyes to adjust whenever you entered the room. Tropical insects were found crawling all over so the insecticide bottle was in constant use. Need I go on? It was just not an easy start even if I tried to remain positive and remind myself that I am now a missionary.
We had just been through a 10 month renovation project of our home in Galveston which had been badly damaged by Hurricane Ike. We finally had the work finished there and moved here. It just became very difficult for me. Fortunately we have had good support by the hospital here that I was allowed to get work started. This past week the painter arrived. He speaks little English and I still speak very little Amharic. He had a good sense of colors and we worked together mixing paint until we found colors that I liked. While he worked with this I had one of the garden boys to go with me around on the compound to look at furniture not being used. Found some regal looking chairs and a table that matched very well with the sofa we have in the living room. We also went to the market and found two old and artistic wood doors. I bought them and had them mounted on the wall and after I polished them with dark brown shoe polish...they were great!!! There is a sofa/bed being built for the porch and two bedside tables for our bedroom, and some shelves for decorations on the walls. All this for the house is costing us less than $1000. And what a difference it makes in feeling like we have a place we can be happy.
I have also had a lot of fun with the garden boys and painter. As they speak so little English and my limited vocabulary in Amharic, we have mostly used finger language. When they are speaking to me I say "ischi", which means I understand...and then we laugh.
We have also torn out the kitchen shelves in the cabinets this week. We have filled in and refit the toilet so that is taken care of. The curtains are being adjusted and we have strengthened the rods.
In addition I have taught classes, and had responsibility for dinners for some American guests here. Next week I plan on starting Amharic classes based on Berit Østby's program. Very busy but definitely moving forward. There is a lot more in small things too which also makes it more pleasant. The garden boy has bought some nice clay pots for the garden. Beautiful ceramic pots for maybe 50 cents! We have worked a lot on the garden and it is improving daily.
There are other things that still continue to confuse me. I think beside the language the most difficult for me to adjust to is the Ethiopian calendar and their time. Here it is 2002 and we are in the same month but a different day! And when I make an appointment at 12:00 for us, that is 6:00 for them. Very difficult! But I am making progress and so happy to have so many friends who care and read my emails from here. I do so appreciate all who are thinking of us and helping us.
Until next time. Kari
Posted 11/02/2009 in Newsletter:
Asle, Soddo Hospital, update
Last weekend I was about to sit down and share with you my thoughts on what an anesthesiologist is supposed to do in Southern Ethiopia. All through the week I had been thinking about the issue. I thought I was seeing an emerging pattern of what my function was going to be in Soddo. It is not as if there has not been any anesthesia service here before we came. Actually they are doing quite well, especially considering their aging equipment and limited drug supply. But I also see room for improvement.
During the weekend I was also going to write a big thank you note to Terje Odden who sent us a wonderful Macbook Air computer. I was also going to say thank you to my good colloquies Lee Woodson and Mark Talon who sent us some much needed anesthesia equipment. The Gray-family brought it all with them from the States. And finally I was about to say thank you to all of you who are enabling us to stay here. On those bright days I see it as a great privilege to be on the team of the Great Physician and give a helping hand to the ones that he cares so much for.
What threw me off was the last patient I saw on Friday afternoon right before I was going home. He was in his early twenties, looked strong and handsome. His mother accompanied him. Over the last month his legs had become progressively weaker, to the point where he was not able to stand without pulling himself up using his hands. He had difficulties urinating. It became my task to tell him that we could do nothing for him. His only hope would be to see Dr. Gabriel Lende, the Norwegian neurosurgeon I know in Addis Ababa. Probably he has an intraspinal process impinging on his nerves. No one can tell without a CT or MRI. I told him that we would help him with the referral.
The boy broke down. Going to Addis was far beyond their means. Their only income was selling whatever extra their little lot of land could provide them with. A non-skilled worker at our hospital makes approximately 500 birr a month (less than $ 50); the MRI exam alone would cost 2500 birr, not to mention the travel and operation. The boy was not only crying, he and his mom were devastated. I was unable to leave them like this. I told them I would try to work it out with the doctor in Addis and I told them to come back on Monday. During the weekend I did some calculations on my own and tried to figure out how much I could provide them with. Monday came but they never came back. After all, who believes in fairytales?
Reality is that only a tiny minority of the people that we live among can afford the heavily subsidized services we offer. The full cost of a major operation at our hospital is less than $300. One ampoule of morphine for post operative pain relief costs $2. Not many patients buy them.
On a later occasion I will share with you my thoughts on what an anesthesiologist is supposed to do in Southern Ethiopia. For now I just again thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I certainly feel the need for them. Asle, November 2, 2009
Posted 10/30/2009 in Newsletter:
Kari, October 2009 Addis
This is the continuation of the trip report from Addis Abeba; see Part I below (posted 10/25/2009)!
My third day in Addis started very leisurely as Anbjørg whom I was to meet, was attending the language school until noon. While making my breakfast at the guest house I had the good fortune of meeting Raggi and Kalli. They are from Iceland but work in the southern part of Ethiopia close to the Kenyan border. They were in Addis as they were returning home to Iceland for a short visit, until the end of January. Out of the blue I got an idea...who is using their car while they are home in Iceland? I asked them if it would be possible for Asle and myself to rent it while they are gone and fortunately they thought this was a great idea. They had planned to have it parked at the mission but they felt this was a better option for them. We are now a step further in buying a car ourselves but as I have mentioned this takes time. So for now this is great as it will give us new freedom on the weekends for exploring and getting better acquainted in our surroundings. The car is now being serviced and we will have it in about two weeks!
We were invited to lunch at Toril's. She is Asle's cousin. Afterwards I went out with Anbjørg and we finished more errands. We spent the evening together and I met two Danish nurses who work in Jinka. Margit is an anesthesia nurse and Elise is a midwife. They were traveling south the next mo