Listen: Thoughts from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

by on July 29, 2014

In which John discusses his visit to the Yekatit 12 hospital's NICU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the extraordinary neonatologist there, Dr. Mulualem Gessesse, who has saved the lives of thousands of children.

Kangaroo Mother Care is made possible at Yekatit 12 in part by Save the Children: http://savethechildren.org

The Gates Foundation, which does so much important work around the world including Ethiopia: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Winta Assefa July 31, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Hi Mr. Green! I am FROM Ethiopia so I am so frustrated that you have been there BEFORE I got the chance to see my home country myself! Even Bill Gates came! Gahhh! I have been living abroad my whole life and I am very excited to see my home country. The long civil war (you must have heard if it) turned my parents into refugees. The war had let out and twenty plus years later, the future of Ethiopia seems brighter than ever. We cannot wait to see my country. Thank you for not painting Ethiopia as a pity party sort of nation like many do; I am aware of the (many!) monstrous issues left that we are yet to face (and I am willing to do what I can to combat once I am there) but it is always good to be reminded that things are changing to the better. Thank you for telling us Ethiopians outside about people making a difference. Not the depressing factual reports of how poor we still are. I am also glad you said that this is the best trip of you lifetime. Or something in that line. It just makes me more excited to go there and finish my final high school year there. Needless to mention, your TFIOS book is amazing… Amazing! Oh and those quotes you write, the jokes you come up with-it is a strong reminder of how I have to step up my game as an aspiring author. I know, I know, you must have come across a million aspiring writers in you life. If you get to read this loong comment, I want to ask: can I mention you and a comment about your book on my book (a memoir) ? Thank you for reading this. By the way I am very jealous from the Ethiopian nerd fighter that met you in Addis Ababa. Bye and have a great day!

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Hanna Bekele August 3, 2014 at 7:37 am

I’m from Ethiopia too, Winta! I agree with what you wrote; it’s awesome to see people focus on the good and not the bad. Sure, our country has some things it needs to work on, but doesn’t every country? Ethiopia is beautiful and it has such a rich history dating back to 10000 years during the time of the Pharaohs in ancient Egypt.

Dr. Mulualem Gessesse sounds like an amazing woman who’s making a difference, so thanks for sharing her story, John! :)

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Irenadawn August 2, 2014 at 4:15 am

Hey Greene Brothers -

I really enjoy your entertaining and educational Vlogs and I feel you do wonderful things to help educate kids and broaden their imaginations and analytical thinking skills. Kids think very fast and loved to be entertained when learning until something fascinates them so uniquely they can become totally absorbed. As a teacher I learned it is not so much the big money thrown into education for BIG TECHNOLOGY that is needed . That stuff needs to go and they need to go back Old School and come up with their own ideas and inventions now. They learn quick on a trial and error and action basis , not a specified formula. They get lucky and memories it as kids always have until they reach the involved analytical stage. So give them complex problem early with feeling, complications, physical issues, fate and circumstances that can’t be controlled unless you find a way . You guys encourage this type of thinking. Why do people not understand they just need to help teacher feel confident and like ” ROCKSTARS ” everyday to teach . They need that respect and pay too. They do not need all of the latest STUFF. The schools just need more teachers for each kid and more attention. More counselors, less guys to stand around and talk and drink coffee and handle discipline problems they would not have if the teachers could be what they need to be. Remember WELCOME BACK KOTTER? Delinquents in night school who passed because they were treated with equal understanding and respect. You see this, I see this. We need this NOW. I DO NOT WANT TO GIVE UP!!! I love our kids and I have hope I can’t let go.. Sincerely, in Mississippi

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