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odin takes on ethiopia. or, adventures in responsible parenting

December 31st, 2008 · 5 Comments · Phil

traveling with a newborn (infant? toddler? whatever) requires some logistical adjustments to the routine. some we didn’t plan for but in retrospect were unsurprising (if you go sightseeing for an entire day without naps and quiet time, you will have to deal with a tiny nuclear bomb for an hour+ that night). some we did plan for but not all goes to plan (car seats potentially lose effectiveness if the car has no seat belts). this post is about the latter. more words and pictures within!

i’ve read that the number one killer of expats in africa is road accidents (by far). we take that seriously. no public transportation, motorcycles, night driving, etc. i planned our ethiopia itinerary so that we were on the road minimally. just transport to and from the airport. back in the day we definitely would have visited three or four places+ and gone to some more remote locations. but now we were happy with just a couple: addis ababa (a very walkable section of addis, at that), and lalibela (also very walkable). fewer destinations means less stressful travel on odin (and therefore us) and also a little more control over safety.

all’s well that ends well. none of the cars we traveled in had seat belts in back (let alone car seat anchors, but i wasn’t expecting those) and one had no seat belts anywhere. now obviously car seats are a good thing; paige might even say a public health success. but speeding through addis at 4:45am with nary a seat belt to be found…it’s a good time to remember that all our parents are here and most of us, too, without having them.

the unexpected bonus was that odin was STOKED to ride in the front seat. to wit:

odin rocks shotgun

odin rolls it shotgun style.

odin on the road

odin is oblivious to the hazards of the road.

odin likes the front seat


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  • 5 responses so far ↓

    • 1 paige // Dec 31, 2008 at 1:28 pm

      no backseat belts but no airbags either, which at least eliminated one of the major risks of front seat riding.

      i’m quickly learning that parenthood is an ongoing balance of risk vs living, especially in africa. as some old friends in uganda used to say, “safety third!”

    • 2 Claire // Dec 31, 2008 at 7:25 pm

      LOVE the new pics. Can’t believe Odin can stand on your hand, Phil! In terms of car seats, I’d probably have a heart attack, but what can you do? Good luck adjusting Odin back to the back seat now he’s been living the good life up front. ;)

    • 3 Chicken Mama // Jan 13, 2009 at 8:05 am

      He couldn’t be cuter - esp. the hoodie pic!


    • 4 Lisa // Feb 25, 2009 at 2:39 pm

      that baby looks sooo cute. wish it was mine

    • 5 Cheney // Feb 25, 2009 at 2:40 pm


      LOVE THE KID!!!

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