Wednesday, October 26, 2005

On to Gondar

Graveyard in St Michael's Church
Originally uploaded by CharlesFred.
A really good bus ride this morning, which on asphalted roads took just 4 hours instead of the expected 6!

The road went through spectacular mountain scenery and past many villages in a vast ocean of green, now turning brown as we near harvest time.

One sad thng about the drive was that we saw four dead people, wrapped in white linen being carried alongside the road. This in addition to a body I saw yesterday. Makes one realise just how the poverty one sees takes its toll.

In the meantime, we have seen so many school children and university students these past couple of days in particular. So many young people, so few older ones, and so few jobs for them to go to afterwards. What future in an economy dominated by a corrupt government and NGO's?

So, we have mde it to the old capital of the Ethiopian Empire, Gondar with a centre dominated by the Royal Palace which we will visit tomorrow. Odd to find a place in Africa with buildings this old.

We were met off the bus by a couple of lads from the pension where our friend Michael was staying and caught him feeling a bit worse for a bad dinner last night. Walked around town and met up with a charming Australian lady (Hilary, retired) on return to the hotel, so we spent the afternoon swapping stories with her and Michael.

Further news is that we have seen signs of large troop movemnets to the north, up to the border with Eritrea. It seems as if the situation is gradually edging towards yet another war between these two countries which everyone firmly believes that Eritrea will lose. Odd that they have precipitated the latest crisis. We will be out of the area within a week, so should be OK. Just one thinks of all the young men and women who are going to lose their lives needlessly.

And on the subject of war, we are not best pleased to see the western powers making such a meal of the possible Syrian involvement in the assassination of Rafiq Hariri in Lebanon. The Syrians have withdrawn their troops already, not sure what rubbing their nose further in this issue is going to serve, apart from alienating yet more Arabs and Muslims. Which Americans were ever held to account for the assassination of Allende in Chile, amongst many others?

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