Blogs from Southern Nations Region, Ethiopia, Africa - page 3


Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Arba Minch December 2nd 2010

After breakfast we were heading to Awassa, leaving this beautiful city, Arba Minch behind. On the bumpy road again with Sami, Wondy, Miki, Susi and me, through banana plantation, mountains, Rift Valley, stream, villages, savannah, daylight, sunset, starshine. One of the DOT members, Engda lives in Sashamene, 17km from our destination, we called him to book a hotel for us in his hometown, as it turned out that every accomodation was fully booked in Awassa as it was celebrating it's 50th birthday . As soon as we arrived the car broke down in front of the hotel. It was a miracle anyways that this old Toyota Corolla survived the dusty, surfaced roads, crossing the stream and other extreme circumstances. After some hours of preparing the car, fixing the cables, waiting and freezing (in Shasamene it's only ... read more
banana fields forever

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Arba Minch November 30th 2010

Ready for the adventures we woke up and had breakfast at Tourist Restaurant, where we met our collegue, Sarah. She is from Arba Minch, so knew everything and everyone, thus we let her organize a boat trip to Lake Chamo. We had to drive 20minutes on road and 15 off road through a cotton field -that I haven't seen before so I was really surprised to find it here- to get to the "port", where some 3 motorboats were lying, there was one guy sleeping in a tent, others were cutting the trees with matchetes -at first I was not convinced about our safety, but at the end we ended up playing and posing with the weapons :) And than the boat peaceful and relaxing rolling on this giant lake while the sun strokes our ... read more
happy hippo

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Arba Minch November 28th 2010

While seeking for breakfast on the roads of Arba Minch a youngster fell behind us. Typical question: where are you from, and I was ready for the typical reaction: silence (I haven't told my worst and on the other hand funniest story yet, happened in front of the Sheraton Hotel, a young beggar kid was following us and kept on asking where we were from, etc. I said I'm from Hungary and he started to laugh and said "ha ha, funny girl". This was the point where I lost my patience. I told him again that I'm Hungarian, then he was laughing even louder...pffff...I started to speak in Hungarian...he was: "good joke, funny girl"...I got even more furious, I pointed at the back cover of Lonely Planet and showed my country on this tiny world map, ... read more
Rift Valley from Arba Minch
Rift Valley
DOT way of having fun (Miki, Samy, Wondy, Susi, Zsuzsi)

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Arba Minch November 26th 2010

7am: waking up, coffee, shower, tea, breakfast 9am: planned time to leave (we just have finished breakfast) 9:13 am: SMS from the workmates who have the car that they are on their way 10:30am: actual departure time 10:40am: stop at the supermarket to buy some food for the trip It is always nice to leave Addis for a while. The pollution of the air is so awful in the city that I could hear my lungs opening a bottle of campaign and hiphiphurraying in my body that they can breath fresh air again :) And of course the view...descending from 2500meters to 1600, from the dusty, crowded capital to a hilly, remote landscape...pure beauty. So we immediately said YES to the invitations of our workmates who have to work in Arba Minch (Forty Springs) for a ... read more
Sunset 2.0

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Jinka July 29th 2010

Even though the first half of my journey to the Omo Valley introduced me to vastly different cultures, the second half would see me meet some truly extraordinary tribes. The next destination was a village called Kolcho inhabited by the Karo tribe who are renowned for their body painting. Our vehicle encountered the roughest dirt road conditions so far, and we occasionally needed to navigate around huge holes and carefully negotiate near vertical drops into dry river beds – Tsegaye’s driving was superb. After much jarring of bones, we arrived at Kolcho nestled near to a stunning lookout with a magnificent panorama over the Omo River. This was one village worthy of an entrance fee, for not only were the views impressive, but so too was the village. Covering a large area with a multitude of ... read more
Mursi warriors - Mago National Park, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Mursi woman with large lip plate - Mago National Park, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Karo warrior - Kolcho, Omo Valley, Ethiopia

