So, I heard going to the airline ticket booths saves money. Only, the savings with Ethiopia Airlines only works if the inbound ticket was purchased through them so my plan to fly from Addis to Jinka or Abraminch for the low didn’t quite work out.
I had already contacted my guide, Degu about just doing an Addis day tour but he knew I was interested in going to Omo Valley and seeing some of the tribes. He came up with a solution, since I wasn’t going to purchase plane tickets he offered a surface tour. With a limited amount of time he provided a four day, jam-packed itinerary.
Jayla and I were both wore out by day two but we kept at it. On the third day, my baby was coughing, itchy, and not feeling 100%. As we were going to the next tribe, her usual upbeat personality was dull. I did the only thing I could do to cheer her up, I asked her about Minecraft. Her attitude immediately changed and in between car rides I read one of her favorite Minecraft fan fictions novels along with her. Anyways, that’s how I became an expert in all things Minecraft.
Not only did I learn a lot about Minecraft, but I learned quite a it about the different tribes we visited. I did cancel the fourth day because by then, we were both running low. However, Degu decided to take us to a different nearby attraction and we ended up on a boat ride to see hippos and crocodiles.
Day 1: Our day started at 6 am. From Addis we drove to Tiya.
Our first stop was the UNESCO headstones where the number of swords represented the warriors kills. We also stopped at Lake Abiya.
Next, we went to the Dorze tribe 2000m above sea level in the mountains.
On the way up, I had some chat leaves which are supposed to have the same effect as coffee but if too much is consumed it causes drunkenness. (This is also the time I renamed our driver ‘bruhhhh’ in my head because he was driving so damn close to the edge).
While there, Jayla and I tried the traditional weaving, spinning, cutting, and scraping the leaves of the cochow tree which is used to make
Dorze pizza. It’s fermented underground for three months and the fibers are used to make rope.
After that, one of the women prepared the pizza and I was offered “holy water.” Turning down a shot is equivalent to not taking your shoes off when you walk into your granny’s house.
Day 2: We drove from Abraminch to Turmi and stopped by the Konso Village. We also went to the weekly market in Dimmeca. While visiting the villages were enjoyable, at the end of each tour the women and children would begin setting up their items to sell. Some to the tribes were a bit more aggressive than others but it was a reminder that it wasn’t an immersive experience, we were just tourist.
Day 3: Another early morning wake up as we rode to the Dassanch tribe which borders Kenya. We also drove to Jinka to visit the Ari tribe.
As we left we ran into the Walking Stick Boys, we made out attempt tp get up on the sticks..it kinda worked out. Now, they don’t have a village tour and this was probably the one group I felt most comfortable with because it felt odd to go into people’s personal space and take pictures, even though I was encouraged to at each location. There are entry and pictures fees set up but it feels odd, to me, taking pictures of people. Once Degu explained they use the money for their village and school fees, it helped changed my perspective.
Day 4: We were going to continue and drive to the Mursi Village and stop by the market in Keayfer, but the whole exhausted thing happened and we ended up on the boat instead.
Once we returned to Addis, we went back to our room (we roomed at a circus, well a place were the performers practiced) and went to the National Museum of Ethiopia.
Would I go back? Absolutely, but I’d definitely make it a month or longer.