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My Travels in Ethiopia September – November 2011. Kyle Fluegge Ohio State / Gondar University. Addis High-Rises – “A” for “ A”merican-ized.

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my travels in ethiopia september november 2011

My Travels in EthiopiaSeptember – November 2011

Kyle Fluegge

Ohio State / Gondar University

addis high rises a for a merican ized
Addis High-Rises – “A” for “A”merican-ized

These are views from the roof of the World Health Organization office in Addis. It is common to eat lunch in the cafeteria in the first floor and then go to the roof to drink tea. In two months during my stay, for only two days, it rained; the day I took this picture was one of those days.

addis high rises
Addis High-Rises

From the top of the United Nations Centre on a particularly cloudy and rainy day; it is just ending the rainy season (Date: September 20, 2011)

ground transportation not so great
Ground Transportation – Not so Great

This is the transportation that is representative of a developing country; however, these are some of the better roads (it is the capital after all).

entrance to gondar university hospital
Entrance to Gondar University Hospital

This is the University Hospital, where I worked. The building behind the gate is an eye clinic (among other services). Despite the size, the waiting room was outside (between the gate and the building). NOTE: There are no ambulances in Gondar. If you want to get to the hospital, your options were to walk or be carried. Too many times, I would see people try to flag down a blue taxi; but no one would stop.

dabat research center
Dabat Research Center

This is the center where my office was. This building was very old and not kept very well. It is so named because of the TB research being conducted by university faculty in Dabat (it is actually an auditorium inside). My supervisor, Takele, runs this office. Note the low-hanging wire in the picture. This is an active electric wire, which is propped up by a piece of wood to the right (not seen).

my 3 mile initiation walk in gondar town
My 3 ½ mile initiation walk in Gondar town

These pictures were taken October 2nd. I had just arrived in Gondar the previous day and had no idea where I was going, so I let the locals lead me. The University is located on the very top of a hill (from where this picture was taken). Everyone from the university lived way down in the valley (the town you see), including me. Breathtaking and an amazing view, but quite a hike to get to.

rounding my walk
Rounding my walk

I’m continuing my walk. Gondar University is to the right (the orange building). This is where everything that is not the hospital is at – not sure why they are separated by such a distance. However, the university is mostly known for its teaching hospital.

gondar clinic
Gondar Clinic

This is a clinic that I would pass everyday on my way to the hospital. The sign is hard to read because of the sunlight, but it says (in English, no less) that services performed include surgery, laboratory analysis, chiropractic work, X-rays, etc., etc. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but the size of the building can maybe only include 4-5 rooms. Note that there are only 2 cars in front; you guessed it, most patients are walking (and these are short distances either)

animal human interface
Animal-Human interface

You could not escape it: animals all around. Cows, donkeys, chickens, and horses would make as much use of the road as you would. This was a particularly clear patch of road in Gondar; it was usually the case that animal feces would strewn the road quite frequently.

wall of prayer
Wall of Prayer

This is a wall of prayer that I would pass on my way through Gondar everyday. The sacred wall is behind the boarded wood you see in the front. Some people would say a quick prayer as the woman in the picture is doing; others would go inside the hut and put their hands against the wall and kneel and take a lot of time with the prayer. I’m not sure why this is so sacred, but it was a disgrace if you were a native and passed by the wall without praying, even if you were in a hurry.

pediatric clinic on the gondar university campus
Pediatric clinic on the Gondar University campus

This is one of the most upsetting sights to me. This picture was taken on my walk to Dabat Research Centre. It is taken in front of a pediatric ward. Sanitation was a major problem all over, but in particular here. You can see the effects of human waste not more that 10-12 feet from the front door. The smell was awful and yet this reflected the standard of care. And this is on the university campus. I was standing behind a building where young hospital doctors lived.

just another walk home
Just another walk home

So this is an ordinary walk home. You see the blue taxis in the center and locals carrying as much as they could on their heads and backs and loading up their donkeys with the rest. You can’t tell from the picture, but off to the left, hidden in those trees and bushes are actually make-shift houses. I remember walking along and seeing children come out from almost nowhere, demanding your attention. As I got closer, I realized that they actually live there.

tb clinic gondar university
TB clinic, Gondar University

This is the clinic across from the pediatric clinic (picture shown earlier). I heard from some doctors who treated TB patients that it is becoming more frequent to treat TB patients until they are no longer infectious, and sending them home to complete treatment, which explains the rising trend for secondary TB infections (often drug resistant) to develop among people who were previously supposedly successfully treated for TB. Perhaps the limited capacity represented by this picture can explain some of that.

takele taddesse
Takele Taddesse

My supervisor at Dabat Research Center. His research focuses on developing a longitudinal prevalence study of TB in Ethiopia, starting with the region in Dabat.