Ethiopia: Konso and surrounding area

Dorze village
The hills above Arbre Minch have a cluster of historic and interesting villages. A steep climb of 1000 metres ends at one of these villages.

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We camped in a compound where I astounded a crowd with my upper body strength!

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On the road

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Meet the cows…

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Meet the meat!

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Beehives hanging in trees

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Fasting food (meaning vegetarian) on flat bread. Getting this kind of food is quite rare because unless you specify each of the side orders, you just get the dollop of red lentil in the centre. On this rare occasion we made it into the kitchen and pointed at the veg to the lady who was cooking. One of those strange ‘cultural differences’ is that men absolutely forbid us to enter the kitchen. And although the ladies are quite happy to show us what they are cooking it’s not long before some stroppy bloke tells you to get out..

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Lake Chamo / National park

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Drinks and dinner in a posh lodge overlooking the forest and Lake

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Security guards carried sticks to protect us against the baboons

Konso village
Locals had organised themselves into a cooperative where you can get information about the different villages in the area. They give you a guide and together we visited a walled village. Children and adults had also been trained not to beg from visitors, the guide acknowledged this was a very difficult task and at first they enforced it by education and fining the families of the beggar until the message finally sank in. Another problem is that even when asked not to give money or pens to the children some individuals still do it behind their backs. So predictably, when the children corner you and you’re alone, they ask for money and pens.

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Our knowledgeable guide

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Every 18 years a new ‘generation pole’  is added to the bundle. Even though they’ve done this for hundreds of years the pole is entirely devoured by termites in 80 years, hence the different heights of the poles..

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Weaver at work..

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Our guide explains how the boys huts work. Children under marrying age sleep above on mats. Should there be an emergency or fire they are quickly rallied into action. He was raised in this village and slept in one very similar.

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Boys hut from the outside

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Other sights around the area

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Cultural centre. Display of grave markers, this one being from  the time of Derg.

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Local fermented drink made from sourgam?? and drank from a hollowed out gourd. Now I’ve tried it I don’t need to try it again.

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A drink for the masses

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Local market

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‘Money, money, money, money, money, money, money’
‘NO’
‘Money, money, money, money, money, money, money’
‘NO’
‘Money, money, money, money, money, money, money’
‘NO’
‘Pen, pen, pen, pen, pen, pen, pen, pen, pen, pen’
‘NO PEN, NO MONEY’
(and so the conversation continues covering t-shirts, shoes and looping back to money for as long as we cycle uphill)..

Categories: Africa, Ethiopia | Leave a comment

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