Return to Addis
Sep. 25th 2004
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.