PW Travels

Putney Westerfield's Trip Reports

Ethiopia - January 2005

Addis, Omo Valley, Jinka, Remote Tribes, Konso, Arba Minch, “Historic Route”: Lalibela, Axum, Gondar, Bahar Dar (Lake Tana)

Why go to Ethiopia? Some friends say “Better you than me!” But their image is one of draught, starvation, disease, AIDS, chaotic neighbors (Somalia, Sudan). With per capital income of $700 a year, it ranks as one of the three poorest countries in the world. Unemployment – difficult to measure in an agricultural society – is said to be 50%. All this may be true, but it ignores a host of appealing reasons to spend time with these conservative and warm-mannered people in their gorgeous and historic country...