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Ethiopia

In late 1967 I was sent to Ethiopia to start a gravity measurement program there. Ove the course of six months the crew and I covered a great deal of the southern half of the country.

A couple of memorable trips were following the narrow-gauge railroad from Djibouti to Addis Ababa, and traveling west to near the Sudanese border at Asosa, then up to the Blue Nile.

Part of the time on the western leg we worked along side and with a level crew.

I only have a few photos remaining from my time there. The picture with the striped shirt is very grainy, and was the result of the first time I ever tried to develop color slides. This was done in the bath tub of the Haile Selassie I hotel in Addis Alem. Very poor temperature control!

Another slide developed in a similar way is the cheetah. That was taken in the Nairobi National Park, on a short R&R trip that we happened to catch by being in Addis Ababa at the right moment. I celebrated my 21st birthday, Jan 20, 1968, at the bar of the New Stanley hotel in Nairobi.

The other picture of me was taken at the Blue Nile, which was the end of the road for us. We went back to Addis Ababa, and I flew back to Iran.

I have said elsewhere that I remember few names, but the guy attaching a cable to the pickup is Bill Birkinshaw, a Stanford grad who had been drafted, and the shirtless guy I think is Jay Kemp. Bill went to work for the Port of Oakland, and I saw him a couple of times in the early 70s but lost track.

The Ford F250 was brand new when I checked it out of the motor pool. You can see what it looked like a couple of months later. We had driven it and our 3/4 ton through 30-foot bamboo to escape a wildfire, smashed it into a tree which made us have to change out the radiator, and at one point rammed it from behind to get it out of a river with steep banks that had no trees or anything else we could winch out with. Once it was out, we used the 3/4-ton winch to pull itself out with the pickup as an anchor. The plane landing on the grass strip I think is the one bringing us the radiator. We had help changing it out from a well-equipped missionary in Asosa.

The motor pool sergeant said "You are going to pay for this!" to which I answered that "No I'm not, I'm out of here tomorrow." I never heard anything more about it.
Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia
Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia
Ethiopia Ethiopia Ethiopia
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