Hard at Work in Ethiopia
This week was a whirlwind end to our time in Ethiopia. We had no time to be sad that we were leaving as we had five site visits and a trip to the College of Business and Economics all packed in to three short days.
The week began with a visit to the Addis Ababa University, College of Business and Economics, to meet with Dr. Mohammed Seid, the Chairman of the Department of Management. We learned about the programming and partnerships the school has developed with various international universities and local industry. We are very excited to follow up with Dr. Seid and the OneHealth partners to start a formal relationship with the business school for future phases of our project. As we were enjoying a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony with the chairman, he was explaining that every married couple would have a traditional coffee table in their home that they would use to serve guests. During this discussion, he was shocked to found out I am not married and as we were all saying goodbye he turned to me and said “please marry.”
Unfortunately, our previous vehicle and driver were unavailable, so Bayou borrowed a pickup truck that would accommodate all seven of us. To arrange a site visit, Bayou must prepare an official letter detailing our intentions. Next, we go to the site and the team waits in the vehicle while Bayou delivers the letter. He then works to schedule the visit, ideally for sometime the next day. Our team really appreciates all the hard work Bayou put into following up with various companies, fitting them into our schedule, and acting as our driver this week. (Thank you Bayou!)
This week, we were able to visit the National Alcohol and Liquor Factory and observe their entire process. The woman who gave us the tour offered us a freshly produced bottle of local Ouzo. We were grateful for the gesture, but politely declined. We also visited a plastic manufacturer; however, the power was out when we visited so we enjoyed a tour but did not observe the process in action. Our final site visit was to a tannery that exports leather hides around the world. We observed their sheep hide process, which is most commonly used for golf gloves and dress gloves. This visit allowed us to witness OneHealth firsthand, as a tannery is the epitome of where animal health, human health, and environmental health collide.
Throughout our time in Gondar and Addis, we learned a lot about how business is conducted in Ethiopia, how various manufacturing, healthcare, and pharmaceutical companies operate, and completed our environmental health and safety survey at fifteen locations. We would like to thank the University of Gondar, Addis Ababa University, and our OneHealth partners for this incredible opportunity and experience!