The Road to Dessie by Amanda Kolman

Every day is an adventure here in Ethiopia and along with those adventures are times for patience.  After a hard morning dealing with visa issues from the immigration office, we were able to depart from Addis Ababa to venture through the countryside to our next city called Dessie.  We always manage to find other ways to occupy our time when things are not quite going the way as planned.  This morning during the visa issue a group of us were able to go to a local market near by our hotel.  Here they had a variety of foods some of which I bought included selet (balls of sesame seeds), kolo (type of nuts), and fresh smoothies.

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Those who stayed behind might have been just a little tired.

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As a side note, last night I ventured and tried an Ethiopian beer which was pretty good.  Not as strong as the traditional honey wine but still had a different flavor and affect than typical beer.

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After eating lunch at a restaurant near the immigration office we started our travels to Dessie about 2 p.m. which is about an 8 hour drive from Addis through the country side of Ethiopia.  Growing up in the country and living around a town focused on agriculture, it was a good time for me to compare country life in Ethiopia to my own experience back home.  Often times in Nebraska and the midwest boring is a typical term used to describe watching the corn fields fly by your car window driving by the country side.  Beautiful, magnificent, and fascinating are terms that can describe Ethiopian country land.  It was hard to realize that it was real life.  Driving through the country side of Ethiopia is like traveling back in time or watching a movie from national geographic.

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Donkeys and horses pulling people in carriages, herding animals on the side of the road, traditional clothing, and huts are a few examples.  The animals are way smarter here as well.  Cows and bulls often try to escape or attack people in the U.S.  Here, the bulls even are herded on the sides of the road, always seeming to know that wherever they are herded will provide them with food.  The beef in restaurants is much more chewy than American beef because the Ethiopian cows are less plump as American cows.

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It is hard to describe the business of the roads.  There are literally people and animals walking all on the sides.  The drivers have to honk to warn the coming of a car or patiently wait for them to move out of the way.  It is not just in the city with the business of traffic but all over the country as well.

 

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Our group had the opportunity to take a little break from the travels and see the beauty of the mountains around us, including some wild monkeys.

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To top the day off was seeing camels in action carrying items for people.  Mostly large stacks of sticks or hay.  Below in this picture the white sacks were on the camels before.

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We made it safely to Dessie on a last minute decision to just drive the extra two hours in the dark to arrive at our hotel for the next week.

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