GPS coord.
lat.: 12.9505
lon.: 36.1592
Metema - Last day in Ethiopia
May 30, 2005

Metema is the furthest I've been off the beaten path since the lower Omo valley.  The town is built up of only mud-huts, but like almost any border town there is a fair-sized market.  I check into one of the two $1/night hotels and am shocked to find that among the mud huts there is a satellite dish, a TV, and a generator powering it all.  Mud huts and satellite dishes - what a crazy world we live in?


Satellite Dish

Lunch at my hotel that day was one of the least pleasant eating experiences that I ever had.  Before bringing my plate of injeera, the waiter broke off a piece of a leafy branch and handed it to me.  "What the hell is this?", I wondered.  Through hand motions they tried to explain it to me, but when the food arrived the need for the branch became all too clear.

A huge swarm of flies attacked my food.  With the branch in my left hand, I desperately try to swat away the flies, while I'm shoveling the food into my mouth with my right hand.  It was disgusting. 

In the morning, I step out of my room in search of the shower.  The woman from the hotel motions for me to follow her.  Somehow I assumed that the hotel would have a shower.  But she leads me out of the hotel, and to the main street, then through the market.  During this walk, I'm half-naked wearing nothing but a sarong.  What do you do in a situation like that?  Turning around seemed more humiliating than continuing forward, so I kept going, trying to keep my chin up I pretended that I knew what I was doing.  It felt like a very long walk, but 200 yards down the main road we come to a communal pay-to-use shower place.  I watch what the locals pay, and manage to get a shower for only the local price.  The shower-manager wasn't happy with a foreigner paying the local price, but I managed to get away with it.  Then I walked back to the hotel, clean, but still half-naked.

My visa expires the following day.  It's time for me to leave, and so I start packing my bags.

After 5 months, that's it for Ethiopia.

Leave a comment!  I'm much more inspired to write when I know people are reading. 

Erica - May 24, 2007

I had that same type of fly situation happen in Laos; it destroyed my appetite having to shovel the food into my mouth.  I wasn't THAT hungry!

joy - May 28, 2007

hi adam!  my friend stephen recommended your site, and i have to say--what you're doing is inspiring me in many ways.  i will continue to read about your travels eagerly, and will do my best to give feedback.  rock on, man.

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