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  • April 2008
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First impressions from Ethiopia

Today morning started my first visit to Ethiopia. Airport OK, not very crowded and reasonably fast immigration and customs. Also flying with Ethiopian airlines was pleasant. Weather was just fine – sunny, bit windy, dry, around 23-25C.

It was Easter Sunday today, however you could guess it only from some grass cluttered on the floor of some shops and restaurants. My main impression from the 3 hours walk through the city center (piazza and mercato) is POVERTY, BAD SMELL and SMILLING PEOPLE. I had already chance to visit some of the world poorest countries like Bangladesh and Nepal and it seems that Ethiopia really falls into the same category – rubish on the streets with goats and dogs around, dirty children asking for money, small huts along some walls with a lot of homeless people … However people are very friendly and seemed to be smiling all around ;o). Also during the whole 3 hours I haven’t met any other ‘caucasian’ person. Did I get into wrong suburb or what? I like the small caffes in every street – have tried one. Coffee was VERY strong, pie rather taste less ;o). Taxis are white-blue, mainly LADA/ZIGULI – possibly of Russian origin? or Italian? Interesting mixture of Christian orthodox church and Islam. Have seen couple of new mosqs that are being built. And kath (stimulating herbal drug) can be seen all around …

I didn’t make many pictures … photographing poverty is not a pleasure and actually not easy thing.

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