Once I began exploring the northern region of Ethiopia (Lalibela and Axum), I realized that people are people the world over. They all want the best for their families, communities and nation, but getting there maybe a hard climb for many of the folks I saw throughout the areas I visited. New homes were being built, but with no indoor plumbing or electricity. Purchasers of these homes have to pay in advance for the infrastructure, and the pricing is out of reach for many, so homes remain empty. Lots of the new builds were done by Chinese companies, and they had their equipment scattered throughout the countryside in trying to "help" the Ethiopians regionally, but it looked quite haphazard, honestly.
Some areas took my breath away because it seemed so "primitive" for living in 2018. Washing their clothes in the rivers, walking everywhere with their donkeys because not many people own cars, and farming by hand were some of the disparities I saw. Women most definitely have the hardest life from what I witnessed. My heart ached watching so many of them with 50-75 pounds (or more) of wood on their backs walking up or down the mountainous areas to sell firewood to other women, and some even trying to manage a donkey and a kid or two! I had many emotions ruminating in my mind as we drove past. Alarming...amazing...unfair...disturbing...fascinating.
As I mentioned in an earlier post while in Ethiopia, the aid from the USA and UK is helping, and I was happy to see the dollars/pounds at work for many. But is it enough? Probably not, but hopefully education and health services for all of Ethiopia will continue to advance the humanity of an awesome country I was truly blessed to see!
|I saw too many women carrying wood on their backs! Back breaking work for sure...|
|In Addis Ababa|
|Donkeys earn their keep; they carry the bulk of the load as well.|
|Workers in the fields harvesting some type of grain (Not teff, it was all harvested before I arrived)|
|Washing clothes in the river.|