Sunday 17th October, 2010 – YABELLO

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.


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