Doctors without Borders in Ethiopia: Among the Afar

By Nyla Jo Jones Hubbard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8. FURTHER INTO THE INFERNO: A GEOLOGICAL
LABORATORY

Though he knew we should see something more of Ethiopia, Vinod resisted going away for even a day. He was operating on auto-pilot and it took the coaxing of Sheik Ahmed to convince him to take one day off and to accompany us to the thermal springs and salt lakes of the far eastern section of the Afar Triangle. On the journey were my trainee Adais, our native nurse Hassan, our regular driver Ali, Sheik Ahmed, Maria, Vinod and myself. We started out early on the morning of August 10, rattling around in the back of a beat up Land Cruiser with Sheik Ahmed and the driver up front and the rest of us arranged on the two side benches in the back or, in the case of Adais, on the floor. Maria had understood that we would be going swimming, an idea I could hardly credit, but she had her bathing suit ready.

The drive took several hours and there was too much creaking noise for talking, but I was entertained by looking for birds and other wildlife. I was able to point out two kinds of antelope and some baboons that the others didn’t immediately see. (In this instance, the habit was a positive. It was not a positive at home when, driving a car, I often overshot my turn or took the wrong one because my attention was on a bird or some wildflower.) My persistence paid off on the road to the

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