We have now entered a kind of routine state. We now know how to get about and things tend to get less unusual.
On Saturday 11 we went about 50 km north along the lake Tana on the east cost. Our goal was a very exiting an unusual community called Awuraamba. It is an Ethiopian group of people living together and taking care and supporting each other in every phase of their lives. At this community I tried a small piece of injera with some kind of tomato souse. I should not have done that. I was sick all night and didn’t get much sleep.
On Sunday 12 we were invited to one of Titti’s colleague’s mother in law and we were going to meet Biset in town at one a clock.
Before that we went on a walk to explore our surroundings. We passed the hospital and found that there are different kinds of medical educations for nurses, pharmaceutical and laboratory training right near it. There were also several pharmaceutical shops. On the way towards the main road to town center we passed a village, well organised but rather poor. When we came to the main road, we were to take a bajaj or a “taxi” to center of the town. but all of them were filled with people coming from church. So we had to walk all the way, which wasn’t too troublesome.
We arrived a bit late but it didn’t seem to trouble Biset and his mother in law when we arrived after a taxi journey to the far east of town. A taxi here is a blue mini buss (like a Volkswagen bus) that picks up people along the road.
We had a wonderful traditional lunch and we also met Bisset’s 1,5 year old son. Biset’s wife attends pharmaceutical education and had class even on Sundays, so we did not see her..
On the way home we passed a Muslim wedding ceremony. The men were dancing around the bride and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. The bride and the bridegroom didn’t look that exited, but may be they were nervous.
Monday 13 started in the general way and there was no sign of a Sancta Lucia. I met Samuel and Fantu at the clinic and with them they had their neighbor, a technical guy. I went with him in Samuels car to his former workplace which bankrupted a week before. Our mission was to lengthen the roof console for the operating lamp with half a meter, as the room height is much higher than were my father had it in his “garage” clinic. We managed to take the consol apart and to find out the length and dimension of the needed pipe. Then away to town to try to get a pipe. I think we went to at least six shops were they sell used metal. You could call them mini scrap yards. In the end we went back to the first one where they had a pipe with the right outer diameter but a bit thinner than the one were to lengthen. Now it was time for lunch and after that car ride to town and then back to the workplace were we had the pipe welded and we were ready for the next step. At home you would have everything needed but here you have to get and buy the pieces needed. That took the rest of the day.
After working hours we had a meeting with Midroc’s chef architect and planner in Bahir Dar. We went to the new clinic and looked around. He said that he will have deeper look on the project and he will suggest certain changes especially connected to drainage and water situation in the area.
In the evening we invited to a Santa Lucia celebration with Swedish Glögg (Glü wine) and ginger biscuits. Midroc’s chief architect (from Philippines), Samuel, Fantu, Gulilat, and his wife Masteval joined the party. We had a Lucia picture on the computer.
Woke up with a sore throat in the middle of the night, first warning, But in the morning it wasn’t so bad. Were to meet Samuel at 9 and I was there at time but not Samuel. They showed up later with a brand new impact drilling machine.
Happily we started to drill holes and the first and second went well, but then the problem started. Something that would have taken half an hour took all day. The cheap stuff is to blame!!! A lot, almost all things imported are of bad quality and we learned the hard way to get the right stuff like quality drills
In the evening Titti and I had a muslin dinner at another of Titti’s colleagues. Adem and his wife Hayat are living in a flat that is quite a new way of living in this region. We had a very nice dinner served the Muslim way on the floor. They have a very cosy home and their little boy went asleep on a cushion in the corner.
During the night I got aware that I was getting influenza but in the morning I felt not so bad.
Went to the clinic and now Samuels technical guy quite easy could put up the remaining fixtures in the roof. He had also made a piece that was missing from Sweden. We were very happy but next disappointment came. The hole for the electrical power was too small.
We found a way to fix it and then we were able to connect the cables to the transformer and fix the cables to roof and wall in a nice way. Suddenly there was light and everybody clapped their hands.
In the evening we were invited to our landlady Orit and had a wonderful dinner the Ethiopian way. She showed us some photos and talked about here family. Her husband is living in Addis and so do her children who mowed there as grownups. Here husband don’t come home so often but next time at Christmas. We showed her some pictures from Sweden on our laptops. We had a nice evening.
During the night the influenza really got hold of me. I had to call Samuel to tell him that I must stay in bed although he had planed some operations for me. This was not a good day. In time for the next night I wasn’t feeling at all better.
In the morning Guliat came with some special drink or soup in a thermos. This is good for you he said. I don’t know if it was Gulilat’s drink that made me feel better but I picket myself together and went late to the clinic.
I didn’t do much useful there. We had some case discussions.
In the afternoon I met Titti and Haimanot, a teacher at the department of gender and development studies.
She invited us home for dinner and we had a very nice evening talking about different situations in Ethiopian press media and country especially women’s situation. Her master thesis (May 2010) was about a small community in Bahir Dar, Negede Wayto. They live by traditions going back to Moses and are extremely poor. Their religion is looked upon as threat to both Muslims and Christians. They are radically different in language and religion compared to any other Ethiopians. They are a discriminated and socially oppressed racial group and assigned the lowest status in their region. It was interesting to hear about this and one wonder why and what makes it possible for a group of people to keep their traditions for such a long time.
Now another week has gone and we enter our last week here this time.