Addis Ababa/Ethiopia – Moyale/Ethiopia

It is Wednesday, the 11th of April, a rainy day here in Nairobi. Lunchtime. Best conditions for a web-session and some news about what happened the past three weeks since our last posts from Addis. We both hope you all are fine and have had a good time as well. Thanks again for all the comments! We posted yesterday a selection of 25 new pictures all together, this time in one single post, but for the text we decided to separate this stage in two legs, our last 8 days in Ethiopia to the border in Moyale and the first 12 days in Kenia, up to Nairobi. So let’s start from our departure in Addis then.
In total we spent 5 relaxing nights in the Taitu Hotel. We had a last breakfast in our favorite Pizza/Coffee place near by on Wednesday morning and then went on, mostly downhill, direction south, passing the town of Debre Zeit. On Thursday we arrived already in Shashemene, had our lunch break there in a pleasant Rasta – restaurant. I felt already tired in the morning and by then exhausted with no appetite. I felt, I needed a proper rest. So Abby and Michael, we met them there, recommended the Rift Valley Hotel nearby. Well, after about two hours of rest, I felt that something is wrong. I was feeling weak, sick, just wanted to sleep, my pulse was higher then normal, stomach pain, fever. So we decided to stay right there and to see how things look the next morning.
The next morning I felt I needed help, was worried about my condition. I was dehydrated, couldn’t eat or drink. So with the help of Sister Shirley, originally born and raised in Jamaica and a local employee from the Hotel for the translation, we went to the local clinic, to see a doctor. They were really friendly and helpful there. Within an hour I had a first check, a talk with the doctor, a laboratory test, a second talk with the doctor and a shot of antibiotic, plus the additional prescription of antibiotics and electrolytes. The doctor said, I was suffering of a bacterial infection in my stomach and that my defense has been not strong enough, but I will fully recover within 48 hours. Well, so nothing really serious. I was feeling much better on our way back. Thanks also to you Eduardo for your call and your advice!

After a good rest I started to eat again and on Saturday morning we decided to move on, slowly of course. But the psychological stress of riding on a bicycle through these Ethiopian villages and towns was still immense. To be honest, we wanted to leave this country as quickly as possible. You are exposed to everybody out there, who demands your attention, again with this endless and stupid „You“, „You“ calls and the „farandsh“, „farandsh“ choruses and the „Where are you go?“ slogan, over and over and over again, many hundred times every single day. Of course we still try to to be friendly, to greet, to explain, to give some of our attention. But often it was just too much. Then I locked myself up, trying to ignore the terror, concentrated on the wonderful tropical plants along the way instead, or the work of my leg muscles while going uphill, or on beautiful memories from the past.
Three nice stops come to my mind after Shashemene. The first was at a local restaurant on the first day, where I had the chance to lay down for a while under the shadow of some banana plants in the back garden and where I got offered a colorful rug with a smile. Thomas meanwhile met a young man, who has studied and was working as an agrar scientist. He showed him also how coffee beans and pineapples grow. Later on we had a nice talk all together before we went on. The second stop was on Sunday evening, when we arrived in a little village after an also physically hard day (1700m uphill, more then 7 hours riding time and not even 90km). A young man was passing the excited crowd, introduced himself as a local English teacher and showed us a place where we could spent the night. Thank you! Then we had a good Enjera diner together in a hidden place, with the light of a single candle light. There is no electricity in this village at this time he explained to us. Well, after we invited him for a beer (we had water), we were ready for our beds anyway.
The next morning we had an appointment with him again. We had told him, that we would be very interested to have a look inside of a school, a class. The school where he teaches was further away, so we went to another one. But somehow he seemed not too enthusiastic about the idea and also because of his level of mastering the English language, we were doubting already, if he is really a teacher. Also he has never been to Addis Ababa!!! Unbelievable. Well, but the school visit was really interesting and helpful. We had a quick look inside of two classes, introduced ourselves and asked some questions. Our ‚teacher‘ told us that the class sizes normally vary between 60 and 90 students!! Also the age of the students varies more then usual. That explains a lot. There are by far too many students per teacher and if then the teachers are not even really qualified… We invited him and his friend for a typical tea and donut breakfast afterwards.
By the way, on this morning, Monday, I had my first flat tire after more than 11.000km! A metal splinter was the reason. Half an hour later it was fixed.
The third stop I want to talk about was, when we were passing this wild crowd of local farmers with care and respect. They were jumping and singing and waving with their axes and spears and farming tools high up in the air, moving slowly along the road. We were greeting and smiling – what else can you do? A few hundred meters on we saw two cyclists with loaded bikes ahead of us, going the other direction. Dorothee and Kurt, a German Swiss couple, on their way back ‚home‘, after 9 years on the road! Their motto is „reduce speed“. What a place and time to meet! Unfortunately we just had about 10 minutes to talk, to exchange some experiences about each others next kilometers/days, before the wild crowd had encircled us. They are in Addis Ababa right now. Their information were very helpful for our mental preparation for the stage in Kenia from Moyale to Isiolo. In Moyale we arrived on Wednesday afternoon. Happy and healthy! ;)


pictures to this article: Addis Abeba/Äthiopien – Nairobi/Kenia : Fotos

11. April 2007 - Maik | english texts | Kommentare :: comments :: comentarios | Inhalt drucken

One Response to “Addis Ababa/Ethiopia – Moyale/Ethiopia”

  1. 1 NADINE 11 April 2007 @ 20:50

    Im Exeter-Book aus dem 10. Jahrhundert ist ein altenglisches Gedicht mit dem Titel „The Wanderer“ überliefert und Tränen schillerten in meinen Augen, weil ich mich daran erinnert fühlte, als ich deine Zeilen las. Das verwirrte mich, weil ich das Wandererdasein – sowohl von Olli als auch von mir – zu kennen glaubte, aber eigentlich ist es nie so intensiv gewesen, wie du es beschrieben hast.
    Die Verse „The Wanderer“ sind allerdings schon viele Jahrhunderte alt, als sie endlich aufgeschrieben werden. Älter vielleicht als die Odyssee des Homer.
    Darin heißt es: „Wyrd bið ful aræd!“ („Das Schicksal ist unausweichlich!“)
    Sie haben diesen magischen Klang, strahlen so eine unheimliche Tiefe aus, eine Aura, die auch deine Worte umgeben. Ich wusste nicht, dass du ein Wortmagier bist, aber das bist du. Und du hast etwas gewonnen auf deinem Weg, ein Blick, der vielen im Laufe ihres Lebens nie gewährt wird: Ein Einblick in dein Schicksal, der für diese Zeiten und stillen Momente am tiefsten ist … und auch am einsamsten.

    Die kleine Familie hier in Brasilien ist in Gedanken bei dir.

    Um grande abraco pra vocé

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