Thursday, 3 November 2011

3rd November

Well it was total chaos in the labour ward to day. I’ve never seen so many babies born I such a short period of time. You have to appreciate that there are only 2 delivery beds and then there are another 2 ‘waiting to deliver’ beds. Today, however, they were all full and the store room that has a four beds without any covers on mattresses was also full of women in various stages of labour. As soon as one baby was out, the woman had to walk to the ward, swiftly followed by her new born baby. One woman arrived with her baby’s head already dropping out – sadly this was an intrauterine death – another arrived with a cord prolapse and twins (one of whom was rather sickly for a few hours), and another baby aspirated meconium and needed resuscitating. Oh and then a couple of hours later, another baby popped out looking very flat indeed and needed resuscitation. So what with the abandoned baby, Jaba and the other recovering babies, it was beginning to look a bit like a paediatric ward. 

We have now had a couple of Oromo lessons and I think I am getting the hang of it. I can’t wait to be able to speak to people in the market and tell them that I would like to have the Ethiopian price rather than the Faranj price. They will be shocked to hear a faranj speaking Oromo. You can’t blame them for wanting to make a bit of money out of us but it’s the principle that matters. Sometimes, new people here get charged double to going rate – some british people we met here paid 25 birr (£1.00) for a bottle of beer when the standard price is 9 birr (36p).

We are having lentils for supper this evening, which would be nice if we hadn’t also had them for lunch. Mind you, I have just found a packet of Indian spices for daal that I brought with me and this really improved the taste….ie there was a taste! It is papaya season and I’m told that mangos should arrive on the trees fairly soon – very excited about that.

I woke up this morning to find I had a series of about 10 bites on my leg – not sure if it’s bed bugs or whether something got into my clothes and nibbled away. It’s not mosquitoes so not particularly worried (we sleep under a net) but would rather avoid further nocturnal munching……As they say, however, ‘you’re never really alone in Ethiopia’


  1. Is there any way to send you some food in a care package/ Starting to get worried that th 2 of you will dwindle away to twigs!!!

  2. Hi Karen and Jeremy,keeping up with your life there,very different but extremely interesting,take care, Sarla.

  3. Don't worry John, we've still got plenty of fat to work through - well, for now anyway! xx

    Keep reading Sarla; nice to know that you are in touch with us xx