I have arrived in Nairobi safely. I am now back in Tala. It feels really good to be back. Even though I noticed how different Ethiopia was before, now it’s more clear than ever. I haven’t slept in in over twenty-four hours but I have so much to do around Tala because I haven’t been here in three weeks. I walked to the market to meet up with a colleague and discuss the latest at the college (nothing new); apparently most of the teachers and students haven’t even reported yet. I guess it’s good I didn’t rush back from Ethiopia early.
Hanging out in Ethiopia was a fabulous experience and I will never forget the dramatic difference in culture from other East African countries I’ve visited. Other than a t-shirt and some music I didn’t see anything worth buying (there’s plenty of “tourist” stuff though, like wooden carvings). The t-shirt I bought has an Ethiopian singer on it, Teddy Afro; he sings in Amharic about social and political issues. I’m not sure who made this video, but you can hear the song on Youtube here. I am pretty sure this song is asking Rita Marley to bring Bob Marley’s ashes to the Rastafari village in Shashamane.
I also bought a book of collected works of Kim Il-Sung from 1973. There are lots of people selling books on the streets of downtown Addis Ababa. While there are definitely all kinds of books, there seems to be a large amount of leftist literature: gender equality, revolution, class struggle, Communist, Socialist, Marxist, etc… The book I bought is in good condition and was really cheap (20 birr, or $2) so I figured “what the hell.” I guess they’re probably left over from the Communist Derg regime in the 1970s and 80s.
I have a bunch of pictures from Ellinor’s camera but I haven’t had time to put them online yet. I still have to go through them and pick a few dozen of the best ones.