We were heading of at Ambo early in Saturday morning. Whenever we want to go to Ambo we just call the Vice President of the University and he sends a car for us. How good isn’t that? We are so happy for everything that he does for us, he is really great! It is about 100 km between Addis Ababa and Ambo and it takes approximately 2 hours to drive, depending on the speed. Since there is no speed limit on the roads you can drive how fast you like, with some risks of course. For example, there is a lot of animals on the road, especially cattle and sheep but also some donkeys and horses. On our way to Ambo we saw two dead dogs in the middle of the road and one big car accident with a lot of blood and it was clear that no one in that car had survived, after that the driver actually slowed down for about 20 minutes and then he was going in the same speed again (100-150). When we came to Ambo we stayed in Ethiopia Hotel, but after this weekend there we will take the other hotel instead. Antonia and me were sleeping in the same bed but the bed bugs only attacked me, of course, so now I have small marks over the entire body that itchy a lot! Never this hotel again. Ouch! On Sunday we went on a trip to Lake Winshi with Tadesse (V. P.) and his wife in their big jeep (private driver of course) and I totally understand why we took it – the road was really narrow! We were jumping up and down in the car for about 1 hour and when we came there we were still jumping when we were standing on the ground. But it was absolutely the best car ride in my complete life, the landscape here; I could barely breathe when we were passing it. It is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. The small houses, the fields, the kids that are running around everywhere, the animals that are grazing, the mountains, the Acacia trees; everything. It is Africa – and I love it! I get this wonderful feeling in my soul, almost like I’m supposed to be here. Maybe I am an African after all…
Lake Winshi is a 78 meters deep crater with a big lake in the bottom. It was, no doubt about it, the most beautiful place on the Earth! Unfortunately, the road down in the crater wasn’t that beautiful – in fact I don’t think you can call it a road. But in somehow we managed to get down and I have absolutely no idea how but we did. The road had in some parts fell down, there were rocks and water and if we haven’t had the land cruiser we would never have been able to get down there, and to get up was even worse. But down there we were taking a lot of pictures and just sat on the grass and looked on the beautiful nature around us. We also took a boat over to a little island where we visited a church and walked around for a while. We were about 10 people in that small boat, and we were still floating, and two of those men were paddling. After several hours of the best day in my life we were heading back to town again and immediately when we came to the hotel we fell asleep.
In Monday morning we went to Gudar market with Chala, from the head department of Animal Science, and two other men – Dabesa and Kemer. They are instructors in Animal Science and Chala had asked them if they could help us to collect data on the market so now they were ours assistants. Like that! Today a lot of people recognized us since the last time (more than one month ago) and they talked to us about our research. Really funny because we want to make friends that can help us! It feels a bit uncomfortable to walk around in the hedge with all the big cattle with these huge horns and also the people with the big sticks. What if they miss the animals and hit us instead? However, we did about 10 interviews and 10 behavior surveys. Dabesa and Kemer will go there the next Monday and the Monday after that to do a total of 40 surveys. When we will come next time, in the beginning of June, we will do some more behavior surveys but the main purpose of the research is to map the market chain on Gudar. Hopefully we will finish our work there next time but we plan to come back one more time after that before we leave Ethiopia.
On our way back to Addis we practiced on a presentation that we will have tomorrow in Economic Geograpy. We and eight others have done a term paper on the mining sector in Ethiopia compared to that in Sweden with an economic perspective. So Antonia and Fisseha will present it and I and the others in the group will have questions about our work. We needed to prepare ourselves a lot! In this class we are about 45 guys and 10 girls, very different from Sweden where we are 36 girls and 1 guy, so it’s nice with a change for once. Honestly, to work with guys are better than to work with girls. Now I said it, don’t kill me!
Africa in our hearts!
Josefine & Antonia