Martin's Ethiopian VSO Diary
and Photos
I created this web site for my friends to read about my experiences as a VSO volunteer in Ethiopia. If you have found this page by accident or searching, then I hope that you find it interesting. If you would like to use any of the images then please ask me first because I did not take all of the photos. You can contact me at

You can find links to the diary entries and the photos in the navigation bar in the left frame. Although the diary entries have photos connected with them, you will find that the photo section contains many more photos.

If you're not sure what a VSO volunteer is then please check VSO's website for a complete description. If you just want a quick definition, then a volunteer is normally a well qualified individual who volunteers to work in a developing country for two years. The volunteer will live like a local and will be paid a local salary. Actually, because of VSO's country wide salary policy, my salary was about a third of a local person doing the work for which I was recruited.

My personal placement was in a town called Mekelle in the northern region of Ethiopia called Tigray. I was assigned to a technical institute called Mekelle Institute of Technology (MIT) as a computer science lecturer for degree level students. I arrived in Ethiopia in February, 2003 and left in March, 2005. The diary entries present the ups, downs, and some of the things I found interesting. I have not made all of the information available on the web; friends can request the complete versions.

In the background you can see coffee drying. Coffee is an important export for Ethiopia (it is named after the Kaffe region). Green, yellow, and red are the national colours.

Martin Jones (, 18th March 2005