Change Yourself…Change The World.


Addis Ababa
August 1, 2010, 12:42 pm
Filed under: Ethiopia, Pictures Post

Dear friends,

So while I have you here, I’d just like to marvel at how WONDROUS it is to have internet! I spent a good portion of today checking not one, but THREE different internet locations, only to find that they were all not working (including the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa, which is- at least what Yoseph says- the best hotel in Africa). I finally came back to the Sheraton tonight to find out that the internet is working again! I will never take you for granted again, internet.

So I’m cheating a bit here and actually writing this post ahead of time, which I’ve never done before (this is actually written on August 1st and slated to be released on August 2nd), because of my paranoid fear that the internet could be down tomorrow. So what you are reading today in fact, happened yesterday. Right now as you are reading this, I am probably driving 4 1/2 hours South to Awassa with Yoseph to check out some other areas of Ethiopia. With that being said, I will not be able to post again until at least August 5th. So hopefully this will tide you over for a few days.

Today Yoseph and I explored some more of Addis Ababa- we went to Entoto, which is one of the highest mountains in Ethiopia, to take in a view of the entire city and to visit Taitu’s Memorial Museum and Palace (Taitu was an emperor of Ethiopia during the 1800’s). I have to say that Taitu’s ‘Palace’ (you’ll see in the pictures) is surprisingly quite small- especially if you’re thinking that around the same time such edifices like the Taj Mahal, which is massive, had already been constructed to demonstrate the power of the Mughal empire in India. In relation, the ‘palace’ looks like a summer house in the mountains, but I’m glad that we went up there to check it out and see the view. Ethiopia is a really beautiful place, and grows on me by the day. I’m also especially taking a massive liking to injera (the sponge-like bread) and all of the delicious sauces that accompany it.

Yoseph and I then went to an Italian restaurant for lunch (there are a lot of Italian influences in Addis Ababa, which means that there are many authentic Italian restaurants. The pizza we had was delicious) and drove around the expat/diplomat area of Addis Ababa. I was astounded at the gorgeous houses hidden behind massive gates, which is in total contrast to most other areas of the city. We also stopped to walk around a bit, and I by luck found a store selling traditional Ethiopian furniture and decorations. I went a little crazy there (I’m a huge fan of African furnishings), and got two bowls (one large, one small), two traditional tej wine glasses, a mancala board, and a wall hanging– all to the tune of 15 dollars. It definitely helped that Yoseph was there and knew the shop keeper, so he gave me more ‘discounted’ prices. Yoseph has also been a great ‘tour guide,’ explaining to me the history of Ethiopia and Eritrea, what he feels about the country and development there, and where he hopes it goes in the future.

I am now at the Sheraton, giddily typing away on wi-fi and marveling at how extreme this hotel is. It feels like I am back in the United States- lavishly dressed men and women lounge on velvet armchairs, a man daintily plays the piano, and the drinks menu is about 10 pages.

Yoseph and I have covered much of Addis Ababa through his car (unfortunately I wasn’t able to take as many pictures as I usually do, since a lot of my traveling is walking, not driving- but it was great that I had the opportunity to see so many different areas of the city), and tomorrow we are going into one of the slums (to see what it looks like in relation to the expat area), to the Merkato, and then off to Awassa and Shashamene (a town where many Rastafarians live) to see more of Ethiopia.

Check out the pictures below. See you in a few days!

A view of the city of Addis Ababa

St. Mary’s Church

Taitu’s Palace

Inside Taitu’s Palace

Taitu’s ‘Guest House’

Obligatory picture of the Ethiopian flag

Outside Taitu’s Museum and Palace

These kids love having their photos taken

Ethiopia is so green. I love it.

Charcoal

Some wood-carved Ethiopian furniture

Traditional Ethiopian dining tables

Inside the store. I spent a good 45 minutes in here.

More of Addis Ababa

That’s all for today!

Much love,

Brittany


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