Monday, March 26, 2007

out of touch...again.

middle: anna on the left and jeremy on the right. mercedes below. africans scattered in the rafters. desert outside marsabit all around.

hello my friends,

it's been awhile since i've been able to log in at all or when it's financially feasible.

let's get started. where did i leave off... yes, in kenya. the big crossing. suffice to say, the trip exceeded all expectations with regards to being bounced around. to summarize, i got to isiolo fine. from there i bumped into friends from nairobi, anna and jeremy. fantastic people. jeremy's from calgary originally. living in the uk now. anna a full blown english girl. their adventure involves driving their unmistakable yellow mercedes from capetown all the way home to london. last i heard from them in nairobi, they were trying to have the car shipped from to moyale on the ethiopian/kenyan border. there's no way the mercedes could have made it.

well, i'm in isiolo, another story in itself, and voila! there's this yellow mercedes in the back of this transport truck. i found anna and jeremy throwing back brewskies in a local watering hole and i ask for a lift.

half hour later, i find myself in the back of the truck riding in the backseat of the merc with 20 or so africans hanging onto the rails

the torture lasted through the night. the ride in the merc didn't help smooth out the jarring potholes. the saving graces were the brilliant starry night, outstanding music selection from jeremy's ipod (it played john lennon singin' imagine. how appropriate, eh?), and bottles of red wine and cheap whiskey to dampen the pain. let's just say everyone in the back was having fun.

i overheard one of the kenyans mention, "traveling's fun..." now that's hilarious.

we reached moyale within 48 hrs.

mursi woman. lip plate is not conducive to good kissing but will fetch alot of cattle for her family when she marries (if that hasn't happened yet).

from moyale, i and a couple of spanish guys, luis and antonio (also on the truck from kenya), headed for the Omo valley in SW ethiopia. the original plan was to head to Addis Ababa immediately, but i nixed that plan because of the anticipated rains. travel in the Omo Valley would have been impossible.

how can i describe Omo in the least no. of words? national geographic. it's a living ethnographic museum of sorts. there are 5 or 6 tribes there that still live traditionally. each having it's own language. in theory, they have the occasional dust up because of rustling each other's cattle, but it was pretty peaceful while i was there.

i can get into the subject of tourism and the effects of it on these and other tribes around the world but that would require me to write some kind of dissertation. but it's safe to say, the traditional ways will not last long in the Omo. the influx of outsiders, africans and tourists, and the bloody road they're building.

oh, i forgot to mention 2 birr for a photo. i would kill the first tourist to offer money for photos.

after 7 days in Omo, i'm in AA. my task is to try to get a sudanese visa. pronto. the canadian embassy is not expediting the process...

if i don't get the visa in a reasonable amount of time, it's plan B.

i have an idea of what plan B should be but i ask my loyal readers for their suggestions...


update: anna and jeremy, spur of the moment, decided to marry yesterday. i arrived too late to video tape it. oh well... they hired a coptic monk to perform the ceremony.


Steve H. said...

Too bad you can't get to Abbis Ababa. Lots of fascinating history there. The Ark of the Covenant is located just north of it (in the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion). Hopefully you can find another route there.

dean said...

Plan B? I don't know, but I hpe that you're not planning on coming home yet! Stay as long as you can...

I get jealous everytime I read this damn blog of yours.