Friday, September 25, 2009


The last opportunity to travel in Ethiopia took me to the crater lake west of Addis at Wenchi. On beginning the journey there was already a sort of a deja vu with a couple of days ago when the Goha hotel in Gondar decided to save money and not to put their generator on when there was one of the regular electricity cuts that plagues Ethiopia. Now $50 a night for a room is not a fortune but it is a lot of money in this part of the world and we were at least expecting electricity throughout our stay in the hotel. The same thriftiness was to confront us again this morning when instead of the expected four wheel drive to take us on our travels we were confronted with a mini bus.

Initially I wasn't too bothered and I only expected to be travelling along asphalt roads. However, the unpleasant surprise was the two hour or so bumpy ride into Wenchi and the two or so very bumpy ride back out. It would appear that one of the problems in Ethiopia is a short term thinking that seems to just want to satisfy the short term aim of money into the pocket without thinking about longer term aims. All very sad in a country that really could be doing with some planning.

The trip, nevertheless, was extremely interesting and there was me confronted with a part of the population that belongs to the majority here in Ethiopia; those who do not need to worry about electricity cuts because they have no electricity. It was a useful reality check and a confrontation of the world as it is for the majority. More importantly though the natural beauty of the lake area offered a welcome escapism from the madness that grips this crazy planet.

Back to Addis and Al Jazerra, BBC World and CNN all inform me that "Uncle Sam" is setting himself up to go for the Iranian jugular and although Washington has long since known of "another" nuclear facility in Iran and although Iran told the IAEA a few days ago about the plant, that plant now provides further evidence that Teheran is just not playing ball with Washington and I am left wondering if there is any connection between this news and Bibi's speech yesterday.

For a time though today Bibi and the hype man were put into a healthy perspective and down at the lake I was offered that type of escapism from the hypocricy and hype that we would do well to grab with both hands. The picture above might give you some indication of what I am talking about.

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