ethiopia trip: 09.22.2009

Tuesday

Breakfast at hotel. Coco puff type cereal with keuzkazza weutuet (cold milk), some types of bread and Addis shai (tea).

Immediately got an international calling card for Ayele’s phone and purchased some chapstick, because I think that I’ve already lost the two that I brought with me.

Start the car ride to Awassa.

It is beautiful and nice to be out of Addis. Everything is so green.

Stop in Ziway for lunch at Tourist Hotel. See other ferenge (foreigners) dining as well. I ordered spaghetti with marinara sauce.

Make my first phone call to US! I could only talk about 5 minutes, sobbed most of the time but am now relieved. At least they (my family) know that I’m okay. I also relay as much information as I can about baby Eyob to relay to Emily–because I had been unable to send pics or email to her.  It was around 4:00 in the morning in the US, but I couldn’t wait any longer to call.

After the phone call I couldn’t really finish my meal and we continued on to Awassa.

Stopped at Lake Langano, which I had seen pictures of and was also really interested in seeing.  We went to see the lake by way of a lodge, if we took pictures we had to pay (at least that’s how I understood it) in some form.  We had keukazza cokes.  We also then were taken on “tour” of the Langano Lodge. It may have been nice if you were traveling with your family and wanted to stay there a little longer, but really all I could see was the chocolate milk water and honestly, because I had seen beautiful pictures of this lake before, I was a little disappointed. Maybe the other photos were from a different area on the lake, and I wasn’t really trying to spend more time looking for it, I wanted to get to Awassa.

The "guide" at the Langano Lodge (Girma) and his sister

The "guide" at the Langano Lodge (Girma) and his sister

Lake Langano

Lake Langano

Lake Langano

Lake Langano

I was here.

I was here.

So finally, after full day of travel we made it to the destination. I had previously looked up the Gebrekristo hotel (had seen it on www.hobotraveler.com, because it was very inexpensive and since I was also paying for a room for my guide/friend/driver I really wanted to stay at this place.

Ummmmm…okay……not what I expected, really—and my standards weren’t even set that high.  Do you ever just get a “feeling” about a place?  It didn’t feel secure. I couldn’t really put my finger on it.  Anyway. First night in Awassa and room booked at the Gebrekristo.

After securing the room, Ayele wanted to get fuel—just because it’s the thing to do when you’re far from Addis I suppose—just to make sure that  you have some when needed. Several of the fueling stations were out of fuel and we pulled to the end of the line at the last place with fuel—and it was mayhem. The craziest thing I’d seen on my trip so far. There were what seemed like hundreds of the mini-taxis waiting and weaving their way into the station for fuel.  Maybe it was the end of the workday….maybe they knew something that we didn’t……but it was INSANE and FUN at the same time.  People knocking on the window, chatting, little taxis everywhere. Kids selling shet (which sounds like the curse word) and it means coal.  More kids selling some other type of natural chewing stick — that isn’t chat — people realizing that there is a ferenge in a car and trying to talk to me.  I laughed  a lot during our what seemed like forever wait. Some mini-taxis even cut in front of us and I have no idea what was being said between Ayele and other drivers, but it was all in fun.

After that was dinner at the Gebrekristo (rice and cooked veggies, dabbo).

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