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19/03/01, stage 30, Yabello to Bush Camp

So ever since we entered Ethiopia I’ve been forming this image in my head on how certain habits of the Ethiopian locals came into existence. Below follows an account of this image in my head…

Somewhere in Ethiopia’s history there were a colonial bastard, a naive aid-worker, a posh house wife and an ethiopian trendsetter. During the colonisation of Africa  in the mid 19th century the colonial bastard came accross Ethiopia and thought the beautifull country was well suited for colonisation. At his attemp of colonizing the country he came accros the Ethiopian trendsetter and said: “Hey you! Yeah you! You there!” But the Ethiopian trendsetter was to busy fighting his neighbouring tribe and he just replied with an indifferent: “You! You! You you you!” And because the Ethiopian trendsetter was very popular it didn’t take long before all other Ethiopians were calling out “You You You!” to each and every white person they encountered, scaring them away and preventing the country from ever being colonized.
In 1984 there was a big famine in Ethiopia and because of the rise of global 24h media, the naive aidworker got word of this famine and decided to travel to the country with a big bag of money to bring civilization and prosperity. The naive aidworker also came accross the Ethiopian trendsetter and stuck out his hand full with American Dollars and said: “Money!” and he felt very good about himself. The Ethiopian trendsetter took the money and replied “Money!”.  And because the Ethiopian trendsetter was very popular it didn’t take long before all other Ethiopians were calling out “Money!”, scaring away the aidworkers, preventing the country from ever becomming “civilized”.
In the late 1990’s a posh bored houswife was watching National Geographic and came accross a documentary on Ethiopia and she decided that she wanted to go there on a holiday, because no one she knew had ever gone there before. She convinced her husband and of they went! However, what she had seen of the country on National Geographic was that it was very dfferent from her own home and the country appeared to her to be really poor because the people lived in huts, had no toilet and didn’t have schools. For that reason – right before she left – she grambled together some pens and notebooks and stuffed them in a suitcase with the idea of propagiting education. Once there, she came accross the Ethiopian trendsetter, opened the suitcase, gave him a pen and said: “Pen!” The Ethiopian trendsetter took the pen and replied “Pen!” And because the Ethiopian trendsetter was very popular it didn’t take long before all other Ethiopians were calling out “Pen!”, scaring away the tourists, preventing the country from becomming a standard touristic hell holl.

It is amazing how all people throughout the country yell “You you you!”, “Money!”,  “Pen!” and many other things. It’s embedded in their culture. And despite all the good intentions the colonial bastard (?), the naive aidworker and the posh housewife had, they have made the Ethiopians like this. I think western civilisation with its views on what is weatlh and what is poverty and its views on what is right and what is wrong is the worst thing that ever happened to a country like  Ethiopia. And the horrible part is that it will never go back to the peacefull rural self sufficient way things were…


On the road again, hitting the hills

Gerry and Vik…

Cokestop

Vik after conquering his hill

Sunset over Vik’s hill…

Ending the day drinking tea arround the campfire…




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