Thursday, November 21, 2013
Coming week, VSO The Netherlands will launch a campaign to raise funds and recruit other volunteers like us to work on sustainable change in Africa and Asia. The campaign shows the work of Floris as a medical doctor, working along side his Ethiopian colleagues. In the beginning of October, photographer Gert IJszenga came to visit us to make a portrait of our life, have a look (some of the pictures are less suitable for small children; they are taken in the OR): Traveling south! Last week, we spent together with our two friends Ralf and Lonneke. It was soooo nice. After a meeting with Prof. Asheber of Unicef about our project and research proposal, we picked up Ralf and Lonneke in their hotel and drove back to Butajira. That evening was like Christmas: unpacking some of the gifts they had brought from our other dear friends and family in Holland. Our house is a lot cozier now: we have lamps instead of light bulbs, almost-real tulips and candleholders (Ikea, please open up in Ethiopia). They brought clothes for Elin and Merlijn. Very welcome as Elin seems to be growing every minute, and eating about the same amount of food as Floris. Elin got many birthday presents, she is a happy 1-year old. We were also spoiled: tea, chocolate, cookies, hagelslag, chocopasta, kruidnootjes, vitamin pills, hand and feet creme, a magazine... We traveled south: Lake Langano, Yirga Alem and Arba Minch. We enjoyed nice food, lodges, swimming, relaxing, many St. Gorges beers, seeing Hyenas, deer, monkeys, huge crocodiles and hippo’s (we all sat very close together in the center of the boat), and for Floris and Ralf: driving off-road through lots of mud, bumps and water. Despite its old age, our Toyota Landcruiser 2H is not doing bad. I can list at least 15 things that are not functioning, but the engine and tires are strong. Lonneke took pictures, she will post them after their travels. Farewell On Wednesday, it was time to say goodbye to Ralf and Lonneke. They are now traveling north with our car; we are back at work; Elin and Merlijn are playing with all their new toys. We’re happy to be here, but it was strange and sad to see them go. Our next visitors are “Sinterklaas” and “Zwarte Piet” (Dutch celebration, like Santa Claus), they will be in Addis Abeba on December 7th. Merlijn is completely in the mood, he is watching the “Sinterklaasjournaal” and they put their shoes tonight for the first time.