My first time travelling to Ethiopia, I was so excited! After so many years of dreaming about going to Africa, I was finally on my way. We decided to visit a couple of neighbouring countries first, after travelling so far, and spending so much money, we wanted to get the most out of it.
When we came to Ethiopia, we first spent a few days in the capital, Addis Ababa. The civil war had ended less than two years earlier, with the dictator, Mengistu Hailemariam, ousted, and a new government installed. The country was still in a daze, people were worried about what the future would bring. And they were very tired after almost two decades of suffering.
Despite all of this, they received us in the most hospitable and caring way. Especially when we ventured out of the city, taking the bus to the other provinces. Some were so poor they lived in mud-huts. But we were invited in to drink a cup of yogurt, or eat a piece of dry bread. Nobody should be allowed to leave the village without proper hospitality.
This took place almost twenty years ago, but I still remember what a wonderful trip it was. A part of my heart was left in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is truly a unique country, with a very old culture. True, the country is changing, not only for the better. But a lot of the old values are still there, at least in the country-side. This country is so worth a visit!