Yesterday morning around 9am local time the Taitu hotel in Addis Ababa caught fire. The hotel is located in the Piassa neighborhood of Addis Ababa and is one of the oldest building in the city. The building was established under the order of Empress Taitu around 1907. The fire is said to have started in the kitchen and engulfed most of the front of the building as well as completely destroying the Jazzamba lounge located just next door to the hotel. There are some pictures of the damage below.
Here's some pictures of the construction of the light rail project in Addis. I just used the small Fuji camera, thinking about a bigger project with bigger camera. More coming soon.
For European New Years, (not to be confused with Ethiopian new years) about 8 of us went down to Langano Lake, roughly 190km outside of Addis Ababa. A friend of ours, Helen works for the International Community School so we had access to a sick campground owned by the American Embassy.
Stopped also in Ziway for lunch at the lovely Tourist Hotel. We had about a kilo of tibs and Paola got some shiro. We did have really nice though expensive jebena afterwards.
Ziway is only about 25k from Langano so it was a quick drive after we picked up a few supplies. At the entrance there were some kids dancing on the road. Probably to try and get some money or just applause maybe. They were pretty good though.
Dinner was cool, we had some potatoes, pasta and sausage.
So after I caught the train from Angoulême I had what I like to call a ‘pre-layover’ in Charles de Gaulle. This was pretty chill. Not extremely comfortable but I was left alone. I had a nice setup as well.
Zach's portable buggy life:
Next morning I caught Saudia to Jeddah, where I had what I like to call my ‘post-layover’, about 12 hours spent in the terminal, of which we could not move out of. Think of confining over 1000 people at times more, to a room the size of half a football field.
In this situation I would have said ‘yea sure’, lets just leave the airport, right? Wrong buddy its almost impossible to get a travel visa in Saudi Arabia. You have to layover for over 18 hours. Thinking of visiting? Also really impossible they don’t really give tourist visas.
I would have gone to have a swim in the Red Sea, but apparently there’s a giant wall blocking it, from my inside information from a guy who’s been living there for 2 years. He says it isn’t too hard to get in you just have to have your passport and if you're American they wave you in. Thinking of going as a Saudi Arabian citizen? No that’s prohibited.
Saudi’s also apparently hate to work. Most of the labor force is Pakistani, Nepalese, and you guessed it Ethiopian. Though the Ethiopian maids are being made to leave after too much controversy and their poor treatment by the Saudis. Which is also happening in other places, like Lebanon.
Anyways my boarding time finally came and I got on the plane. It was mostly empty, and I think in fact that there were probably some maids there on the plane with me. Took a bit of a nap and woke up in time to see the entry to Addis.
Addis from above, you can see the crazy amount of condos up.