Out of Addis, a little bit at least

I was pleased to manage to get out of Addis this morning, a little bit at least. Shimeles, one of the DFID drivers, picked me up at 9am and we drove north past Arat Kilo and Siddist Kilo through Shiro Meda – where there are countless stalls selling textiles – up into the hills of Entoto.

Women carrying wood for fuel to Addis

The roads were thronged with people – everyone going to church. We had a walk up in the hills, looking at views of Addis, and then drove on through Entoto to the main road that goes north to the Blue Nile bridge. Amazing landscapes – wide expansive plains and then big mountains. Shacks by the side of the road. People┬áherding goats and cows towards Addis. Mules or donkeys fully loaded with wood. Oh, and women loaded up with eucalyptus wood to sell in Addis for a dollar per big bundle, which must take nearly a whole day to collect and transport to Addis. The area north of Addis is in the region of Oromia. In contrast to Amharic, Oromofia uses the Roman/Latin alphabet, so hotels are hooteles or something like that. I tried to find out how come Oromofia uses that alphabet whereas Amharic doesn’t, but drew a bit of a blank. However, it seems that the switch from Ge’ez – the script that Amharic continues to use – to the Roman/Latin alphabet was made quite recently.

Then we drove back to Addis taking the road that ends up at Piazza and did a tour of Mercato, Old Airport area, back towards the Bole road – past the abbatoir (which did not have me reconsidering my non-meat-eating ways) – and up to Meskel square. We then went back to Shiro Meda for a bit of perusing of the stalls and visited a project for women who have had enough of carrying fuelwood to addis and would rather weave. Notable that men don’t carry huge piles of sticks to Addis under a scorching sun for $1 per day. Only women. And mules. Bloomin’ mules, out-competing the men from lucrative work. More photos here.

Oh, we did pass the monster doves up near siddist kilo. I was going to take a photo, but apparently it’s where the ethiopian pope – pope-equivalent – lives and people don’t much like you taking photos of his monster doves.

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