Out Of The Oven, Into The Freezer

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So guess who's back from Ethiopia? It's not the swallows, because they have the good sense to stay in Africa until the winter's really over. I on the other hand found myself basking in the sun at close to 30°C on day, and freezing my gonnads of at -10°C the day after.

Ethiopia is really a beautiful country. I can say this despite having spent more than ninety percent of my time in meeting rooms - you know how these business trips are. But just when I started thinking that I'd only get some tan if I'd stand really close to one of the TL-lights, my colleagues over there suggested to make a little trip on Sunday to visit the volcanic hot springs. And boy were they volcanic hot! I soaked my body in water you could use to boil an egg, and even joined the locals in a game of 'I dare you to stay under that stream of steaming hot water until your skin drops off'. Luckily there was also an olympic size swimming pool with water at a balmy 35°C to cool down. I could have stayed in there for days at an end.

We spent most of our time in the rift valley, a place I've been hoping to visit at least once in my lifetime. It's the very spot where humanity crawled out of the trees, became bi-pedal, discovered fire and made its first tools. It's piping hot during the day, and rather nippy during the night, and the air is full of dust. So no wonder we decided to take a hike and explore different parts of the globe. Yay for us! But still it's a splendid place. I spotted quite a bit of wildlife too: flamingoes, big vultures, weaver birds, marabouts, camels (technically not wildlife, but it's not as if I'm used to bumping into one) and the remnants of a porcupine.

As for the work thing: people were very pleased with my training and my work, so there's a good chance I may visit Ethiopia again. But it'll have to wait, because there's already a trip to Uganda and the Decidedly Not Democratic Republic of the Congo looming on the horizon.

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