Blogs from Ethiopia, Africa - page 2


Africa » Ethiopia » Addis Ababa Region » Addis Ababa February 18th 2014

In the summer of 2012, I took Ethiopian Airlines to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and on to Johannesburg, South Africa, roundtrip. The flight from Washington Dulles is non stop to Addis (then on to Jo-burg). But the return flight from Addis is scheduled to stop in Rome, for refueling, and to let passengers off, if any. We refueled on the tarmac, never let anyone off, and proceeded to Washington Dulles after about 30 minutes on the ground. The reason for the extra stop on the way back is simply the thin air in Addis, forcing the plane to carry less fuel for the takeoff than its nonstop that leaves Dulles. This is the same plane and flight that was hijacked yesterday. Read this: Rome-bound passenger jet was "forced to proceed" to Geneva early Monday when its co-pilot ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Afar Region » Danakil Depression February 6th 2014

10 November, 2012 Seven of us have thrown sleeping bags and day packs into the back of a minivan and are heading off to Mekele for the night. Tomorrow after breakfast, we'll be leaving for the Danakil Depression, the northern part of the Afar Triangle near the Eritrea border. The highlight of the four day trip will be to stand on the edge of a lava lake on the active ErtaAle volcano. To say we're excited is an understatement. To heap praise on Toni who wanted to go there and introduced the idea while most of us didn't know it existed/ was possible is necessary. It takes us about six hours to reach Mekele and the company we're using, G.K. Adahu have thankfully organized rooms for our arrival. We gave them a budget per person and ... read more
A camel train!
Once again, I do not want to be a donkey in my next life...

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Lalibela February 5th 2014

9 November We've arrived in Lalibela where rooms cost almost the same as camping so we're in rooms. YES! And it's been raining so it's lovely to be able to walk under cover and step into the room dry. Ah, the little things. We had the rest of the day to ourselves and I wandered a little way down the street but spent the time lying on my bed listening to the rain or in the restaurant area of our hotel, planning our next mini-trip. The next day was a long one, spent exploring the main attractions. The monolithic churches were incredible and our guide was enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable but we were a large group with varying degrees of interest and even for those who were, it was information overload. It would've been nice to ... read more
Bet Medhane Alem
Locals cleaning the moss from the walls surrounding Bet Medhane Alem
Tombs that are now used by the living as accommodation

Africa » Ethiopia » Tigray Region February 5th 2014

If I were a songwriter I would write a song about “Everyone Needs a Little Tenderness.” I am sure there are songs about that but this would be reserved for those most in need. I would dedicate it to the Eritrean Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URMs) living in Ethiopia. To the lovely children I just visited, shook hands with, hugged, sat in their one room mud “homes” on the beds of clay and stone, listened to their stories and who stole my heart. To say they need extra tenderness is an understatement. These are children just like ours; they like to look cute, they enjoy playing, they want to catch the eye of the opposite sex. However, on a deeper level they are children who have broken hearts. Their fathers and older siblings were taken away by ... read more
So many children
Sleeping area
Girl's bedroom

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Bahir Dar February 4th 2014

6 November, 2012 We arrived in Bahia Dar, met the truck and made for a campsite on the edge of Lake Tana. Over the next couple days, we made the most of the wifi, the bar with a large selection of drinks, the television and the rooms that some decided were worth the upgrade from the tents. The truck was parked in a large open space where we could set up the kitchen and chairs and it was a walkable distance into town. A café across the road served great coffee (so I'm told!) and Ethiopian dishes but Kevin and I found a pizzeria on the second floor of a building in town and settled on that instead. Nico and Alexis also had the same idea. I think the last time I'd had pizza was in ... read more
Ura Kidane Meret monastery
Best doorbell ever!
Art work, Lake Tana monasteries


Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar February 3rd 2014

3 November, 2012 Seven of us have decided to head east to Harar, flying from Addis to Dire Dawa and then taking a taxi to the bus stop where we got on a minibus for the final leg. We'll catch up with the truck in a few days. It was during the bus journey that the local men on board introduced us to chat; a flowering plant whose leaves are chewed to obtain a mild stimulant effect. They offered us each a couple leaves but for someone like me who has never smoked or taken drugs, I really wasn't interested in chewing some leaves. I did try it but the bitterness was off-putting, as was the hard, leaf-like texture (funny that) and I soon spat them out. A few chewed them for longer but a much ... read more
Hyena Man and his loyal followers!
I never thought I'd be this close to a hyena
Old City marketplace

Africa » Ethiopia » Addis Ababa Region » Addis Ababa February 1st 2014

29 October, 2012 We in stopped in Shashamane, home to the Rastafari movement, for an afternoon en route to the capital. The population of the town is approximately 100,000 of which nowadays only 200-300 still call themselves Rastafarians, though numbers were as high as 2,000. The truck was parked at a café and we went out to the road to hail tuk tuks to drive us out to the area. I wasn't sure what I had been expecting and wouldn't be a fan of reggae and things I guess I consider to associate with them and although we were invited into a gated community, brightly painted in the red, yellow and green, no one was really able to explain anything to us. I wandered through the rooms with Bob Marley painted on the walls and articles ... read more
Banana Art Gallery
Banana Art Gallery

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Jinka January 26th 2014

Ethiopia is going to be difficult to write about. We spent the best part of a month there and I was lucky enough to see a lot of the major sites. I should've written this sooner! October 23 After a couple stops en route to the tribes, we arrived at a lovely campsite alongside a dry riverbed. We set up tents under the shade of the trees and then it was back onto the truck for the drive to the village in the late afternoon. Three young boys stood staring at us as we pulled up and our fixer greeted Suse and took the group into the village. Everyone from the village as well as nearby villages were gathered together in a shaded area and a lot of them gave us nothing more than a glance. ... read more
Hamer village
Kevin sharing his photos
Also sharing my photos

Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar January 23rd 2014

It is with a heavy heart that I begin this blog. I am sitting in Gondar airport waiting for my flight to Addis. After 3 months here, my time here in Gondar is up and now I am off travelling for 10 days before starting my next job in Nairobi. I know that I have moaned a fair amount in this blog but I will really miss this place. My colleagues have been a pleasure to work with. They have looked after me so well and I had a lot of fun at work. The daily problems that they face here make me rethink the things I complain about at home. I am grateful to have been born in such a stable and affluent country with all the opportunities that I have had, never left wanting ... read more
Simien mountains
Simien mountains
Simien mountains

Africa » Ethiopia January 16th 2014

I am standing at a fork in the road and I am about to go down the rough side. I know once I take that step forward there is no turning back. It is a step that leads into the unknown and uncomfortable yet I must take it. The reason I must take it is because I hear my name being called to go that avenue. There are desperate, refugee children alone in a desert calling to God in whatever form they know. They are calling for help. The God of all creation hears there cries and He decided for some reason to call me to be one member of a team that goes to comfort these children. Tomorrow, Friday, January 17, I start my journey to a part of Ethiopia where it is dry and ... read more

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