Mar 20, 2016

Ethiopia: Debra Zeit and Addis Ababa.

It occurred to me when beginning this post that Ethiopia will have 4 blog posts. A little excessive, but we were there 3 weeks and there were so many stages to the trip! I like having the separate experiences catalogued as such. So here's another one...ha...Ethiopia blog post 3 out of 4. 

Traveling to Ethiopia was like having a homecoming with a place I had never been. 

It was familiar yet new, wild yet comfortable. 

After the trek, the girls and I split up and they got on another tiny plane to a lake town in the north, I got picked up at the airport by my ex-ethiopian. I think this is a reason that I took to Ethiopia a bit more than my co-workers, I didn't have to navigate alone. The few times he was at work and I was alone wandering around were a bit stressful. Luckily, the majority of the time I had him to drive me around, talk and order for me, take me to the insider places, and explore on a more local level - which is always the goal of a good traveler. 

We had a great few days. I got to see some old friends I had in China whom I hadn't seen in years. They took me out and treated me very special, which was so nice. At the weekend, ex-ethiopian took me a few hours out of town to a beautiful and peaceful resort that acts as a weekend respite for Addis city-dwellers. I enjoyed driving outside of Addis and getting to see the horse carriages and donkeys along the road on the way there. You really get to see more of a country when you drive outside the capital where wealth and education seems to be concentrated. 

I continued to be sick, which was very strange because usually I pride myself in my body's ability to adapt. After 7 years in China I feel like my guts are ironclad. But Ethiopia did me in. I am thankful I had my trusty translator and driver to worry about me and get me better. I am very anti going to the doctor in developing nations, but he took care of me and by the work portion of the trip I was on the mend. Thank goodness. 

Addis was a city that left me feeling very alive. The more I travel in Africa outside Rwanda, the more I notice that I am more suited for places that have high energy and require more culture clue observation and adrenaline. I think Rwanda is a little bit too subdued for my ideal atmosphere. 

Some of the highlights of Addis for me were visiting the sugar can juice shop where Yoni used to stop as a kid; the juice was amazing and it was a place a traveler would never find on their own, having the best coffee I have ever had in my life at Tomoca Coffee, and eating a home cooked meal in an Ethiopian family's house then watching re-runs of the Oscars on the couch. What a special time it was in Addis. 

A a place I had never been. 

cultural restaurant. wonderful food and dancing. 

stool sample pre-input. sums up my addis experience haha. 

I used to cook chicken for these boys in China. 

The first metro system in Africa, built by the Chinese. 

downtown Addis 

My slip for the doctor, in the Ethiopian calendar it is 2008.

View from Yoni's house. 

driving back from Debra Zeit 

Amazing food and honey wine. 

Debra Zeit

Merkato Market 

Debra Zeit 

Debra Zeit 

Addis mosque 

Yoni took me to get sugarcane juice at the shop where he always stopped after school as a kid.
The lady remembered him! 

Debra Zeit

After all this was finally time to get to work. 

walk slow. xoxo. 

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