Saturday, 24 December 2011

22nd December 2011

I went out to the health centre at Ganji yesterday and then today at Homa so I’m pleased to say that I am getting on with my research despite the distinct lack of a car. Yesterday, Clara kindly drove for us – she borrowed the car from Chris, an American guy who is working at the Catholic school a few miles away. The Ecuadorian nuns, Sister Susie and Sister Matti, run the school and have a rather beaten up truck. However, it is wheels as they say and have wheels, can go to Health centre. I wasn’t able to go with Maternity Worldwide as the driver, like all drivers in the region, had been called to attend a driving course and assessment, which had been extended, without any notice, to a three-day course. So off we trundled in the beaten up van, with a translator (Hunde) with us who would help if there wasn’t anyone there who could speak English. It all worked out well and I scanned 15 women and did some antenatal checks with the health officer there and also Jeremy.
Today, we were able to utilise the MW car and driver and had a thoroughly nice, peaceful day at the health centre. The nurse there, Lensa, is really helpful and always keen to learn new things. So we had a teaching session about post partum bleeding and we drew out a flow chart that showed what to do in various situations. Lensa is going to come to Christmas (Ethiopian Christmas – 7th January) lunch with us here in Gimbie, which will be lovely.

 It’s the coffee picking season here in West Wollega at the moment and so everyone is out picking coffee beans, drying them and then selling as much as they can. The coffee prices used to be regulated by the government but this seems to have become more relaxed. However, the price is pretty consistent in Gimbie at around 90 Birr (£3.60) per Kg. They are not allowed to export the beans out of the region and there are road stops going out of all towns where they check that you haven’t got loads of coffee in the car. The idea is that whatever they can’t sell themselves, has to be sold to the government, who I think may organise exportation. Coffee is the main source of income for most people in the rural areas and so at this time (December and January) you see quite a lot of police wandering around, making sure that things remain peaceful. With all the unaccustomed income from the coffee, people can get a bit excited – lots of food, some home brewed alcohol and competition for the beans = potential trouble.

 Kume, the MW driver, got some coffee beans for us from a friend of his in Homa and so we have been peeling and drying the beans and will roast them – perhaps a treat for Christmas.


When I got back to the hospital, I went to do my usual visit to see Jaba and collect the old bottles for cleaning and replenish them with fresh milk. A set of twins had been born that afternoon, having been induced as one was not growing well. Two boys; one was 1.3kg and the other 1.8kg.

The bigger one was sucking well but the smaller one will need tube feeding for a couple of days. Mum will express milk for him so he should be fine. Very cute.

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