Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ethiopia (The Drive to Awassa)

Awassa Trip- Views from the Drive

On the 5th and 6th days in Ethiopia we drove down to Awassa which is where Sweet M*'s original orphanage was located. The drive was about 5-6 hours and although it was mostly paved it was one of the scariest moments we had in Ethiopia. The driver was driving too fast in our opinion and dodging animals in the road, donkey trains, bulls in the road, kids and people walking right in front of the car, etc... And, the way they dodge traffic is they get into the opposing lanes traffic... but sometimes the traffic in the opposing lane is so close we had to just close our eyes.

As frightening as that drive was the images we were able to see on the way down were amazing. I wrote in my journal, "... the drive was filled with so many emotions. There was beautiful scenery, children walking to and from school, kids playing soccer in big open fields, and mothers and sisters carrying babies on their backs. But, these images were right beside naked toddlers, kids scooping up and drinking dirty brown water, and young boys plowing fields. It is so hard to digest it all." I tried to post a variety of pictures, but they don't do justice to just how beautiful and sad it all was. Oh, and can you believe how green it was in some spots? They actually had miles and miles of green houses and we were told they export flowers all over the world. The views were ever changing though and some spots were so dry and had large termite mounds sticking up from the ground.

At times I would look out the window and think we had gone back in time. Seeing people living in the conditions that they are in Ethiopia... mud huts, thatched roofs, plowing fields with an ox and a wooden plow and living literally off the land just seemed so historic. It definitely made me grateful for every little thing I take for granted every day like clean running water, plumbing, electricity, grocery stores, infrastructure etc...


Zoe said...

Great to see the pictures.

Hmmm.. any way to request a different driver?? That would have made me sooo nervous! I remember a two hour drive from an airport in Mexico like that -- I thought we'd never make it. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death when traveling in foreign countries apparently.

Amber said...

Hey Zoe... we talked to Henok who was the WACAP staff person that was in the car when we finally arrived. The way home the driver went much slower and he was also more cautious.