We had our first family adventure away from Addis Ababa this past weekend. I made a lot of fuss about packing up our suitcases and flying with our kids after we just barely have gotten settled in our home. The last thing I felt like doing was flying somewhere and staying in a hotel with my kids, especially since Ashlynn has been treating me with all night long wake ups worse than when she was a newborn. I made way too much fuss about not wanting to go. But, the minute I got my head in the game and we were at the airport ready to leave I was glad we were going.
We flew to Mekelle which is in the Tigrai region of Ethiopia north of Addis Ababa. It was a short 45 minute flight but we touched down in another world. Mekelle surrounded us with vast open dry land meeting towering rock formations and mountains. We had a long two and a half hour drive from the airport to the Gheralta Lodge. The last hour of the drive was on an unpaved road. The drive was tedious but the landscapes we saw are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. All along our drive we saw stone homes and compounds dotting the countryside and climbing the sides of mountains. The local people marched along the road we drove carrying baskets on their heads and bundles on their backs. It was market day and everyone in the vicinity was traveling to the small village we passed through to get food. Donkeys carried jugs of water for their owners. Whenever we passed a well we saw a gathering of young people and women there collecting their daily water supply.