In June of this year Dr. Richard Usatine and eight students from the School of Medicine departed for a four-week medical service experience in Ethiopia. Lester Rosebrock, a photographer and videographer who works with IMS- Academic Technology Services, accompanied the group on a trip that took them through Washington D.C. on the way to Addis Ababa, and then on to the village of Aleta Wondo, Ethiopia. Two Cups of Coffee, a series of fifteen photos currently on display in the Briscoe Library Information Commons, documents their time in Africa. The exhibit has been planned to coincide with the UT Health Science Center’s International Education Week activities.
In recent years, the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics has provided 204 students with opportunities to experience medical service abroad. In addition to Ethiopia, students and faculty have traveled to Guatemala, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and India. Students engaged in global health work participate in medical rotations and help communities do planning to address common and preventable conditions. They bring back information that can be incorporated into research projects, gain leadership experience, and provide compassionate care.
“My approach to photography is photojournalistic,” Rosebrock says of his exhibit. “It’s exciting to visit a country for the first time and explore it with a camera. When we drove from the airport to the hotel, I was amazed to see so many people just standing around, and shocked to see people sleeping on the ground wherever they could find a little shade. People in the city, seeing that I was white and probably having money, tried to sell me anything and everything. They were so persistent that I wound up staying in my hotel room. But once we traveled to Aleta Wondo, people became very friendly. Everybody loved to have their photo taken and laughed when they saw their image on the back of the camera.”
In addition to Dr. Usatine and Lester Rosebrock, the team that traveled to Ethiopia included Elena Bery, Julia Boster, Eric Brown, Adam Dunstone, Nicholas Harrell, Amanda Lipsitt, David Meyer, and Lauren Scalercio.
Lester hopes his photos will inspire others to learn about global health opportunities, and possibly to undertake a global health journey of their own. The exhibit will be on display in the Briscoe Library Information Commons through the end of the year.
Special Projects Librarian