My Ethiopian ConclusionFebruary 3, 2016 in Ethiopia
A month in Ethiopia has left me satisfied and confident I have explored all that I wanted. My lasting impressions are a little mixed.
I know I've had a few harsher things to stay about Ethiopian people. Let's keep in mind, this only my experience, and I do not want others to feel the need to defend it's people. I'm very aware we all have different experiences, and that there are wonderful Ethiopian people out there.
My lasting impression of the people is they really don't seem to care about helping you... Sounds harsh, but I've mentioned a few examples already. Small yet frequent things like when a waiter has difficulty understanding you, they leave, disappear. But minutes later you find them doing nothing, just standing somewhere else. They didn't understand so they gave up and left. No bill was ever coming, no food. They can always go get someone with better English. Or ask me to say it different ways. But no, they just leave.
The kids all mock faranjis, their hellos and "give me money" all sound like a game to them. One where they've aloud themselves to grab onto whatever they can, to fully reach their arms out and point and laugh at you, to have full conversations about you in front of you... They act as if we owe them these things, offended when we don't comply. I really wish I could meet the first white person who decided it was a good idea to give out candy to all the kids. As if that would help their nutrition, or further their education, or health.
I find it very difficult to leave with this impression, but my few positive experiences were overshadowed by the number of negative experiences.
The country itself, absolutely beautiful! The towns themselves were incredibly interesting, with so much character and history. Following the travel book was one way to go about exploring, but some of my favourite moments were those where we just went for a walk, off the usual path, and see what the country gives us. I still think my favourite walk was in Bahir Dar where we just walked down the main road until it was no longer a main road... Some nature mixed in with villages, gives a deeper understanding of the true Ethiopia. The nature was gorgeous, mountain after mountain leading to incredible views. I mean, the volcano, and the whole Danakil Depression speaks for itself. I honestly, truly enjoyed my experiences here.
Most of my travels have been in South East Asia, with some of Europe more recently. I have never seen the continent of Africa, and it has opened my eyes to a whole new world needing to be explored. The way of life, culture, traditions are all so unique and beautiful. Granted, the poverty is also at a level I haven't seen, except maybe my little time spend in Cambodia. People seem to help each other out here. From what I've understood of their interactions, they appear to share with themselves, they give their seats up to others, they show affection amongst friends and family, their greetings to each other always appear sincere and respectful... Like when we were on an 8 hour bus to Shire, there was a baby (maybe 5-6 months old) that was being passed around to probably 10 people to give mom a break, the little sister being around 5 was sitting on her brothers one by one. Why us faranjis don't deserve the same respect, I will never understand.
Onto new discoveries! Ethiopia, thank you.Read more