January 2014 Archives

Ethiopian Crafts


January 25: In the morning we took a chartered flight from the south back to Addis, where we checked in to our hotel and then went shopping prior to a very-early-next-morning return to Amsterdam via Djibouti and Nairobi. Our tour leader took us to a couple of small shops crowded with old (and not so old) crafts and curios, arranged in jumbled piles.

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Karo Dancing


January 24: We spent a late afternoon in a Karo village. The Karo, one of the major tribes in the South Omo River Valley region of Ethiopia, have a dance in which men and women line up against each other. The men, most wearing white body paint, jump up and down to attract attention, and the women respond in kind. This goes on for quite some time.

(click to enlarge)

Ethiopia: Key Afar Market


January 23: We drove from the Ethiopia Rift Valley Lodge, our home for three days in the middle of the lower Omo River Valley tribal lands, back to the Key Afar Market, a weekly gathering at which people from different tribes come together (which they rarely do otherwise) to buy and sell necessities to each other as well as to sell souvenirs to tourists. Many of the useful goods are probably made in China. (click to enlarge)

First Glimpse of the Mursi People


January 22: We drove to the land of the Mursi people, famous for the lip plates worn by married women or those engaged to be married. Here's an example.

Now that we're back in Minnesota, I'll continue posting one photo per day of our trip, to give a chronological timeline, for the next three days. Then back to the beginning of our Ethiopia adventure, to show some of the full photographic richness of this amazing country.

On the Way to Arba Minch


January 21: We continued our drive south, ending the day at Arba Minch, a major city in the region. Here's a pleasant face from a roadside stop along the way.

Lake Ziway


January 20: After the Timkat festival in Addis, we began our driving tour of the south of Ethiopia. On our way to an overnight at the Rift Valley lake, Lake Langano, we stopped at Lake Ziway, notable for its populations of birds including Maribou storks and pelicans. Children also hang out there, hoping to earn a few birr, catch some fish, or just amuse themselves.

Timkat Baptism


This morning we returned to the Timkat festival grounds to witness the baptism ceremony. The photo shows the prelates dipping the crosses in the water. The hoses are then turned on the crowd.

We will be driving south into the tribal lands for the next week. Internet connections are highly unlikely, so this blog will not resume until about January 26.

Timkat in Addis Ababa


We flew back from Bahir Dar to Addis late this morning, and at 3 PM left for the Timkat festival. This is the major religious festival in Ethiopia, celebrating the baptism of Jesus. The color and the crowds were amazing - probably several hundred thousand people. This is a tiny fraction of the crowd.

Portrait in a Roadside Market


Yesterday we drove from Gondar to Bahir Dar. We stopped a couple of times along the way for breaks and photo ops. Here's one result.

Ethiopian Cultural Festival


This morning we finished our tour of the Lalibela rock churches, then flew to Gondar, another ancient capital. After visiting a palace complex and an old church - both very photogenic, pictures to come - we went to a cultural festival featuring music, dance, and crafts of the various Ethiopian peoples. Here are a couple of people from one of the bands.

Lalibela Rock Church Guardian


Yesterday we flew from Axum to Lalibela, location of the remarkable rock churches. Each has a guardian priest, proud to show their church and pose for photos. Here's one.

Axum Sheep


On Tuesday morning we flew to the ancient capital of Axum, in the north. This is supposedly the place where the Queen of Sheba ruled. As we explored the ruins of her palace, I saw a shepherd driving his sheep over the stony ground.

Return from Harar


On our drive back from Harar to the Dire Dawa airport we stopped at a sorghum field with a shallow lake beyond and Egyptian geese on the shore. A crowd of boys soon materialized near a stack of sorghum stalks.



Harar is one of the ancient cities we're visiting on our Ethiopia tour. It has a very colorful market with many opportunities for photos of attractive young people.

Addis Ababa Mercato


A busy day in Addis. First, a morning-long lecture on Ethiopia: geology, peoples, economy, religions, political history. Second, lunch at a Greek country club. Next, an hour walk through the Mercato, the largest market in Africa and certainly the dirtiest and most crowded we have encountered. Then a tour of the Ethnographic Museum at AA University, Finally, back to the Sheraton for a buffet dinner and preparation for a 5:15 AM drive to the airport and flight to Dire Dawa on the way to the ancient city of Harar.

Elsa and Lucy


Full scale reconstruction (of Lucy-she was tiny) in the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa



We've just arrived at the Sheraton in Addis Ababa, where negotiations about South Sudan are taking place. Here's a corner of the lobby where reporters are filing stories.

Watching the Night Watch


Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Stedlijk Museum Amsterdam


Samurai Heads



From the exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. Click photos to enlarge them.

I will be traveling for the next three weeks, so postings are likely to be sporadic at best. Please be patient, and I'll be back at the end of January.

Party Time

Even for lawn flamingos in Portland. Click photos to enlarge them.

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Mina confronting the Erector Set Panda at the Blackfish Gallery in Portland OR. (click to enlarge)

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Edward Weston Wannabe

If Weston had been shopping at Whole Foods and they were out of peppers ... Click photos to enlarge them.

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Samurai Faces

From the exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. Click photos to enlarge them.



Samurai Horsemen

We made another visit, this time with our grandson, to the samurai armor exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. I repeated some of the photos from our first visit, this time trying to do a better job - both in photographing and post-processing - of exposing for the faces of the warriors. Click photos to enlarge them.



About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2013 is the previous archive.

February 2014 is the next archive.

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