Producing an Oromo braille bible, Part 5

Third time was a charm for getting old used embossers to work! A Juliet Pro 60 embosser we got on eBay for about $400 turned out to be in fully working condition. What’s more, it can print double-sided (interpoint) braille on large sheets of tractor feed paper. With the wider format and using both sides, we were able to squeeze the entire Oromo Gospel of John into 73 pages – low enough to fit in one volume. We used 2.5 inch 19-hole comb bindings to put them together. Here is a picture of all ten copies ready to go.

It also helped a lot to use the Duxbury software for formatting. We were able to get some help paying for a legit license. It saved a lot of time to not mess around with my own hand-written scripts as much. Incidentally, about this same time I received official permission from the International Bible Society to print and distribute these.

I sent them to Ethiopia in the extra suitcase of my friend Josh Quaade, who helps run One Changed Life, a street child sponsorship organization in Addis Ababa. He delivered them to my friends Berhanu and Tafesse who took them to Sebeta a few days later. I just received pictures of their arrival.

They were happy with the result. The only feedback I got was that plastic covers would help them stand up a lot longer. I agree. I looked into nice plastic 11 x 11.5 19-hole punch covers earlier, but they were $1.50 a sheet. I didn’t feel like making the project $30 more expensive was a good idea at the time. I’m going to try to find a less expensive source for them in the future – likely punching them myself. They are a pretty oddball size so not readily available.

The plan is to print and ship one more batch of scriptures sometime before the end of the year. This time maybe 50 volumes or more. I’m waiting to hear back on what books of scripture would be the most helpful to distribute. Maybe just more of John, but perhaps Psalms or other NT books. In addition to the fellowship of Oromo speakers in Sebeta, some of these would likely go further west to Bako.