Travel to Ethiopia: First Impressions
When I was growing up, I remember Ethiopia having a long run on the nightly news. Unfortunately newscasts all pointed to the grim. Newsreel images featured fly-ridden babies with distended bellies, drought-ruined landscapes and a ravaging famine made only worse by civil war.
Prior to our visit, we figured some distance between the Ethiopia of the 1980s and the Ethiopia of today — yet not quite to the extent we’d found. If our visit to Ethiopia proved nothing else, it proved this: though countries remain themselves at heart, they can emerge from perilous circumstances. When they do, stereotypes can slowly be cast aside and the historical, cultural and natural contours – which had always existed yet never been highlighted – can more clearly be revealed.
As we shared photos of unexpected castles, remarkable mountain landscapes, ancient churches and colorful plates of local food during our trip, readers would ask: “Is that really Ethiopia?”
Yes it is.
Our unpacking of our travels in Ethiopia begins with a few first yet lasting impressions of the country.