Blogs from Southern Nations Region, Ethiopia, Africa - page 6


Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Awasa March 8th 2009

I am writing this on a friend's computer. A fellow volunteer, Jordan from Franklin, TN, traded his computer and hard drive for my PSP for the week. It was really nice being able to watch movies and TV. So what did I do this week? I found a really great NGO that I am going to start volunteering at. It is actually called the Forum of HIV/AIDS NGOs. They are working on a project to compile all of their members' mission statement, goals, projects, and contact information into a website. This actually works out great because they have gathered a lot of the information that I need but haven't done anything with it. I figure I will volunteer at this place for as long as our interests align. Also, this past week there was the National ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Awasa March 5th 2009

Who is this Teddy Afro and what does he have to do with me, you may very well ask. Well, he plays reggae and I love reggae, he is an Ethiopian musician (and some kind of hero in his country - check the Net if you are interested) and I was in Ethiopia and got to know his music, AND: I went to a disco in Awasa with “the boys” (thank you for taking me!) where they had live music and also played some songs of Teddy Afro and it was packed and hot and fun and everyone danced and shouted the lyrics and smiled at me (the only white person in the room!) and women hugged me and said “welcome”, and I just danced and danced and danced … Henok, Dani, Malarku and Masvin, ... read more
Mursi woman
Heavy load
Turning the tables

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Awasa February 24th 2009

OK ... I know it has only been a day or so since my last installment but I have to tell you one hilarious thing that happened to me yesterday. I was walking home after my "productive" day. I live by the bus station and was just talking with some of the guys who hassle me everyday; just passing conversation. I start to walk home down my dirt road and no sooner than I hit the road do I slip and catch myself just before my butt hits the ground. Everyone was laughing, including me, and I thought to myself what did I slip on? So I look down and see that I had slipped on a banana peel. Unbelieveable. I thought that only happened in cartoons. I laughed the whole way home. Slipping on a ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Awasa February 20th 2009

Ok everyone ... I am sorry it has taken so long. Reason one is because Awasa has decent internet speeds but Ambo has incredibly slow speeds and I couldn't make that jump again. So let's see after site visit to Awasa I was so pumped about what I was going to be doing. Then we went back to Ambo to finish our training. We all shared stories of what our sites are like. My site was called an Ethiopian vacation, which I can't disagree with I am totally spoiled being here in Awasa. Nothing really happened while we were in Ambo. We all just went to school and drank at night. No one got in trouble and it was fun. We left for Addis the wednesday before Valentines day. We got in at 4pm or so ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Awasa January 19th 2009

There are a few things I want to clear up. First, since Ethiopia is so close to the Equator it doesn't get hot and cold seasons so much as wet and dry seasons. I think I am right about that. It stays about mid 80s to mid 90s year round in Awasa. It rained last night and it was amazing. I cannot figure how to load pictures on here. Oh my goodness there are some really awesome things I have to tell you. I can't believe I forgot them yesterday. First, on friday a bomb exploded in Addis while I was in Addis. Apparently, a gentleman was getting his bag placed on top of a minibus and the bomb he had in his bag exploded. 0 deaths, 29 injured. I know there was no danger for ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Awasa January 18th 2009

Wow... it has been quite a while since we last talked to each other. So much has changed since then. Let's see, where to start? Ok, site placement. Well, I was aiming for either in the Tigray region by the Simien mountains or Awasa near the Bale Mountains. The day of placement was a huge ordeal. The country director made an appearance, which I didn't think was a big deal because she only has 69 volunteers in-country and 40 were with me. Anyhow, there was this huge map, roughly 10' by 10', of Ethiopia and when our names were called we had to place our picture up on the map. Names were called and pictures placed. I was number 33 in the order. I wasn't sure if I was excited or if I was going to ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Awasa December 6th 2008

I had the pleasure of attending a local HIV AIDS forum in the resort town of Awassa, 5 hours drive from Addis Ababa. The forum was for VSO volunteers working in the HIV/AIDS sector. We shared status of our work at our individual employers and discussed ideas for improvement. We learned latest facts of international aid money coming into Ethiopia. We learned that Ethiopia has a good track record of using the money responsibly and is thus awarded larger sums. (Other African nations who cannot account for the results obtained from the funds are penalized). The international aid sums seem staggeringly large to me. My impression so far is that the money does seem to be tracked carefully and responsibly - good to know since our US tax dollars are contributing to these global funds (World ... read more
Awassa Ruta spider monkey
Awassa Colobus
Awassa buggy

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region December 2nd 2008

Hi! Just a very quick update - I’d hoped to have typed another full entry by now, but time is just flying (and the internet connection isn’t…)! Just so as you all know my route and where I’m up to… From Gashena I went across to Lalibela to see some incredible ancient churches hewn entirely out of rock. From there it was over to Asaita via Dessie. Asaita was incredible - it felt a bit like the end of the world as we crossed nothing but desert for miles. This was the territory of the Afar tribe - probably the only people who could survive the hot, harsh region. From there I scooted out to see Afambo, near the Djibouti border. Then (via Logiya and Awash) I went to Dire Dawa - a strangely modern railway ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Turmi November 23rd 2008

In our world, we have bar- and bat-mitzvahs and sweet 16 parties. We are debutants, we are strip club patrons. We undergo extreme hazing, 21-shot debaucheries, and imbibing until our stomachs need pumping. Call it what you like, do what you do; something marks as a celebration or an entrance into manhood or womanhood. And this is no different in Africa, and no different in the ethnic tribal groups of the Lower Omo Valley. The Hamer tribe is one of the largest in the Omo, numbering at around 50,000. As subsistence agropastoralists they cultivate sorghum, tobacco, cotton, vegetables and millet. They eat a lot of honey and rear cattle and goats. Their territory reaches south to Kenya and borders that of the Banna tribe. The Hamer people are famous for their masterful body decoration and techniques. ... read more
the whipper
coming off
whipper and next young boy

Africa » Ethiopia » Southern Nations Region » Turmi November 22nd 2008

In 1974 in Awash Valley, a 40% complete skeleton was found of the oldest known human, believed to date back 3.2 million years. She is now widely-known as the infamous "Lucy," and holds the Amharic name "Dinkenesh" as well. Archaeologists believe humans have inhabited the Awash Valley since the beginning of the species; the area is also famous for being the place where many hominid (pre-human) remains have been found as well. Africa isn't called the Cradle of Humanity without reason. To be more precise, this said Cradle is the area along the deep East African Rift amidst mountains, valleys, and plateaus. Historians and archaeologists believe this is the continent that all of our ancestors originated from, landing Ethiopia smack dab right in this Cradle which we all are said to have sprung from. Lucy's home ... read more
market gathering under tree
elderly Hamer woman

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