We have been in Ethiopia for a little over 6 months now. When in the US, we traveled A LOT. We were gone at least one weekend a month before starting our missions journey. We enjoy packing up the car and going on a little adventure. Since moving to Ethiopia, we hadn’t done that even once until this past weekend. It’s tricky here. Without 4wd, you have to be careful about where you go. With rainy season, same thing. But, the air and noise pollution of the city are good to escape once in a while and we have really been encouraged to get out of the city on occasion, so this past weekend we drove out of the city to Lake Langano for a weekend away. We rented a private cottage, so the expense was minimal. We packed all our own food and just hung out by the lake and in the cottage Fri-Sun. It was a lovely weekend.
The drive should have taken about 2 hours, miles wise, but with constant road blocks (aka herds of cattle, goats, people, etc…) it took about 4. We passed through a few cities on our way and the further we got from the city, the less auto traffic we encountered. That was a nice change of pace. On the way down, we barely drove over 50mph because we’re so used to going slow that going that fast makes it seem like your life is in peril. On the way home, we went closer to 65mph. :) We needed gas on the way home and stopped at 4 gas stations that only sold diesel before being told where the ONE gas station with benzene was. Yikes. We may have made it to the next town if there was no benzene in that town, but there was no guarantee that the next town would have the right fuel either. The car trips were uneventful and the kids did great, so did our little van. Whew!
Langano Lake is, reportedly, the only lake in Ethiopia that is “safe” to swim in. We’ve heard a few reports of it not being, but most people still say it is, so we risked it. The lake looks really muddy and is pretty brown in color, but it is our only option, so we all went in to some extent. The boys, my brother, Josiah, and Chris all swam the most. Kayla and I stayed pretty close to the edge. What the kids really loved was playing in the sand. It’s black sand, but not dirt. In fact, all the granules are shiny. Pumice stones wash up on the edge of the beach, so the boys had a great time collecting those and tossing them back in. I really enjoyed some time in the hammock reading or just swinging with the kids. They really playing in it, as well.
The cottage was filled with bugs as it hadn’t been visited in a while. HUGE bugs. Josiah caught a couple of beetles that had to be a couple of inches long each. They looked and sounded like little wind-up toys. There were dozens of spiders that were really flat, but some three inches across. We killed LOTS of those guys this weekend. Still, we slept just fine and enjoyed the little cottage. We hope to return at least once more while here in Ethiopia. It was nice to get away and nice to return home.
For anyone wondering about the nature we encounter or what Ethiopia might look like, here’s a little slideshow of photos I took on the drive home.