Almost as soon as I got off the plane, in Addis Ababa, ETT had me embark on a two-day trip to Awasa (also spelled Hawasa) by car. Due to the long flight, I was already very tired, but if I was to see all the things I wanted to see, there was no time to be wasted.
When we did, finally, arrive in Awasa, my room was on the fifth floor, and the elevator wasn’t working. On top of that, there was no water in my room. Not even cold water. A normal tourist would have been outraged, veins popping out of his forehead and waving his arms wildly. Instead, the following morning, I told the staff that if one of them sat down with me and tutored me on reading Amharic, all would be forgiven. I’d like to say that this lesson culminated in my being able to read Amharic well by the end of my trip. But I’m still working on it.
What of the two-day trip itself? I saw many things, so here are a few of them. I’ll follow up with one or two later posts.
According to my local guide, these are ancient tombstones, and the swords depict the number of enemies killed by the deceased. The guide also claimed that the people who erected these monuments were Semites. He said that this marked the border between the Semitic world and other language groups, such as Omotic and Cushitic.
We visited a large lake, and I’m fairly certain it was Lake Abijata – so that’s what I’ll call it. Near its shores are numerous hot springs, as you can see here:
The lake water is high in sulfur, but nearby villagers have only this water to use. I was told that the discoloration in this boy’s teeth is a result of the sulfur. Feel free to correct me if you know otherwise:
Here are some views of the Ethiopian Rift Valley: