Friday, October 2, 2009

Ethiopia--Day Two

Today we did the “City Tour” that our guest house arranged. It basically involved driving around town to have several main buildings pointed out to us and then stopping at a few key locations. Our first stop was at the Ethiopia National Museum. It wasn’t very big, but probably the right size for our boys—and it had a lot of history. Ethiopia is the origin of humanity, after all. Instead of audio sets that you can rent, they have a few people there waiting to be your guide. We hired one, and so got the full history. We also got to see the bones of Lucy, the oldest, most complete skeleton in the world (or actually a replica of her since she’s visiting the States right now). A. got bored pretty quickly, but I., as usual, was all questions. Our museum guide was so impressed by how curious he was about everything and by his pertinent questions.

We next visited the Lion Zoo—as per the kids request. Why is it called that, you ask? Well, that’s it—about 10-12 lions in a big circular building separated into pairs. You are separated from the lions by a chain link fence—and could easily reach in and pet them if you were so bold. It was quite worth it, though, since most of the lions were pretty active—I’m sure partly because they were in mating pairs. We got to watch and listen as some of the males roared to each other for quite a while. And we got to see a lioness slap the amorous male in her pen that wouldn’t leave her alone, after which she then had to jump on him to get her point across. Just not something you get to watch in the States. (We don’t have any photos because it would have cost us 10x the entry fee to take pictures.)

We also drove up on the side of the mountain to see the oldest Christian church in Ethiopia.
The drive was much more interesting than the church because of all the people and foot traffic we saw. Little old ladies which giant bunches of twigs strapped to their backs walking down the hill, an Ethiopia priest making a pilgrimage up to the church, and much more.
The priest (it would have been in focus, but A. bumped Dan at just the wrong moment)
Ladies with bundles
A view of Addis Ababa
We also got to stop at Ethiopia’s largest textile market and bought a nice tablecloth! We then went home and had some of the best soup I have ever tasted, brought to us by our great guest house cook.

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