Addis!

We drove through the mountain passes north of Addis Ababa and worried about making it into the capital before dark. Luckily the road opened up into the flat grasslands and we managed to make it into Addis and down to the Camara Hub for late afternoon. We then rang Gina our Camara contact for Ethiopia, she came down and greeted us. She told us that Camara had just received a container of computers and they were setting them up to send them out to schools on Monday. We met the team of volunteers and staff who run the Camara hub, they were a spectacular bunch of people. Every year companies like Google, IBM and Dell update their computer systems in their offices. These computers will cost the company thousands to recycle properly. Camara works to take these unwanted computers and set them up in schools through out Africa. We were shocked by the standard that companies had sent, they were better than the ones we own at home. Camara work to train teachers how to set up, maintain and teach using the computers. They also make sure the schools are up to an adequate standard to keep the computers in working order, as Ali told us “There needs to be an investment by the school getting the school up to standard. If we just handed out free computers the schools wouldn’t take good care of them. That just isn’t sustainable”.  The Camara team helped us find a hostel and get some much needed website updating done. They then invited us for dinner at Habesha 2000, a popular place with local music and dance. We sat down and had a beer and when we realised the rest of the Camara team didnt show up we must have made a mistake. There are two Habesha 2000 restaurants in Addis. Obviously we were at the wrong one. A quick taxi up the road and we joined the guys. We had a meal of ‘endura’ a local speciality, its basically a sweet pancake with spicy lamb, goat or chicken. It was fantastic. Gina introduced us to two volunteers who had just arrived to help out at the Hub, Oonya and Rita. They have come over for a 5 week placement out in Ethiopia with Camara. While we traded stories about travel and where we would all like to visit, then Red was dragged up on stage by one of the dancers. They had a dance off in true Ethiopian style with Red just about keeping up with the moves. When Red had finished dancing we had a chance to try the world famous Ethiopian coffee. Johnny still hasn’t slept. It’s given him quite a buzz. When it was time to head on, Gina and the Camara team paid for our meal, we protested of course but to no avail. Thank you so much for your hospitality! We are deeply touched by this gesture. Addis Ababa has been superb, we’ve really enjoyed our time here. Sadly we could only spend one night there. We had planned to head out at 5am as we had a long drive ahead of us. We then ran into some logistical problems including getting more fuel money changed, filling our water jerry cans for the next week and buying some food for cooking. Then a torrential downpour hit Addis Ababa and while we waited for it to subside so the driving wouldn’t be so treacherous Red and Jack went off to find a money changer and buy some supplies. It was 9am before we got ourselves sorted. Unfortunately this meant our drive to Moyale had us driving late into the night but we got there in the end and set up camp short of the border. Ethiopia has been magnificent, we’ve really enjoyed our time here. The people are so friendly, the landscapes are absolutely breathtaking. As Gina said “This place has a habit of getting under your skin. You’ll probably be back”. We hope so.

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One Response to “Addis!”

  1. Glad to read about your progress and see you met up with Camara team in Addis.

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