Heading North – Monday Sept 24th

Things to be grateful for:  hot running clear water and electricity 24 hours a day!  This is fantastic and to achieve it we have moved on to a new location, a town called Jinka about half a day’s drive north.  Having just had a nice long hot shower, I am feeling so much better, in fact I am going to mark that down as one of my best all time showers!  I am also writing this not having to worry that the power is going to go out in a matter of minutes!

My newfound luxurious surroundings involve a tent attached to a concrete bathroom.  The tent looks like a Yurt and is actually very comfortable inside, the best tent I’ve slept in by a long shot.

At the start of the day we stopped by the Kara village to say our goodbyes.  Each day as we drove in to the village we passed the school and today I was able to get a tour from a local boy.  It is very encouraging to see these investments in the village.

On the drive to Jinka, the landscape changed dramatically.  Gone are the dusty red earth plains with scrub and trees and extremely rough roads (I should really describe them as tracks).  Replacing them are mountain and hill ranges which are green and look more like dense trees and farmland quilted up and over the hills.  The change is such a contrast; Ethiopia is reminding me of “Lord of the Rings” because each area is so unique.  Jinka feels like I have just entered ‘The Shire’ and in fact some of the small villages could easily pass for farms in England in the 1600/1700’s, from the Constable paintings I have seen.

We visited a local market today that was extremely colorful.  People walk from miles around to buy and sell once a week.  There was everything from livestock ($50 for a goat), vegetables, grain, clothes, tobacco, hardware, etc, etc.  It made a very interesting walk about and some good pictures.  We had to leave in a hurry when a dispute broke out about pictures we had taken but not paid for.  Photography is viewed as a big earner and it is easy to get someone in the corner of an environmental shot and find out they also want to be paid.  The problem with paying one person is everyone in the market then also wants to be paid and the situation can get out of hand very quickly.  It is a shame and also a contrast compared to working in the villages.


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