Final Day – Ben’s Ethiopia Journal
August 22, 2011
I am humbled and honored.
Today was incredible. I packed everything the night before and was ready to depart this morning. My co-volunteers came up to my room to meet me and help carry my bags down to the stairs. We marveled at how quickly the 2 weeks went by and how much we have experienced thus far. (more…)
Day 14 – Ben’s Ethiopia Journal
August 14, 2011
Today I faced the firing squad.
It was test review day today, and I prefaced the entire morning by saying this was a learning experience for everyone, including the people creating the test. That didn’t ease the tension, unfortunately.
Once they got their tests back, faces shifted into furrowed brows, and hands began raising as clarifications, debates and arguments began flying at me from all angles. I tried to manage the onslaught by going through item by item, discussing the intent of the question and trying to extrapolate the students reasoning for choosing an incorrect answer. (more…)
Day 13 – Ben’s Ethiopia Journal
August 8, 2011
It has been a good day.
It began like most other days, with a bumpy ride in to the hospital in the transport car. Despite the rough ride and close quarters, it is a pleasant drive … the streets bustling with activity, students walking to school, people walking to work, all adorned with the distinct clothes of their trade. The sun is always shining and the air is dry and cool. It really is a beautiful place. (more…)
Day 12 – Ben’s Ethiopia Journal
August 1, 2011
Well, we had our exam. Actually, it went pretty well, with all things considered.
The day began with a lot of tense smiles from the students as I entered the halls at 8:05. It is the first time I have seen so many of them there so early. They paraded up the stairs to a 3rd floor classroom that would serve as our testing center. We waited for 2 stragglers and then began the written exam. (more…)
Day 11 – Ben’s Ethiopia Journal
July 25, 2011
There is a new addition to the guest house today. His name is Ed and he is a retired Neonatologist from Cincinnati University. He is a very smart guy and is here to help the pediatricians improve their care for pre-term and newborn babies.
He was happy to meet Cory and I this morning as we were able to quickly orient him to the hospital, the area surrounding the guest house, and the various other nuances of his new environment. He seemed a bit culture shocked, but excited to start his week at Black Lion. (more…)
Day Ten – Ben’s Ethiopia Journal
July 15, 2011
We got up early and ventured out to the hotel restaurant for a delicious breakfast of vegetable omelette, toast, and some advil to counteract the tej from last night. After breakfast, we packed our things, headed up to the lobby and checked out.
As promised, our 14 year old guide waved goodbye as our bus pulled out of the hotel compound … smiling and wearing my William and Mary baseball shirt proudly. (more…)
Day Nine – Ben’s Ethiopia Journal
July 11, 2011
I woke up at an unholy hour, with no trace of sunlight on any horizon and stumbled downstairs to meet the waiting car to transport Cory and I to Bole airport. I was feeling much better than I had the night before, which was a nice relief.
We made it to the airport on time and went through a series of at least 3 different security checks, each with different instructions and criteria for what was or was not acceptable. Cory and I shrugged it off, as it was still much too early to argue, and that is just pretty much how things go in Africa, it seems. (more…)
Day Eight – Ben’s Ethiopia Journal
July 5, 2011
We hit the ground running right at 8:30, as I still had quite a bit of course content to cover. We started with labs, as that would be a good way to get the students moving early and avoid the malaise of listening to lecture for the entire morning.
Labs went very well and the group seemed to be in command of the practical skills I was showing them. We got through a very good amount of material for the morning and confidently headed off to lunch, sure that we would make it through the entire course with time to spare. (more…)