in between villages

8/8/05
the next village we wanted to visit after Jinka was Turmi. unfortunately, now that we were out in the Omo Valley now, transport between villages wasn’t all that straightforward. regular buses only connect certain towns. if you want to get to certain villages, you have to find creative options for getting there. our guide came up with a battle plan for us though. we would take the morning bus to Weito (the “truck stop” i wrote about earlier) and then try to find a vehicle heading to Turmi. of course, taking a bus meant we had to get up before dawn, as usual. it’s getting more and more painful each time we do it. i cant believe that on my “vacation”, i have to spend almost every day waking up so early! ouch.

after a 3 hour bus ride, we were i Weito. we ate some food and waited. and waited. and waited. then, after a while… we waited some more. eventually, our guide heard that there would be a truck passing through here going to Turmi… but it wouldn’t be here for about 9 hours!! so we spent 9 hours chilling and laying down i the restaurant. we were stuck, but i actually enjoyed it. i took a nap. it was really nice and relaxing to just spend a day sitting and doing absolutely nothing except for reading, eating, and resting after all these crazy hectic days.

eventually, 7 PM rolled around, and a large cargo truck pulled up. this is actually a very common method of transport for Ethiopians. people just sit on the side of the road, and when they see a truck, they flag it down and jump in the back. these aren’t just tiny pick up trucks mind you. these are full sized huge cargo trucks full of.. well, whatever they are hauling: livestock, metal pipes, cement, produce, whatever. so, we waited for the truck to be filled up, this one with huge long metal pipes and gigantic sacks of coffee husks. after the cargo was aboard, a bunch of Ethiopians, and the 5 of us piled on. it definitely wasn’t going to be the most comfortable 5 hour ride, but hey, what can ya do?

the truck pulled out into the dusty road, and as we drove, it quickly became dark. sitting there on the truck, i had another one of those moments that i seem to have so frequently on this trip…. a moment where i think to myself: can this *really* be my life and not a movie?? here i am sitting on top of an Ethiopian cargo truck going through the darkness in between tiny tribal villages. it’s dark, and other than the stars in the sky, all i can see is the shadows of trees that we pass and tiny little flickers of light which are tribal campfires dotting the landscape. the truck headlights illuminate the road, shining on the occasional rabbit, and once in a while on small groups of tribes people walking down the road all decked out in their outfits, carrying hunting guns, spears, and sometimes sacks of stuff. all of this to the tune of an Ethiopian woman next to us singing in amheric. what an amazing night…

*v

5 thoughts on “in between villages”

  1. Hi Vlad. From reading your writings the last couple of months, I’m assuming you’ll probably be flying down to Nairobi. Want something different? I took a bus south, to the border with Kenya, and then hopped a cattle truck to Nairobi. Interesting for $50. Any interest?

  2. Those “holy shit, this is my life” moments are what I miss the most about travelling. Its also why I’m incredibly envious of you…

    As much as museums and monuments and must do’s are great, its days like you just wrote about that make me think really hard about ways to hit the road…

  3. actually, we didnt fly to nairobi. we ended up taking a bus from the border. it was the bus ride from hell.. 24 hours straight through.. and since you’ve done it, i’m sure you know how bad the roads are between moyale and nairobi!!

  4. totally.. it’s really not about what you see… it’s about what you *do*. you’ll always remember the crazy random experiences a million times better than a cool waterfall or the one billionth church/temple/whatever…

  5. totally.. it’s really not about what you see… it’s about what you *do*. you’ll always remember the crazy random experiences a million times better than a cool waterfall or the one billionth church/temple/whatever…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.