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Turmi July 26th 2010

There was much that lay waiting for me in the Omo Valley – a place where tribal people scar and paint their bodies and pierce them with all manner of objects, where women are publicly whipped to demonstrate their loyalty, and where men run naked across bulls to prove their manhood. As we continued along the dirt roads the anticipation of meeting the first tribe grew. This tribe was the Arbore, which in hindsight was a poor starting point for they were the second most aggressive tribe in persuading you to photograph them by utilising such techniques as grabbing your arm or camera and verbally badgering you for a picture; this whirlwind of attention was almost overwhelming. The reason tribal people pursue photography with such passion throughout the Valley was their payment demands for any photograph ... read more
The Omo River at Omorate, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Happy Hamer Children - Turmi, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Market in Dimeka, Omo Valley, Ethiopia

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Dorze July 22nd 2010

The purpose was simple, but the execution was difficult. The aim of visiting the tribes of Omo Valley tribes in south-western Ethiopia was an arduous experience that proved to be the most challenging of all my travels. The Omo Valley is renowned for the large diversity of tribes within a small area, tribes whose practices have not changed for millennia. Its remoteness and rugged conditions makes travelling there a true adventure, but for those who are willing to forgo basic comforts, it promises an experience matched by few other places. My flight from Dubai on Ethiopian Airlines set the tone for this journey. In Ethiopia (as with many other places in the world) one is not supposed to place used toilet paper in the bowl, so the flight almost entirely composed of Ethiopian women returning to ... read more
The chicken-holding girl who followed me around - Dorze, Ethiopia
Community totem - Konso, Ethiopia
Laughing Konso girl, Ethiopia

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Turmi June 19th 2010

What an exciting week! The Lower Omo Valley, famous for its exotic tribes and outstanding scenery is a very difficult area to travel in without your own transport unless you are happy to just see the tribes on the main bus route or pay extortionate prices for a seat in an ISUZU truck. It is 4WD drive territory and these can be hired for US$150 per day. Being cheapskates we tried to find some other people to hire the car with but at this time there was just no-one around. The most annoying aspect in trying to arrange transport is the presumption about how much money we have, what we should be prepared to pay and what is a fair price. We eventually found a minibus to Konso, the gateway to the Omo Valley. Catching public ... read more
The colourful people from the Mursi tribe in the Mago National Park
A Mursi woman and her two children
A Mursi woman with one of the largest lip plates

Why not? A potentially hazardous motto to live by, I admit, but when adhered with at least a few carefully determined boundaries in place, it can make for one heck of a weekend! Thursday night we FINALLY moved into our new home! From passed blogs you can tell that Addis real-estate is a frustrating market. 3 fundamental rules to shop by: #1 Ask the right questions -Is there running water? -Is there hot water? -Is there electricity (except where there are blackouts)? -Will you sign a contract saying that the price will not increase? -How much commission do you expect? -Does anyone else have a key to the home? -Who else lives on the compound? -Is the area safe? -How much needs to be paid in advance? -Does ‘this’ work? / Will you fix this now?... ... read more
Rammed Bus
Colours of Earth
Boat to Cross the Bridge of God

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Turmi March 1st 2010

Leaving Addis Well it's been a while since my last update. Almost a month. In fact it wouldn't have been quite so long if I hadn't deleted - without saving - my previous attempt last week; an idiocy so depressing and annoying (it having taken most of the day to write!) that I have been putting this second attempt off until now, knowing that if I don't write something soon, I probably never will again. The draft I deleted was undoubtedly some of my best work: witty, poingaint, overflowing with insight. In short, a joy to read. Obviously any shortcomings you find with the below are simply down to fatigue at having to attempt such heroic efforts again and I can only ask for your patience and understanding. So let's try this again... My last update ... read more
mini-IMG 1863
mini-IMG 1869
mini-IMG 1870

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