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January 15, 2008

Leaving Nothing Till the Last Minute

Fortunately, all we had to do on Monday was get our equipment from the foreign goods office of the University, tie a few things up at the Geophysical Observatory, check out of the hotel, withdraw some money and hop online one last time at the Hilton, run a few last errands, and get back to the hotels to load up the cars. Needless to say, we didn’t get on the road until about 4 PM, which was our latest-possible-get-out-of-town-cut-off. And, on the way out of town, we stopped at a machine shop to pick up some metal pins for the GSP markers.

Still, we made it out. That in and of itself was a great feat.

Our convoy included the GPS group (Tim and me), the petrology group (David, Talfan, Lorraine, John, and Charlotte, all from the UK, as previously introduced, plus Addis Ababa University professor Dr. Gezehegn and his recently graduated student Mohammed (oh, and that’s just the START of the Mohammeds) and his current student Yaasin), and camp staff (Meron, our cook, and Dani, camp manager). And, of course, one driver per car. Four cars (Toyota Land Cruisers) total. I was in a car with Meron, Dani, and Lorraine, with Eyaya driving. Eyaya is the best.

We drove for all of a couple hours and stopped for the night in the bustling town of Nazaret. And I’m not being sarcastic this time about the descriptor ‘bustling’—this town was way larger than I’d expected, with big concrete hotels and everything. Since I’m not taking any malaria meds—I think I’m the only foreigner making this choice—I lathered on the bug juice and diligently used the mosquito net over my bed. It may seem dumb to not take malaria meds, but here’s my reasoning: There is essentially no risk in Addis and none at our destination in Afar, so we’re taking meds for the one-to-two nights on the road on the way up and on the way back that we’re in malaria territory. Why pump chemicals into my body for nothing?

Posted by beth at January 15, 2008 9:00 PM

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