Holy Week In Ethiopia!

With Thanks to Ethiopian Airlines!

We traveled with Dawit Israel, of Ethiopian Exotic Adventures.

His email: dawitethiopianadventures@gmail.com

His FaceBook:

https://www.facebook.com/dawitethiopianadventures/

Above, a banner from the city of Axum, in the state of Tigray. Christianity came to Ethiopia in the 4th Century CE. The country displays a devotion to the rituals of Holy Week no longer seen in Europe or the United States. We saw white Easter robes everywhere. Ethiopian faithful crowded the churches. BLUELINK Nelson Kiguni,

We did not know the complication of the Orthodox Easter events before we arrived. Dawit followed the traditions, yet he did not impose his faith on us. He maintained his traditional fasting throughout our tour as we ate what the hotels and restaurants catered to foreign tourists. All through our time with him, he provided all the services expected of a guide and translator, and when circumstances got extreme, fixer. A marvelous fellow. Diligent, imaginative, tireless.

Yet, that first morning, soldiers blocked him.

"If you are here to meet foreigners, call them. They must tell us you are their agent ...."

Dawit? Where is Dawit?

Soldiers toldl Dawit to call us inside the terminal, we did not have an Ethiopian SIMM card in my cellphone. How could he call us?

This difficulty confronted us in the first minutes of the tour. As the situation with Somalia required extreme security measures at the international airport, Dawit could not wait in the terminal to greet us. He needed to call us. We needed to call him. How? A young woman working for a hotel explained the situation and helped us.

Even though we were not her clients, she called Dawit. So many of the Ethiopians we encountered proved as helpful as the young lady working for the Crown Hotel.


A Soviet-Era Hotel

From the airport, Dawit took us through the chaos of Addis Abba to the beautiful gardens of the Hotel Giron. The quiet, wood-paneled hotel once served as the luxury showcase of the capital to visiting Russians. Not now.


Russians partied here

In the past, Ethiopia offered escape from the snow for Soviet functionaries. A bar in the lobby, a gift shop stocked with exotic liquors. We no interest in drinking, we had flown fourteen hours to video a documentary. After checking in, we walked through the sunlit gardens to -- what the management called -- bungalows. Showered, changed clothes, prepped the cameras. Perhaps the room pleased Russians. I saw the toilet leaking, the missing drawer knob, the broken window without a screen -- after malaria in Kenya, I consider mosquitoes a threat. The video below shows the problems. In a TripAdvisor review, I suggested the room needed remodeling.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis congue, neque vulputate ornare gravida, sem lacus viverra dolor, tincidunt viverra nisl ligula quis neque. Curabitur vel porta turpis, varius rhoncus nisl. Praesent euismod cursus aliquam. Donec luctus accumsan sem consequat finibus. Nulla hendrerit quis ipsum at lacinia. Curabitur aliquam diam imperdiet consectetur feugiat. Vivamus ac aliquam nisi. Donec aliquam lacus a nisl commodo, vitae maximus sapien rutrum. Sed commodo volutpat libero eu varius. Vestibulum nulla lacus, scelerisque in ex et, accumsan fringilla augue. Sed mollis elementum sem, ut fringilla lectus dignissim et. Fusce ornare, lacus ut sagittis aliquam, ante ante ultricies nisi, at porta quam erat non tortor.


Suspendisse vestibulum libero vel felis maximus, non porttitor ipsum porttitor. Cras felis ipsum, efficitur in purus sed, rhoncus dictum lorem. Nam ac eleifend nisi. Donec ullamcorper scelerisque cursus. Aenean convallis metus id interdum lobortis. Nullam iaculis et justo ut imperdiet. Etiam tempus augue ut massa egestas, ut malesuada leo iaculis. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Morbi bibendum iaculis cursus. Nam ut dolor urna. In convallis libero nec diam condimentum semper. Maecenas mattis arcu dui, vel luctus enim luctus nec. Nam orci ligula, sollicitudin ac viverra eu, lacinia vehicula dui.