Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ethiopia... off the beaten path

Photo and video editing at www.OneTrueMedia.com

This video shows a montage of photos from the places we visited. Our group toured several medical clinics in the area and we also spent time in the remote village of Bora, staying in the villagers' huts and getting to know them while the medical team held a clinic in their church building. It was a beautiful area with beautiful people. Staying with the villagers was an amazing experience... we had a simply magical evening of singing and dancing under the stars, followed by sleeping in the chiefs' hut which was quite an honor. Some of our roommates included the family's cattle.

BEMM partnered with Doma to help fund a clinic for women and children that will be located in Bora. There are about 7,000 people in the Bora area who have no easy access to medical care. The closest clinic, in Chencha, is a six mile hike down the mountain. The town elders estimate that about 1 in 4 women in their village dies from childbirth related causes... so the clinic will be a tremendous benefit to the people.

We also participated in a clinic in the nearby town of Chencha. We saw women and children come in with all kinds of illnesses, from the mundane to the serious. Two notable cases included a severely malnourished one year old baby who was the size of a three month old and an old woman with malaria. Many women complained of back pain, which is not surprising when you see the loads they carry on their backs.

We were also able to relax with a tour of the lake at Arba Minch, where we saw crocodiles, hippos, pelicans and baboons. This was followed by a visit to the cultural village of Dorze, where we enjoyed some traditional dancing and a delicious meal that included many of the local favorite dishes. Some of our group members tried their hand at fire-jumping, but I was not one of them. :)

I feel like I really got to see and know Ethiopia on this trip. It is so much more beautiful than pictures can show. I feel profoundly grateful to have had this opportunity.


Jen Stutzman said...

Oh Paula I wish I could of gone with you it sounds amazing.

Trisha said...

Paula, the trip looked amazing; I'd love to hear even more about it. How exactly was the fundraising accomplished? What is BEMM?

Becky and Naing said...

So amazing, I have watched it over and over with Haven

steffany said...

I am so glad you went!!!!!

Andy and Linda said...

So happy for you Paula. Looking forward to hearing more soon. Hope the transition back home is going well....
Love ya