In the morning of our final day, we took a trip to the fish market at a Awassa.
The fish market was by the side of the lake and there were people and birds
gathered around the hauls of fish being brought in by the fishermen. The birds
were of particular interest, and there's definitely something sinister about
some of them. Unfortunately, when you tried to take a photo of the birds,
children would throw them bits of fish guts in the hope that you would give
them money. It was very difficult to get some reasonable photos of the birds
not on the lake.
Other stops, and they were quite brief, were to see into another hut but we
were refused and Firew couldn't bargain properly with the owner because she
didn't speak Amharic. To be honest, I think it suited us. We also stopped at
a lake where the Ark of the Covenant is supposed to have been hidden on an
island. Ethiopia claims to have the Ark (I'm sure it can't be the only country
to claim this). It is said that it is at Axum, hidden away. No-one can see it
of course. The only thing that makes the story more realistic is that the
people on the island on which the ark was supposedly hidden speak Tigrinian.
They are a long way from Tigray.
As we got closer to Addis, the roads were getting much busier and the driving
scarier. Both of our drivers were probably glad to be close to home but I think
we were all a little bit worried. Having said that, I still count our drivers
as good in comparison to other Ethiopians.
Thousands of animals were being taken into Addis for the Meskel celebrations.
Cars and taxis were adorned with chickens like fluffy dice on the outside. The
animals and ourselves would have been suffering from the pollution of the
Addis air. This was the first time I had noticed it this bad. Probably due to
the fleets of large, poorly maintained lorries pumping soot and other nasties
out of their exhausts.
We were taken to our hotels and we bid Firew, Teriku, Tadesse, and Luleet a
fond farewell. They definitely come recommended. We met up again with the new
volunteers, all of whom had arrived and planned our flight back and the
Mekelle volunteers' first evenings out.