Friday, February 20, 2009

13 Months of Sunshine

13 Months of Sunshine. The Ethiopian calendar and clock are different
from ours, check it out. Weird.

Internet access in Ethiopia is very slow and spotty, so I haven't been
able to post updates for a while. I'm sending this via email,
hopefully it will post OK.

I really like Ethiopia. The landscape is gorgeous. Green fields, big
mountains. The sell a layered juice here that is out of this world
good: blended avocado on the bottom, mango on top of that, and
pinapple on top of that. Usually costs about 30 cents US, of 3
Ethiopian Birr. The coffee here is also great. Coffee originates
from Ethiopia so the beans are top quality, and when the italians
tried (unsucessfully) to colononize Ethiopia they brought over
espresso machines. So you walk into a a broken down shack with dirt
floors and goats walking around and there on the counter is a $2500
espresso machine. double espresso (buna) costs 1 birr. Not bad.
I've been drinking a lot of coffee! The staple food is injera - a
kind of fermented flat bread that is served cold on a large pan with
different meats, beans and veggies dumped on top. You tear off some
injera and use it to pick up the other foods. Everyone at a table
shares on big pan. Love it. Injera here is made from tef, in the
states they use barley because tef is hard to find. The people here
are super friendly although the kids do throw rocks at you when you
ride by. And the people in rural areas have no shame. The constantly
beg and will tand right next to you and jsut stare at you. We have to
put a perimeter fence around our trucks at night and at lunch and
there will be 60 or more people standing outside the perimeter just
staring at us eating, setting up tents...whatever. Even when you go
for poop in the bush they will follow you and stare. Very strange
and sometimes very annoying. I have a higher tolerance for it than
most. I've even started using to my advantage. Each morning and at
each lunch we have to dig a pit to bury our organic waste from the
kitchen. The ground is really hard and it's a tough job. Now I just
give the shovel to an Ehtiopian kid and tell him to dig. As payment
I'll give them an empty plastic bottle from our reusables bin. Child
labor at it's finest. Yesterday I got 3 kids with machetes to cut
down all the thorn bushes at our lunch stop. Life's alot easier when
you turn lemons into lemonade!

Smatterings: - haven't written as much in ,my journal this section,
I've been sick with diahorea and fever for 10 days, on and off.
Everyone is getting it. God Bless Cipro!

Crossed the border from thh Sudan today and took a shower in a whore
house right accross the border. First shower in 6 days. Felt
great, water was cold, beer was hot. The next 3 days are supposed to
be some of the hardest on the tour...

... 5 flats in one day.... fuck. Acacia thorns are tough, even go
thru your shoes.

... traffic south of Khatoum is awful. No shoulder and lots of tanden
trialer trucks that blow you off the road, scary.

The girl with teh Zipp 404's has cracked her rear wheel. Stupid wheel choice.

...It's pretty weird when having a solid poop is the highlight of your
day. Today Mark offered to show me a picture of his poo. He was so
proud that it was solid and big and curled up like a soft serve ice

..had a dress up party in Bhar Hidar. You had to dress some on else.
Got pretty drunk and went dancing, in costume... more about that

..Freaked out some kids today by showing them my tan line...

I've don't wait for kids to throw roock at me anymore, I just
preemptively chase them on my bike - good fun.

Great Barber at the Hotel in Addis Ababa. Hair cut, hot lather shave,
trim eyebrows, nose, ears, powder and lotion for 30 birr (three
dollars).. There was a big cue of male riders waiting at the door.

More and better post soon, I promise! Hope your all well. I'm
thinking after the tour I might visit Zambia, go back to Ethiopia and
then fly to Paris for the TdF. After that I may go to Australia,
there is a big demand for skilled tradesman there right now. I may
even have a free place to stay there... I might even look into PC
Ethiopia. it's such a cool country. Decisions, decisions...


RickySilk said...

hooray for solid poops!

Sharif said...

Ditto that! I was pretty happy when I finally had a solid poop in Egypt after that 4 days of Diarhea!

Paul, I got a kick out of reading your blog and miss all of you guys on the tour! Keep the rubber side down!

Mingo said...

Hey Paul, I heard you had been kidnapped. Good to see your latest post. I look forward to the next , inshala.

Mingo said...

Hey Paul, give us more city names, road names or numbers if you can. I am trying to track you.

Kens 12 year old daughter hanna says keep it clean, you guys act like 6th grade boys, otherwise known as animals.

Ken & Hanna

kr said...

Thanks for the update Paul!
Sounds like you're getting used to it out there... don't forget us little folk. We're all going with you next time!