We recently returned from three weeks in Ethiopia. The people of Ethiopia are beautiful, as this photo illustrates. We had gathered to watch some evening dances by the Hamer tribe of Southwestern Ethiopia, near Kenya. It started to rain and some of the dancers gathered under my husband's umbrella. The name of the travel agency that we used, Dinknesh Ethiopia Tours, is visible on the umbrella, as our driver was kind enough to furnish a large umbrella for our convenience. There are a little less than 50,000 people who are members of the Hamer culture.
This boy stood in front of his family's house in the hilltop village of Kenso. Villagers in Kenso welcome tourists to walk around the stony walkways that seem to form a maze of passageways among the stone walls that divide each family's compound. Villagers take their cattle and goats out from the village each day to graze in the surrounding countryside. They are happy to pose for photos and to sell their handicrafts.
In some parts of Ethiopia children dance along the side of the road, or sometimes in the road, seeking to attract the attention of tourists driving by who pause to enjoy their song and dance, and offer a gratuity. The technique worked with us. The energy and outgoing, friendly personality of the children was inspiring. Most children spoke at least some English.
The chores of everyday life in Ethiopia can be tough. People, usually women carrying large bundles of firewood for cooking back to their homes are a common sight. People walk long distances, often carrying wood, water, food, or tending to their herds of cattle and goats.
This woman, sitting next to a sack of grain in front of her house, seems to be absorbed in a few moments of reflection. I wonder what she was thinking.