Tag Archives: CUSO

Celebrating International Volunteers Day

December 5th was International Volunteer Day, which I hold rather dear to my heart. When many, many, many of us do little things to make the world a better place, change happens. To celebrate the day, I wrote a piece … Continue reading

My podcast about Swaziland and Ethiopia

Following is a link to a podcast I did with Michael McCarthy, a writer and radio personality who lives in Vancouver. I met Michael on a trip to Louisiana and was really impressed with his travels and his efforts to … Continue reading

Sharing stories with volunteers and staff in Ottawa.

Back at CUSO’s Canadian Headquarters

In late January, as winter winds howled and skaters cut figure eights on the frozen canal, CUSO Communications Brigade members gathered in Ottawa to share stories and experiences. Photographer Ethan Baron flew in from Addis Ababa days earlier and barely … Continue reading

Mahlet (L) and Tamrat (R), two VSO "miracle workers."

Last Day in Addis

My work on the ground in Ethiopia wraps up today and I’m already missing many aspects of this country that I’ve come to know in the past two months. Here are just a few samples: • Waking up to the … Continue reading

Our tireless driver Tamrat gave us wonderful insight into Ethiopian culture.

Driving Back to Addis

The final day of our trip was spent driving the six hours back to Addis. Goats, sheep and donkeys shared the road. Streams of people clad in white traditional garb headed to church. Others carrying bundles of firewood on their … Continue reading

Getting Debre Markos Girls Wired

The last volunteers we visited were Daniel Shane and Nina James at Debre Markos University. Daniel, a 37-year-old IT specialist had just wired a computer lab in the girl’s dorm and proudly showed us the room where 20 young women … Continue reading

Maureen and Dr. Ed Haworth: Enjoying the sunset at the mouth of the Blue Nile.

A Break From the Hospital in Bahir Dar

After Gondor, we proceeded to Bahir Dar, a warm and balmy city on Lake Tana. Two health volunteers were stationed there, Ed Haworth, a 30-year-old pediatrician originally from Cheshire, England, and Ruth Lawley, a 56-year-old obstetrician and gynecologist from Britain’s … Continue reading


Palaces and Children in Gondor

Debre Tabor was next on our itinerary. Angela Williams, a British education volunteer with VSO, took us on an excursion through the local market where I did a lot of smiling and pointing at vegetables and laughing with the local … Continue reading

Maureen and Dr. Sarah Philip at the sparkling new hospital in Mekelle.

Saving Lives In Mekelle

After Maychew, we went to Mekelle and met VSO volunteers Dr. Sarah Philip, a 32-year-old obstetrician and gynecologist from Yorkshire, England, and Dr. Tsitsi Chawatama, a 33-year-old pediatrician also from the UK. Sarah met us at the front door of … Continue reading

Maychew Mike

More driving….got to Maychew (My-Chow), a small town, around 5 pm. Checked into a large white hotel, about 4 stories high. Brand new. Two desk clerks that looked around 15 checked us in, with much scrutiny of our VSO identification … Continue reading