After my first full day in Africa, my senses are whimpering for respite.
I’m not sure whether it’s the thick pollution; the crowds of unwashed humanity (such a change after the sterility of Bahrain); the overwhelming number of crippled, mangled, diseased and leprous people begging on the streets; or the sheer noise and, colour and volume of the population, but I’m ready to fall deeply into unconsciousness and shut it all out for a while.
I gratefully downed the full 500 mL I was poured at dinner at Yod Abyssinian, a loud and noisy restaurant where you can eat your fill of injera, the local food, while watching traditional Ethiopian tribal dancing – which is quite something to behold. The place was packed full of local people, except for the faranji – foreigners – in suits, who I presume work for one of the many NGOs who are headquartered here in Addis Ababa. I saw my first UN vehicle today, and check out this US aid sack being used as a rubbish bin.
It took a while to get the technique of eating with my fingers (right hand only, NEVER use your left hand as that is reserved for less ahem, wholesome activities), but I managed to drop something on myself only once. I am absolutely stuffed …. I think what I really need is to lie down on the bed and moan a little. The honey wine had to find its way into the tiny gaps left in my stomach after I plugged the entire organ with goat meat, cabbage, and red bean chiro. Sooooo yummy – but now I hurt a bit. I haven’t been this full in ages.
There is much more to report, but I am about to head into deepest darkest Africa, where I’m told there may be internet ... and there may not be. I don't even know if these photos are going to upload properly, so I'll count myself lucky if I can connect at all.
So this may be my last post for a while, but rest assured – I am taking notes; and I will re-establish the lines of communication as soon as technology allows.