Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bale Mountains, the trip that almost was.

As a very part-time grade 9 advisor I got asked to tag along on their Week Without Walls trip to the Bale Mountains. According to the head honcho, the trip is usually in mid-December, when the rainy season is well into the books. This year's trip was an exception, I guess the person who made the master schedule for WWW decided to test fate (or ignore both sound advise and mother nature). After nearly a 10-hour drive, we arrived to the land of continuous rain. Long story short, the trip was abandoned two days into it, months of planning activities for the kids-a total waste, 20-hours to and fro in a bus dodging livestock...In the end, the kids had fun as we spent the last 2 days doing day-trips (Lake Langano and Menagesha Forest).  As I as said before, Ethiopia has some of the most amazing landscape in the world, one day I hope to return to the Bale Mountains.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Recently purchased Art in Ethiopia

My friend, Patrick, back in California knows that I've been on the hunt for a cutting-edge Ethiopian artist(s). While that search continues, Ana and I did meet a Rastafarian printmaker at an art/handicraft fair in Addis this weekend.

The artist makes block reduction cardboard prints because linoleum costs too much. Before scrolling further, you might want to throw on some Bad Brains (Rock for Light if you have it).

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cappadocia, Turkey sans balloon ride

The aliens built the Great Pyramids of Giza and during their off time made nice little landscapes in Cappadocia. We had less than 48-hours to absorb it all. The owner of the cave house we stayed at suggested hiring a driver for a greatest hits tour.  
If you are an early bird with nerve and have an extra 150 euros in your pocket, the best way to see Cappadocia is via a hot air balloon ride. This will be my plan once I win the lottery and get ahold of xanax...
Our first stop was at Göreme Open Air Museum. This UNESCO World Heritage site is loaded with Churches and dwellings carved into the rock formations. 
Inside the churches are frescos.
Sadly, many of the faces are been purposely scratched out. Kids! 
Next on the list was the underground city of Kaymakli. Caution: overpriced guides at the entrance will hound you with the threat of getting lost for hours if you don't use their services. We tested fate; the trick was to follow the blue and red arrows.  
The living room. Where's Fred and Wilma?  
Pigeon valley.
Uçhisar Castle and village
Mi casa es su casa. 
Our driver's parents were from the old part of Cavusin, meaning they lived in the rocks until the late 1960's when chunks started dropping.  
Old Cavusin
Pasabaglari has hoodoos aka fairy chimneys; I'm not making up these words.  
Naturally occurring.
Gotta love geology.
We made one final stop at a hidden valley.
Plenty of trekking to be had around Göreme village. 
Early morning commute.