Two years ago we were united with Mastewal and Afton in Ethiopia.
Category Archives: Travel
He shows bike and shoes. He is happy.
It is Meskel.
Go to the fish market.
Love the kids. One girl grabs candy from my purse (on her own).
Have some awesome fish.
Take some pictures.
Take in the view one more time.
Coffee Ceremony with Wondeye’s Family
Beef for Meskel
Go to lunch. Tebs anyone?
Go to AWASSA CHILDRENS PROJECT show. Supposed to start at 2pm.
Realize this is Ethiopia and it will start in another hour or so.
Have some cokes at Pinna.
Go to show.
Amazing. Awesome. Love it.
Walk to fire for Meskel.
Everyone is celebrating. Everyone is walking.
This is when I believe Wondeye steals my camera.
Say goodbye to Wondeye.
Call it a Day.
Met Wondeye. Showed his new shirt and trousers that he purchased with the extra birr. He seems happy.
We start a trek to an overlook of the Lake.
We enter this neighborhood. I have candy (kueureumela). I always have candy. Kids like candy. Kids are excited to see ferenge. I am excited to give kids candy and ask their names in Amharic. This is totally for me—it makes me feel good.
It’s raining. I think it’s a bigger deal for them than it is for me. We take shelter outside a little apartment. We’re invited to “come, sit”. We do. I’m glad. I get to interact with some children. Share my bracelets and kueureumela. Learn their names. Masharet, Bruke, Tigist. Play with Tigist’s hair. They show me their doll. Her name is “doll”. Take photos. Practice my Amharic.
Back to the trek. Many times I’m told to “take care”. Hmmmm. “I have been on a few hikes/treks in America” I think to myself. I have to remind them that it’s normal for me to stumble a little because “I’m clumsy”.
Get to the peak. Nice.
Take a gari! I only have printed pics of this, maybe I can scan one in later 🙂
Eat some roasted tebs at an another place.
Give birr for Wondeye to get a bike to make transportation to school more easy and affordable.
Shoe shine. Guy chewing chat. Very happy. My feet and chacos stink. I tell Ayele to tell “chat guy” that’s why he can’t shine my shoes as he wanted. Hilarious. Nice to hear people laugh.
Moved to the other Lewi (I’m tired of packing and unpacking). I will stay here the next tree nights. It’s nice.
Had breakfast. Joined by Wondeye.
Traveled around Awassa to several offices, finally found Awassa Childrens Project. Took a brief tour of the campus. Met a volunteer from Belgium, got another contact name and # for future volunteer opportunities. Invited to the show taking place on Saturday.
Went to the Awassa Market. Fell down. Gave habesha a good laugh at this ferenge. Found out that not just children want to have their pictures taken with a digital camera 🙂
Traveled to Shashemene. RASTAland! Visited a rastaman’s business and mini-museum. Something was in the air there….and there were a lot of happy and ANGRY people in this area. Went to the Shashemene market. Rode in a mini-taxi. CRAZY and CRAZY driver. I prefer the car, thank you very much. I became obsessed with finding the mini tins that the children carry their lunch in for school. Found them. Then I wanted baskets that everyone seemed to have on their bikes. A girl at the market helped us out tremendously, found the best place and looked the baskets over for me. In the middle of my excursion I get a phone call from the US (Seth). As if I needed something else to draw attention to myself, I’m standing in the middle of market…..the only white person around…..my guide/driver/friends a few feet away…..talking on a cell phone….feeling very uncomfortable with everyone staring at me.
Head back to Awassa.
Gave Wondeye birr to pay for his school uniform so he could attend school. Thanks for hanging out and beating trucks and kids off of me. I didn’t mind the kids 🙂 Thanks for helping me to not get ran over by trucks and gari at both markets. Thanks for helping me up from my fall at the market. Thanks for the constant reminders to “take care”.
Lunch was something that I didn’t order, but got anyway.
Dinner was fish and dabbo (I think) at a place with really cool chairs.
I think I had breakfast at the Lewi Hotel. Some type of cake after ordering everything that seemed appealing and being told they don’t have it.
We then checked out of the Gebrekristo and headed toward finding accommodations at one of the Lewi hotels, they are nicer–and yes, more touristy. We quickly learned that if Ayele filled out the little cards for the rooms we would get a cheaper (habesha) price for rooms than if I completed them (ferenge price). He started filling out the cards 🙂
We then headed toward the big attraction in Awassa: THE LAKE
I loved it. I could have stayed there FOREVER . It was peaceful.
After some negotiations with boat guides/drivers. We were booked to see the hippos in the afternoon–and we had made a new “friend”/”guide”–a 19 year old boy Wondeye, who fought for a better deal for this ferenge. It ended up costing me a lot more at the end of my trip (I’ll write about that for Sunday’s post) but for this day (Wednesday), thanks for your help.
I think that I had roasted tebs again for lunch/dinner and then maybe french fries for dinner/dinner (so I could take my malaria meds).
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.
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).
*updated with pic of roasted tebs that I found on www.hobotraveler.com
Didn’t sleep well. Worried about calling home. I want them to know that I made it safely.
Immediately went to internet cafe to email. A little relieved, although it’s early there it’s still the middle of the night in United States, so I won’t know if the message was received for a while.
Went to Antica for pizza lunch (I skipped breakfast).
Traveled to see friend’s baby. Oh my goodness. I could have stayed there ALL DAY. He is a very happy baby, can’t wait to see him here soon! So impressed with the facility and the care that the children receive there.
Took donations to Emily. Visited briefly. Checked out her apartment.
Started the journey to Awassa.
Stayed in Nazret (Adama) Monday night.
Had roasted tebs at a local place….oh my goodness….my new favorite Ethiopian food….although I still like shiro….the two make a great combo with injera.