Blogs from Ethiopia, Africa - page 7


Africa » Ethiopia June 1st 2013

When we camped at Samburu recently there was a squatter toilet a short walk from our campsite through the bushes. Murray likes to camp in Maasi Mara which we normally have to dig our own toilet. I really hate squatter toilets of the long drop version, the walk up to the toilet from the campsite is normally one of me looking around for snakes or baboons or you know, a lion or a leopard. Then when I’m there doing my thing trying to balance and keep the door shut, I’m wondering if a snake or a scorpion will bite me while I’m doing my thing. Murray normally hears a LOT about the state of the toilets and often obliges and pays a lot of money for a drink at a fancy hotel where I conveniently use ... read more
Arial shot of the river, Dollo Ado
Wheel chair access toilet, Dollo Ado
Wheel chair access Toilet design, Dollo Ado

Africa » Ethiopia » Addis Ababa Region » Addis Ababa April 28th 2013

I don't know what it is about Ethiopia, but I am completely taken by it. Maybe it is the uniqueness of the culture—their own unique cuisine, their own music styles, their own dancing, their own language only spoken in that country. Going to Ethiopia reminds me of the first couple of times I went to Nepal. I just wanted to take it all in and could not get enough. It is strange and exciting and always full of adventure. This past week I was in Addis Ababa leading a qualitative research training for a maternal and child nutrition project. This is not actually my study, but I was filling in for a colleague who could not get to Addis quickly to lead the training herself. So I said since I was in the region anyway and ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Addis Ababa Region » Addis Ababa March 8th 2013

After the nice times in Metu, we made our way by a long but exciting bus ride (lots of singing and clapping) to Tepi, a small town in the middle of a jungle. The highlights of Tepi, where we spent one night, were the realization that we were in the jungle (it rained lots, but people still called it 'the dry season') and that meant there were some big bugs. I woke up in the morning and flipped over my sandal to find a palm sized spider just chilling out. Even worse was that the pouring rain leaked through the roof and onto me while I was sleeping. I should say poured, as leaked doesn't do it justice! We quickly left Tepi and headed for Bonga, the center of the wild coffee harvesting area. We were ... read more
Jungle Time
Some Cool Trees
Nice Countryside

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region » Jimma March 1st 2013

Leaving Ambo ended up being an extra special ordeal. After a few hours of negotiations, lots of coffee and some insults, we managed to secure some spots in a car heading to Nekemte. From Nekemte we were suppose to be able to catch a car to Bedele. There was no car that day, which meant a day wandering around a city of about 80000 people who had no real access to tourist attractions. This meant a nice relaxing time with people more concerned with asking us what we were doing there rather than attempting to rip us off. The next morning we went to the bus station where, after about 6 hours, we were able to find a bus that would finally get us to Bedele. On the bus we decended another 800m into a much ... read more
Some Green in the Distance
Metu Balcony View
Other Balcony View

Africa » Ethiopia » Oromia Region February 24th 2013

I took a 10 hour bus from Dire Dawa to Addis Ababa. It was fairly uneventful as it was on time and brought me to a place I had been before. I spent 2 nights in Addis Ababa meeting back up with Simon. We decided to go together to the West of Ethiopia. After the two days in Addis where I readjusted to drinking lots of coffee, the high altitude and met a number of Simon's friends, we left in the afternoon for the town of Ambo. The Addis bus station was just as crazy as I had expected. Ambo is about 100 km outside of Addis and is a weekend holiday place for people from Addis because of its hotsprings and swimming opportunities. On the first day in Ambo we went to the hot springs ... read more
Lake 1
Lake 2

Africa » Ethiopia » Dire Dawa Region » Dire Dawa February 19th 2013

After failing to get to Tradjoura, Djibouti by boat (I arrived too late and the idea of spending another few days in Djibouti wasn't nearly as exciting as meeting up with an old friend in Ethiopia), I decided I would head straight back to Ethiopia. That meant back to 5am buses. I arrived at the chaotic bus station and got a pretty good seat before debating about the cost of my luggage (I won) and departing sometime around 7:30am. We drove through a lot of the lunar landscapes I had seen before as well as the most intensely hot and flat desert I had ever seen. We arrived at the boarder around 10am, where we had about an hour of document and luggage check before officially being stamped out of Djibouti. The process to get into ... read more
Town For Lunch
The Popped Tire
Dire Dawa Train Station

Africa » Ethiopia » Harari Region » Harar January 28th 2013

Waking up and taking another 5am bus to leave Addis Ababa is a struggle that seems to be part of any form of bus travel in Ethiopia. I still haven't figured out what their obsession is with 5 and 6 am bus travel, but it is something I will have to get use to. The night before I ended up meeting some nice guys at a Turkish restaurant (still trying to get my fill of non-Injera food). They ended up being quite wealthy and insisted on buying me more beer and food than I could possible eat or drink. "You are our guest" was the rational. Not really a problem for me as I was becoming a bit paranoid of the costs associated with being in Addis Ababa. After a very hot and very uncomfortable bus ... read more
Looks Like I am Staring It Down
Feeding Them From A Stick in My Mouth
And It Climbed On My Back

Africa » Ethiopia » Addis Ababa Region » Addis Ababa January 25th 2013

Making it back to Addis meant a few interesting things had to happen first. Of course I had to have one last annoying adventure in Bahir Dar before leaving. This one included a prostitute who decided to follow me for a few hundred meters after I said goodbye to all my friends from National Grocery. Of course, what made it worse this time was that some guy (I believe he didn't know her, he just spoke English and saw an opportunity for money) decided to join in the following. I figured once I got back into my hotel they would go away. Nope, instead my hotel let them in (they assumed I knew them), and even after I tried to indicate that I wanted them gone, the security just smiled and gave me the thumbs up. ... read more
Main Road, Just  A Mess
Sign To Somaliland Embassy

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Bahir Dar January 23rd 2013

The last mini adventure I was suppose to have in Gonder didn't pan out as planned. Simon and I visited the DaShen Brewery in the north end of the city but we just happened to arrive during their two week blackout period for tours! So we had to spend our time in the beautiful beer garden sipping fresh beer and talking with the manager about it being a shame we couldn't get inside. The beer was really fresh and goes bad in less than 24 hours, a very nice experience. I also broke my pool slump and won 4 out of 5 games. Another highlight was watching Ethiopia tie Zambia in the first game of the African Cup, a sheer shock as Ethiopia barely qualified (their first time in 31 years) and Zambia was the reigning ... read more
Best Macchiato in Ethiopia (So Far)
The Guy Who Stopped to Have A Special Moment with Me
Shiro Tegabino and Injera

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar January 21st 2013

After even more Timkat craziness I found my way to what is traditionally Gondar's most famous site, the massive Royal Enclosure which includes a number of castles in various condition dating back into the 17th Century. They were occupied well into the 19th Century by royalty from Amhara Region. The first most remarkable impression I had was noticing just how much they looked like European castles, just with some twists. The enclosure was really quiet and there were very few tourists and no fake guides (or real guides for that matter) around to bother me. I think they were all in the streets enjoying Timkat. It meant that I could slowly wander around, take some pictures and just sit in the shade and imagine the place a few hundred years ago and that is what made ... read more
View from Inside the Castle
View 2

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