Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Meandering around Mek'ele

Roger has been busy getting the second drill mobilized to the Danakil.  Fortunately he had Steve Denton, a terrific guy and driller from Saskatchewan who he's known for years and who worked for him in Mexico to help him out.
Roger and some of the workers at the warehouse in Mek'ele.  The new drill is in the background.

We took Steve to a traditional restaurant

Above and below:  My trusty bajaj driver took me to a traditional coffee shop.  Nothing like Tim Horton's, that's for sure.

While Roger was out of town, I asked Gebrai, my driver to take me shopping. When he arrived, he told me there was an exhibition in town, and it would be a good place for me to take pictures.  So, we set off to see the Ethiopian Cities Exhibit -- an exhibition where 100 cities in Ethiopia showcased their cities, industry and culture.  Common areas of growth were:  tourism, water systems, solar and wind power.

It turned out it was like an outdoor equivalent of the Big Four exhibits at the Stampede.  Tents were set up and we were ushered in and treated royally because I was a faranji. I think some of the exhibitors thought I was an investor because many took time to explain their cities' economy. If they only knew.....  All were very proud --- very optimistic and all seemed to want to move Ethiopia into the 21st century.

Many people, children in particular, are scared of getting their pictures taken -- so I usually always ask or motion if its o.k.  I found some kids that were more than happy to oblige.  In an odd turn of events, MY picture was also being taken, and a school girl ran up to me --- touched my hair --- then ran back to her friends laughing! 
These two girls were fascinated to be so close to a white woman!

Can eyes get any more brown? 

Great poster stating (with a bit of language license)  "We do not inherit the world from our grandfathers, we borrow it from our grandchildren".

It wouldn't be Ethiopia without the coffee ceremony

It felt like everyone in Mek'ele was at the exhibition
What a great looking man

Religious art is very common

This was an exhibit from an art college

A new stadium is being built where the exhibition was held --- there were throngs of people in the stands under construction but you won't catch me there until it's completed.

A view of one of the mosques in Mek'ele

A weaver working on a loom
There was live music and a whole lot of screeching music coming out of cracked speakers

I wish I had room in my suitcase for some of these
It might not have been the Stampede, but I got blisters from walking around and all that was missing were corn dogs and mini donuts.  

After leaving the exhibit we went in search of a place where I could get my hair cut.  By the time we hit the 3rd salon (the others didn't know how to cut faranji's hair), I was swarmed by a dozen women in curlers who wanted to touch my hair (not sure what caused the frenzy today!).  After my driver explained what I wanted, they told me to sit down.  Fifteen minutes later, a customer asked what I wanted and when I explained I just wanted a trim, she said they only did braids and hair dos. 

We finally found a place who said they would cut my hair tomorrow.  Many people worry about where we live....the possibility of terrorists....bugs....snakes....drug cartels.....  Hell.  I worry more about where to get my hair cut!  

If it doesn't work out tomorrow at the salon -- I think I'll be going on to see how to cut my own hair.  Fingers crossed I won't have to.

How can I control my life when I can't control my hair?  ~Author Unknown

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