Monday, November 30, 2015

Gonder to Lalibela, Ethiopia, November 30, 2015

Homes in Gonder are not like I'm used to-

People live  behind the doors and into the back part as well.  Kids play in between-

Agriculture is a huge part of the Ethiopian way of life-

It's harvest time-

Human swathers-

Cattle do the threshing by walking on the sheaves of grain-


Wash day-

Water is transported from the well, if the community is lucky, or from the river, to the villages.  Large yellow jugs are used and sometimes, a donkey carries the weight-

Playing foosball-

Lunch was a fasting meal, something they do Wednesdays and Fridays - no meat.  We had injera with a tomato/bean topping.  The injera is used to scoop the sauce - no utensils.  It was very good, not as sour as what I had in Gonder-

I think this is the winner of ALL time: the outside-

It was a balancing act on the logs across the hole-

These two just showed up at a pee stop.  Not sure what they were up to-

The last kilometers to Lalibela -

Tomorrow we're off to see the 11 churches carved in the rock!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Gonder, Ethiopia, November 29, 2015

The Dashen Brewery apparently promotes safe sex with this logo on their beer mugs-

Street life in Gonder: tuk-tuks, donkeys, people.... it's always busy-

Blaring propaganda goes up and down the streets.  I wish I could understand what they were saying-

Now that's a load of hay-

The Debre Berhan Selassie Church (late 18th century) was saved from destruction by the Dervish in the 1880s because they were attacked by a swarm of bees upon arrival--

The ceiling is covered with 135 winged cherubs representing the power of God-

The walls are decorated in beautiful frescoes-

This is quite the devil-

and Mohammed, riding a camel, is being led by the devil-

The entrance tower represents Christ and there are 12 smaller towers in the wall, representing the 12 apostles-

I've enjoyed the friendliness of the people in Gonder but it's time to move on to Lalibela!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Simien Mountains, Ethiopia, November 27-28, 2015

It was a 2.5 hour drive to the Simien Mountains-

where I had signed up for 3 days and 2 nights of trekking.  Why you ask?  Good question.  I hate hiking, trekking, mountain climbing, whatever you want to call it, I hate it.  Needless to say, I came home after the first sleep and this morning's walk to the waterfall.  My knees were starting to hurt from all the up/down business so I packed it in.  

I could urinate more than what this waterfall is doing-

The Gelada Baboons are pretty cool.  There are about 20,000 in the park-

 and they are not afraid of humans.  They eat grass and the bugs they pick off of each other-


have up to 12 wives who have 2 babies/year-

This one just finished nursing-

Both males and females have red chests and 4 nipples.  The males have 4 'bumper pads' on their butts but the females only have two.  At night, they find a cliff in the ravine to stay safe from jackals, hyenas and the odd, very odd, leopard.

Other wildlife includes the thick billed raven who has a white spot on its head-

The aloe plant has a pretty  flower and the wild tomato is poisonous and used for laundry soap-

Most people don't have cars so government run, public transportation looks like this-

Birthday cake for breakfast?  Sounds great to me!

Donkeys, sheep, people, horses and carts are all over the roads.  Our driver is continuously honking as a warning that we are passing.  The area is very arable and fields are small but well looked after.  It appears they get at least 2 crops/year and all work is done manually.  There are a lot of rocks everywhere, especially in the towns where they are used for fences and just piled in front of homes and shops.  It's a crazy place but the people are super friendly and non hasslers.  I am enjoying it here.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gonder, Ethiopia, November 26, 2015

Walking along the sidewalk, I noticed a woman spreading grass inside her home.  I stopped to see what she was up to and she invited me in for a coffee ceremony.  

First, she fanned her 'stove' to get the charcoal to catch fire-

She heated water, but that was only to wash the coffee beans which she roasted using a sieve/frying pan-

Then, she ground the beans using a mortar and steel rod-

She added the grounds to the coffee pot and we had really good tasting coffee.  Three miniature cups must be drank with the third cup being the 'blessing'-

Lunch was 'special fuul" which is scrambled egg, spicy beans, onion, fresh bread and some nasty, sour tasting milk curds-

Dessert was black forest cake and another excellent coffee-

The only souvenirs available are woven cotten scarves and animal pelt stools-

We have a 7 am departure for the Simien Mountains.

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