Ethiopia Addis Ababa (1)

>> Okay. My name is Burkanesh. I went to Korea with the Third Battalion of Ethiopia to Korea to help the wounded soldiers and general soldiers. It's not only for Ethiopians but for the whole United Nation, wounded soldiers, and then I stayed in Korea only in Korea about 5 months, and then I went to Tokyo because there were big hospital there for wounded soldiers for 1 year informant, and it was [INAUDIBLE] so we were from many country as I told you before, from America, from England, from Belgium, from Greek and from everywhere, and we used to work together in team, and whenever it was needed, whenever it's needed, they call us from everywhere. There were two hospitals, main hospital and annex hospital. When they need our help, they're calling us. They page us, and they send this motor pool car and went wherever we are needed, and it was so. >> How many Ethiopian nurses went to Korea? >> We were only two, Sister Esther Ayana and me. >> Hmm. Did you volunteer to go? >> Yes, we were volunteers. >> Why did you volunteer? >> We just want to help the soldiers, and at that time, world is so strange for everybody, and we were eager to see the world. >> Because at that time, there were not many women nurses. >> No, we were only nine who were graduating from Red Cross. We were only nine, and they asked us, "Who is volunteer?" Everybody raised the hand and Sister Studer, she chose only two of us. >> Wow, so they didn't take all volunteers. They chose you. >> Yeah. >> Why did they choose you? >> "Who wants to go to Korea?" they said. >> Yeah. >> We raised out. >> But they chose you. >> Yeah. >> Because you had high marks? >> I don't know really. >> Whoa. >> In fact, I was the second from school. Anyway, I don't know why, how she chose us. >> When you went to Korea, did you see Koreans? >> Yes. >> You did? >> Yeah. >> You treated ... >> I've seen Koreans, and I have seen Korea, I mean Pusan, Seoul, and it was terrible really to see. It was very sad. Many nice buildings were falling down during the war. The war just destroyed the country, and what I never forget is, there was one Korean man. Everything is plain, nothing, no house, nothing. It was in Pusan, and he put two things, these wooden for his shelter. He was sitting there, and he was sewing shoes. I never forget it. >> Yeah. >> It's ... >> They were very poor. >> Yeah, yeah. >> But now it's different. >> I know. I know now it's very different. I heard so, and my husband has been twice in Korea. Once? >> Once. >> Once, once, he was in Korea. >> When? I guess 3 or 4 years ago. >> Oh, very different, tall buildings. >> Yeah. >> Yes. >> He said it is different, completely different. >> You didn't go though? >> No, after that, I didn't go. They invited me to go, and unfortunately, he was sick. I couldn't leave him alone here. >> Well, you can still go. You can still go. >> Yeah. >> Yeah. >> Can you explain to us about the medals? >> This is a medal, what I have got. This is from United Nation. >> Mm-hmm, show on the camera. Show here. >> Most of it from United Nation, and this is from my government, and this is from my government, and this is from my government. >> You're wearing it. >> Yeah. >> You're wearing it. >> And this is from Korea. >> Yes, so you must have the most medals among any Ethiopian woman, huh? >> Yes. >> Yes. >> Yes, I guess so. >> Yeah, I think so. I think so. You must be very proud. Wasn't it very difficult because you were a woman and it's war and there's ... >> And this is from Swiss, from International Red Cross. >> Red Cross, mm-hmm, but wasn't it very difficult, being in a foreign country. Everybody, most people ... >> We were young, and so we were young at that time. We don't care, and we are not afraid. We're just going wherever the soldiers are, and there was temporary cleaning for the wounded soldiers, and it was ... We did our best anyway. Daytime, it's peaceful, nothing, but in the evening, starting from 6, they started fighting. >> Really? >> When we were asleep, yeah. >> Really? I didn't know they fought at night. >> They fought [INAUDIBLE]. They [INAUDIBLE]. >> Oh, I never knew that. >> Yeah. >> I would think that they would fight in the day. >> No, not the day. >> Wow. >> It is in the ... You see, it is in the evening, usually, starting from 6 or 5. They start at that time. They fight. >> Do you remember maybe one specific patient? >> A patient? >> Mm-hmm, do you remember any patient? >> Oh, Ethiopian, when I was in Korea, we were taking care only of the Ethiopian soldiers. >> Mm. >> Yeah. >> There were 122 that died and more than 500 that were wounded. >> Yeah. >> Yes. >> You mean our soldiers? >> Mm-hmm, Ethiopia, yes. >> Yeah, yeah, but only they die, about 110 or 105. >> A hundred twenty-two, 122. >> Yeah. >> Yes, but they were one of the best soldiers. They never gave up. >> No, they never gave up. >> Yes. >> They never, never. They never [INAUDIBLE] never take our soldiers, never. >> So tell us a little bit about how you met the general after the war. >> Well ... >> Everybody loves a love story, yeah. >> I met him in Ethiopia. >> Mm-hmm. >> His sister was a nursing school student. >> Mm-hmm. >> And she was a friend of mine. That's how we met. >> Hmm, and you both knew that you went to Korea? >> Yes. >> Hmm, that's why you ... >> When ... >> ... maybe connected? >> He, you see, when I was 4 years, he went to Korea in the first Battalion, and then I don't know how long they stayed, and he came back, and when I was [INAUDIBLE] for my school, and he was the one instructing and telling us how to prevent yourself by shooting this and that. >> Self-protection in case something happened. >> And he was the one who was giving us training. >> Mm-hmm. >> Just training, huh? >> So how old were you when you went to Korea? >> How what? >> How old? >> Mid 20. >> Twenty. >> When I was 21, I married. >> Hmm. >> Yeah. >> Hmm. >> We were very young when we go to nursing school, very young, and we were the first nurses in Ethiopia. >> Oh. >> Yeah, the first. There was no one else in Ethiopia at that time. >> Oh. >> And, of course, there was princess. She was a nurse. She was a princess, and she took her training in England. She was the first one, and we were. >> Wow, that's amazing. >> Yeah. >> So now there are many nurses, and so you are like the godmother, yeah, of Ethiopian nurses. Wow that is wonderful. What an honor to meet you, and I hope that you would also be able to go to Korea to see that your contributions and sacrifices made Korea what it is today. >> Thank you. >> Thank you. Thank you so much for your service, yeah.