Ayu picked us up at 6:00 to go back to for the morning Timket ceremonies. Some people had stayed all night and were participating in the morning prayers. Again, I loved hearing all of the chanting. I noticed this woman walking across the field in our direction.
She sat down on the ground and several people gave pieces of bread to her. Then I noticed that people were also feeding bread to some of the boys who were at the ceremony.
The boys were standing near us and when I looked down I noticed that one of them only had only one shoe.
Although we had seen children without shoes before, something about taking this photo made me very sad. The woman stood up and slowly approached us. I was happy I had some birr in my pocket to give to her.
We stayed to listen to the prayers for about an hour and I took a few more photos of the people.
I learned that we were actually there just for the morning prayers. The remainder of the Timket ceremony was going to take place later but we had to leave so Ayu could drive us back to Addis Ababa.
If we had been able to stay we would have seen the priests baptizing the Tabot and then baptizing all of the people. In Gondor the people would actually be jumping into the pool and the priest would be spraying water on all of the other people. For people who live near a river, they would use the water from the river. After everybody is baptized, the Tabot will be returned to the church with all the people following, dancing, and chanting. At night, there will be a feast.
But, alas, we needed to go back to Aragesh Lodge for breakfast and to pick up our luggage. Before eating breakfast we saw some monkeys in the trees.
They sure have long tails.
When we drove back through Yirgalem we saw the people who were still celebrating Timket. As we drove through the country we passed several places where people were still celebrating. We actually saw one of the priests using a pitcher to Baptize the people.
At one point we drove through a Rastafarian village.
As we slowly drove through the area one area that had a lot of traffic, we saw this man who was talking to each vehicle as they passed him.
In one place the people were in the streets returning the Tabot to the church and the road was really blocked. It is impossible to describe the way that Ayu manipulated the Land Cruiser from one side of the road to the other to get through the people and the traffic that was coming in the other direction.
Here we are driving on the side of the road.
I could hardly believe that we were going to squeeze between these two vehicles.
But we made.it. I have never been in a traffic jam like this one before.
I certainly would not have wanted to be in a Bajaj, on a motorcycle, or driving a cart through this.
And the dust – wow – the dust. We have had dust before but this tops it all. It sort of reminded me of BurningMan during the beginning of a sand storm.
Yea for Leigh who brought out the last of her candy bars.
We again drove past all of those green houses where they grow roses. There seemed to be miles of them.
We stopped for lunch in Zumway where I photographed these yellow birds.
During lunch we saw a television set that was broadcasting Timket from various places. We could see the people in the pool in Gondar. We were quite amused when we saw a priest actually using a garden hose in one town to baptize all of the people. Timket certainly varies from place to place.
Ayu found us a place that was growing strawberries. We stopped and purchased a couple of cartons to take back to the Jupiter hotel and have for breakfast in the morning and Leigh bought strawberry jam.
As we drove further, eagle-eyed Ayu spotted a Saddle-billed stork.
We arrived back in Addis Ababa and checked back into the Jupiter Hotel. We had to wait for them them switch our rooms because they didn’t give us rooms with 2 beds in each room. That gave us only 30 minutes to shower and get ready for the Ethiopian Folk Dancing dinner. We had a traditional injera dinner and I followed tradition by feeding Jane, Sue, and Leigh each a bite of food. The dances were fun to watch …
…for a while. We were all pretty tired and decided to call it a night by about 9:00. We still had to repack our suitcases so we would be ready to leave tomorrow. It was hard to believe that this trip was almost over.