Just arrived in Kenya and lo and behold internet here actually works. Wow, this is new. It’s been awhile since I’ve been online. Which hasn’t hurt me…. plus, it was fun getting a batch of e-mails at once! Thanks to those who wrote.
The last several Ethiopian towns have struck out connection-wise. In Konso I didn’t see any internet cafes, in Yebelo there were three: the first was closed, the second told me they had disconnected their internet but were planning to setup again in two more weeks, the third was out of operation. Then I got to Moyale (Ethiopian side) and it looked like a pretty good size town (pop ~25,000) but unfortunately electricity was off for the whole city.
I asked someone how long it would take for power to get up and get going again. He didn’t know: “Sometimes it’s out for hours, sometimes for days.” ok.
But here, a quarter mile over on the Kenyan side, power works just fine… even though I’m apparently nearly 400 miles from the nearest paved Kenyan road.
There have been plenty of adventures since I’ve written last, of course. Spent a week with a missionary family down in SW Ethiopia which was a lot of fun. Visited sundry ministries in Addis. Write more about all that later.
Wildlife-wise I’ve seen baboons, crocodiles, zebras, and surprisingly, quite a few camels.
I’m getting a little tired of traveling. Even exotic travel as I’m doing. For instance, travel yesterday morning started about 5:30am crossing the Omo river via boat. Then Land Cruiser five hours (mostly on dirt tracks and gravel roads – sometimes criscrossing through native tribal towns), then three more hours on rough dirt roads in the front cab of an Isuzu pickup truck. This morning started about 5:30am again with a three hour ride in a 12-passenger mini-bus taxi. Think I’ll stay here in Moyale one night because the next leg to Marasbit is about nine hours all on rough road and I’m ready for a short break.
Ethiopia was fun, and the people were (for the most part) helpful and friendly, but I didn’t feel bad about leaving. To be honest, the people often got on my nerves. I know that doesn’t sound Christian, but it’s how I feel.
There is a lot of talk about not making cultural faux pas when traveling, but I found Ethiopians have a habit of committing reverse faux pas around me.
For instance, giving me no privacy (which is considered rude by Western standards or at least by my standards). Yesterday at lunch one of the workers sat down at my table and wanted to talk while I was trying to eat. He even took the liberty to brush ash off my injera with his bare (unwashed) hands. Then when I was done he started scraping dregs of ‘wat” out of my wat-dish and put them on my plate (see Ethi cuisine). Please, I just wanted to be left alone. Can a guy eat in peace and quiet? No. And also, is it possible for them to get a bathroom put together that works? No. There will always be a toilet that leaks, or a sink that doesn’t work, or knobs hanging half off, or no water, and always no toilet paper.
But it’s all good. I’m just learning people in other places are very different from home.
Societal norms are very different too. Within the tribes out here in the bush the kids run naked and the women go topless. Not to mention the great out of doors is the toilet and the the river is the bathtub. Different than home, that’s for sure. The men carry around a head rest for sleeping (or sitting). Of all the accouterments to carry around, this one is essential so their hair (which is carefully decorated with baked in clay) won’t get messed up.
Have I been learning anything? Yes. Many things. For one, I have lots of new ideas of what I want to try doing in the future from what I’ve seen others involved with. In that way I’ve been inspired.
But also I feel I’m nearing the end of the “seeing” stage and am ready to stick somewhere a little longer term than a couple weeks or months. It’s frustrating not being fully apart of anything. To not be fully invested somewhere. Of course, that’s why I left: being tired of the “rut.”
Anywho, will try to write more later. Not sure what to write about exactly, maybe if someone has a question they could ask it in the comments section and I’ll try answering it later.
I’ve been taking pictures but don’t have a way to upload them.