Update from Ethiopia

I just returned to Addis Ababa from Omo Valley. Visiting the Omo Valley area is almost like visiting another planet. In many rural areas, people wander about in full native garb, which sometimes means wearing nothing at all. I visited the Hamar tribe (attending their famous/infamous bull-jumping ceremony), the Karo tribe, the Xonso (or Konso) tribe, and the Mursi tribe (famous for their lip plates). We had contact with the Ts’amai tribe too – but only by virtue of having run over one of their goats with our vehicle. Not a pleasant experience; I’ll tell y’all about it later.
Here’s a video clip from the drive from Arba Minch to the town of Konso, where we spent the night before heading out to the Hamar village:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiroSJreLkc&w=560&h=315]

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9 Responses to Update from Ethiopia

  1. Is such a trip not dangerous? Diseases, mosquitoes, animals, wars, crime, etc? I guess it needs good planning. Is this a simple independent trip or are you doing a protected luxury trip with top hotels and special guides and protection?

    • jewamongyou says:

      It’s by no means a luxury trip. The hotels I stayed in in Omo didn’t have electricity or even water. The windows didn’t even have screens, and the facilities were very primitive. But I did hire a tour company for these excursions, and they did provide security when needed. We did have an armed guard, along with a guide who spoke the native language, when visiting the Mursi for example. As for diseases, I’ve been taking malaria pills, and I”m up to date on all required vaccinations, such as hepatitis and yellow fever.
      The roads here are pretty safe. In Omo I was with a Japanese couple. They had just toured Kenya, and wanted to see southern Ethiopia as well. They didn’t drive from Nairobi to southern Ehtiopia – because the roads in Kenya are too dangerous. Instead, they flew to Addis Ababa, and then drove all the way down to Omo, which is only a few miles from the border.

      • Sol says:

        So how does one even go about arranging this type of trip, was it essentially through a tour company and then you added on to it?
        Are you with a group or alone on this venture? Seems like it could be a lonely place at times if you are alone in a place so different than you are used to and where you don’t speak the language

  2. wullfe says:

    Why you went to this God awful place is beyond me? Please don’t bring anything back with you other than the cattle and goats seeking refugee status on a ‘no-kill’ farm.

    • Stealth says:

      Going to another country, even to one that might be known as a crap hole, as an appeal that you just don’t get until you’ve done it.

      • wullfe says:

        It’s surprising Jewamongyou put himself in a dangerous situation where it’s well-known blacks hate Whites.
        Traveled quite a bit to foreign countries, the worst, African. Had I been smart, I would have looked at National Geographic and ‘Genocide Watch’ a few more times.

  3. jewamongyou says:

    Re: Wulfe,
    “blacks hate whites” is generally a true statement, but I’m curious as to your own experiences in black Africa. My own experiences, both in Madagascar and here in Ethiopia, paint a more complex picture.
    Yes, some black Africans do hate whites; they’re exposed to much of the same anti-white propaganda that we’re exposed to in the Western world. Some of them simply hate anybody who’s different. Others are jealous. Yet others are just plain crazy. I’ve seen all that.
    But in general, it’s more curiosity, or fondness, that I’ve seen here. Many people see me and smile and wave, or throw me kisses. Kids treat me like a celebrity. I’ll write about my experiences, in more detail, in a separate post – but when I needed to visit a medical clinic (because I thought I had malaria), I was immediately put at the front of the line, when I visit banks, I’m escorted to the front, or to a banker in the back, to give me special attention. When my car has to go through a checkpoint, they don’t even bother checking my luggage; they see a white face and wave us through (though they do check my passport). They’ll trust a white man far more readily than they’ll trust another black man.
    I’ve read that other whites have had similar experiences in black Africa. I can’t speak for the rest of Africa, but Ethiopia is definitely more hospitable than Congo, Nigeria or South Africa.
    Any time you travel, you put yourself at risk. Some people will avoid unnecessary risk at almost any cost. Obviously, I place a greater premium on seeing the fascinating places this world has to offer.

  4. jewamongyou says:

    Re: Sol,
    In my case, I shopped around for the best flight deal, then I shopped around for a tour company. I ended up doing some of my activities by myself (and a tour guide) and others as part of a group.
    Some people are more adventurous, and they arrange each activity on their own (except for Danakil of course). They save money, but risk missing out on some things, or getting into trouble.

  5. I hope you are having a great vacation. I noticed you are receiving a lot of criticism lately for going to Africa. I for one am glad that you went. It’s one thing to write about race, study race, and to experience diversity in the US, it’s another thing to go to a non-white country and to experience it there.
    As Africa goes, I think you went to one of the safest countries. I can think of a lot more dangerous places, or places with greater anti-white sentiment. That being said, I am sure you are doing your best to be careful. While it isn’t for everyone, I think world travel can be a very interesting and educational experience. A great adventure is worth some level of risk. I am hoping to travel a lot more myself in the future.
    I am eagerly looking forward to seeing more videos or pictures of your trip upon your return. Thanks for keeping us updated on your blog even during your vacation.

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