On The Road Again by Katie Rancourt

Today we had to say goodbye to Lalibela and it’s beautiful rock churches. Our next stop was Kombulcha where we were staying overnight before going back to Addis Ababa. Sisay, Mulate, and Abel were ready to load the cars around 8:30 a.m. while the group mentally prepared for the six hour drive ahead of us. After the car was packed up we left the gorgeous Mountain View hotel and made a quick stop at the bank, and a local shop to pick up a box of pens so we were prepared for the children we saw along the drive. On our previous car rides children would yell “Money, money!!” at us, but we noticed on our drive to Lalibela that the majority of the children asked for pens so that they could write in their notebooks for school.

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Children chasing after the cars.

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Some of the children posing for a picture.

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Busy streets that we drove through.

About three hours went by and we stopped for lunch at the same hotel that we ate at on the way to Lalibela. Overall I don’t think this was everyone’s favorite place to eat but we made due and enjoyed our break from being in the car.

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Brianna catching some zzz’s after lunch. Sometimes we get tired.

Another couple of hours went by and we stopped to stretch our legs and take in spectacular view of the mountains and winding roads we had driven on. There was no one in sight when we first got out of the car but as usual, about thirty seconds later the local children and people passing by with their animals stopped to see the foreigners, or as they like to say “forengis”.

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Veronica using her Amharic phrase book to talk to the locals.

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Classic car selfie with Sisay!

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Mulate posing for a picture in his sunglasses.

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Sunglasses selfie with Mulate!

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Locals coming to see the “forengis”.

Shortly after our last stop, we pulled up to the Sunnyside hotel in Kombulcha. We unloaded the luggage and were given our room keys, so we scattered to check out the rooms. Some of us were in regular hotel rooms, and the others stayed in a bungalow, which was basically a suite with two beds in it that was located in round buildings behind the hotel. Something new at this hotel that we haven’t had before was the provided mosquito nets that hung over our beds. We noticed the larger amounts of bugs here so everyone that had the nets made sure to sleep under them.

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The bungalow!

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Our first experience with the “bimbi”, or mosquito nets.

After getting settled in, we gathered in the restaurant where the majority of us ordered French fries for dinner. A combination of not knowing what to order, not wanting to spend too much, and craving American food contributed to the multiple orders of French fries. We finished off the evening by taking a tour of a local St. George brewery, which would be similar to a beer such as Budweiser in the United States. We were able to sample some beers before it was time to go, and returned to the hotel rest up. We had to get some sleep before another long car ride back to the country’s capitol, Addis Ababa.

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Being goofy and posing in front of the St. George banner!

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