Thursday, December 3, 2015

Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, December 3, 2015

I love it here, I truly do.  It is a country full of contrasts: dirt poor to rich, clothing in tatters to the modern styles of North America, every type of head gear imaginable from beanies, to turbans, to ball caps, and transportation includes everything from donkeys, tuk tuks, public vans and buses to Toyota half tons.  Homes are windowless shacks made of skinny tree logs topped with tin roofs to 5 star hotels.  I feel sorry for the people I am interacting with.  So many want to talk and help, I mean honestly help, not like in Egypt where they just want to drag you to their shop and rip you off.  Here they seem truly interested in making sure you see the country they are so proud of.  

My morning began with a visit to Saint George Church-

where, as usual it seems, it was a day of celebration.  Once again, the right side is for women-

and the left for men.  Worshippers remove their shoes at the entrance, kiss the walls, the floor, everywhere, as they mumble their prayers.  It was renovated in the 60s.

My next stop was the market-

 which is a maze-

of everything imaginable from coffee bean stalls where there are 3 grades of unroasted beans-

to coffee pot stalls-

to spices-

to live chickens and eggs-

and more chickens (check out the plastic shoes)-

Down the used rubber tire street-

this man was making a water bladder that can be easily carried full to the village from the river-

There was a hole in the wall 'silver' shop that by the reaction of the vendor when I pulled out my loup, certainly wasn't silver-

These young men were enjoying playing soccer in a video arcade-

Vegetables are fresh but all that is available is cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, chilis, peppers and red onions- 

Woven plastic baskets were made right before my eyes-

and unfortunately the khat leaves (pronounced chat), a mild stimulant didn't do anything for me-

I'm not sure what it would be like drinking from horn wine glasses and cups.  They seemed kind of dirty.  The horse hair pompoms are used for fancy dress-

The market was super interesting and I had numerous guides - none wanting to sell me anything!  They just wanted to show me their great market and make sure I had seen everything there was to see!  Such a refreshing change!

Lunch was a delicious fish dullet that I ordered with bread rather than injera.  I even asked for a spoon.  The man sitting next to me laughed at that!

Tomorrow we're off to Addis Ababa but because of the distance, will need to bush camp along the way!


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