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Up Sheep Street

“I’m cold and wet – am I really in Africa?” That’s what I was thinking ten days ago, a week after I arrived in Addis Ababa (my bags skipped out at Cairo and took a few days in the sun before following me to Ethiopia). The reason it’s cold is because it’s winter – in fact it’s Ethiopian New Year in five days time – and also something to do with being 2400+ metres above sea level – and it’s the second and longest rainy season. I’m here to work with the Save the Children UK country team as a major food shortage threatens and an epidemic caused by the lack of clean water in many parts of the country puts the lives of people, especially children, at risk. I’ll post more here about the people who we are helping here and about my job in the weeks to come, this is just an opener, with plenty more to come.

I live in a colleague’s house who is out of the country right now, a simple but comfortable bungalow just off Sheep Street. No doubt at all where it got its name, the roads around are full of woolly four-legged lawn mowers, mostly waiting, unknowingly, to meet a sticky end. Still, since I live in West Cumbria I feel right at home! This is my first assignment with SC UK – wait, that’s actually not true, I was with them in 1985-86 in Darfur, Sudan, so this is actually my second assignment in 23 years – so, I took a break! As part of the London-based emergency response team I can be sent anywhere to respond to disaster or emergency, and here in Ethiopia I will spend 2 or 3 months involved in what we call scaling up the response to meet the needs of children and their families in some of the remotest parts of this vast country as the expected emergency unfolds.

I’ll do my best to keep blogging as my work continues here …. Rae

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