I awoke feeling nauseous thanks to my malaria medication. It had been causing me troubles throughout the trip, and I was cursing the lack of options available in Japan. Elsewhere, there are variations available with less side effects, but as I’m living in Japan, no choice. I had been considering stopping my weekly doses, but Baty reminded me that feeling crappy for a couple of weeks was probably better than catching malaria. Good point. I kept taking my tablets…begrudgingly.
Heading east again we stopped near Lake Stephanie to visit our final tribe…the Abore. As we pulled up, the villagers encircled the car, but at a polite distance. Many of the kids wore helmet like hats made of gourds. Combined with “bandoliers” of shells strung across their shoulders, they looked like mini-soldiers ready for battle in some fantasy adventure. Others had pointillism masks painted over their faces, and the women often wore black scarves on their heads.
While photographing I got a little overcrowded, and had a dizzy spell that left me reeling for a few minutes. Some time out, while the others distracted potential photographic models, let me catch my breath, and a sleep and the car afterwards helped immensely.
While not been particular known in Africa for its wildlife, I saw my fair share on the drive as we approached Yabello. Baboons lounged around in trees, pairs of diks diks – tiny, deer-like creatures – darted for cover under low shrubs, and everywhere were wondrously coloured birds of all shapes and sizes.
We had our first road trouble this afternoon with a flat tyre. Of course, the drivers were well prepared with a number of spares on each four-wheel drive, so we were on the road again in no time flat.
Rain showers left the vehicles muddied, and at one stop we noticed some uninventive kid had written F#@* Off in Amharic on one of the car doors. I guess kids are the same everywhere. In retaliation I asked Baty to write “No Highland Water” instead. Actually, I think less kids than normal asked us for water bottles that afternoon, so maybe it worked.