By Armando Hoet
Associate Professor and Director of Ohio State’s Veterinary Public Health Program
After a 36 hours total time of traveling, I am safe and sound in Gondar. This is a small town in the northwest corner of Ethiopia. It is in the mountains, 2,133 meters above sea level (almost 7,000 feet), a location that produces beautiful views of the city and surrounding areas as you travel through town.
How do you move around? Well, the majority of the people walk from point A to point B. Those that have some income, can pay 2 to 3 Birr (the Ethiopian currency) for public transportation (basically small minivans similar to those in the 1960’s modified for public transportation), which is around 10 cents.
If you are ready to throw your money around, you can take a taxi for 80 Birr ($4).
I tried to use the public transportation to go downtown, but every van was full with people and animals (mainly goats tied and place carefully under the seats), which more likely were the dinner for tonight.
You can conveniently buy your goat next to the bus stop for dinner to go, so you can process them as soon as you get home. Fresher and more organic is impossible!
So, I got my taxi, and I went to the main square to have a short (touristic) walk after lunch. I will share those pictures down the road. Then, I got another taxi to go back to the hotel.
I will have 25 to 30 faculty tomorrow to teach about International Trade and Public Health, which is just a fancy name for Introduction to Risk Analysis, so I need to get ready. Let’s see how the week progresses.
From Gondar (Ethiopa), The Camelot of Africa.