I’ve been back for two weeks from my epic adventure to Ethiopia and have been thinking of how best to present it on my blog. There was so much! We saw so much, met so many people, experienced so many foods, it’s a little overwhelming to know where to begin.
Each night on this two week adventure I would go to bed thinking, nothing could possibly outdo today; and then the next day would outdo it. I was told by people that the trip would be life-changing and I have to admit I was skeptical. “Life-changing” is a term that gets thrown around a lot and I had no idea what I was about to experience and thus how my life would be changed.
When I returned, however, I had a starkly different perspective on life. This was the most different, exotic place and culture I have ever seen. There were lessons to be learned here and shame on me if it wasn’t life-changing!
The most striking thing about this trip was the people. Ethiopians are the friendliest, warmest and most welcoming people I have ever met. They often lead a hard, poor life and yet they are generally happy and smiling. It didn’t take long to realize that what we call “middle class” in the states would be wealthy in Ethiopia. I watched people who have to walk a mile each day to get water–water for cooking, drinking, and washing. I saw a lot of these folks and always they had a broad smile on their face and would have given you some of the water if you needed it.
Contrast that with the familiar sight of a rich business man in Washington, DC walking with his head down, scanning his smartphone and displaying all of his problems on his face.
I even asked a few people about this. I said, “This seems like a hard life and yet everyone seems so happy. Why is that?” More than one person told me their philosophy of worrying only about today and leaving the rest to providence.
I have a ton of pictures and there’s a story behind every one of them. I met scores of people and visited many amazing sites in the northern part of the country.
In the following weeks, I will publish several posts about the things I saw.
Topics will include:
- the cities we visited,
- the coffee
- the food we ate,
- the people we met,
- travel information like lodging, and
- a lot of the spectacular scenery from this profoundly beautiful country.
I have to thank my wife Alice for being willing to spend two weeks of vacation outside her comfort zone and enjoying it thoroughly. I have to also thank my wonderful friend Jim Warner and his lovely wife Meserat (Messi). They convinced us to visit them, gave us a place to stay, showed us the capital city of Addis Ababa, planned our trips outside of Addis, and shared their warm and loving friends with us.
Making this journey was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity.
Stay tuned for some great stories!