Here are a few snapshots of my life in Gimbie. A foreigner toting around a camera creates quite the spectacle in town, but I wanted to try and capture a bit of my day-to-day experience: the people and places I saw on my daily walk through town, the types of clinics I visited for my research project, and the verdant countryside that nestles Gimbie between steep hills and valleys. I think that sometimes developing countries, especially poor African countries like Ethiopia, are portrayed in the popular media as miserable and unwelcoming places; my hope is that photos and stories like these can counter those stereotypes and show that, despite the challenges of poverty, Ethiopia is a beautiful and engaging place with lots of potential for development.
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The entrance to Gimbie Adventist Hospital.
The main street in Gimbie.
A woman selling her wares—in this case, the hot red peppers commonly used to season food—on market day in Gimbie.
Outside GAH’s outer clinic in Nekemte, a city that’s about a 1.5-hour drive east of Gimbie. The white shawls are typical of Ethiopian Orthodox women, who wear them when they go to worship.
A view from the hospital compound. The west is home to some of the most fertile land in Ethiopia; coffee is the biggest commercial crop, but subsistence farmers grow a variety of foods including corn, beans, and tef (the grain used to make injera, the spongy pancake-like staple of the Ethiopian diet).
One of GAH’s outer clinics.
A government health center in Nejo, about two hours from Gimbie. Maternal and child health services, as well as family planning, are free at these centers.
A government health post, the most rudimentary primary health care center in the Ethiopian system.
The countryside is beautiful, but the families who live out here have much poorer access to health care and often cannot reach the main road if they’re ill or afford transport to a health center.