Sunday, January 15, 2017

Omo Region Day 5

Today we left Turmi and drove 258 kilometers.  A lot of time in the car!  We stopped in Jinka and dropped off our luggage and then we drove the rest of the way (over terrible washboard roads….does it sound like I’m complaining?  It’s just my take on things.  If Rick were writing this EVERYTHING would be roses) to the Mursi Tribe.  We had been warned to be careful with this tribe because they get very aggressive with the tourists, especially in the afternoon when they start their daily drinking of alcohol. 

The Mursi tribe is the mother of all tribes that the tourists want to see.  This is the tribe where the women pierce their bottom lips in their early teenage years and insert a round disk in them.  Gradually they stretch their lips out until a large plate fits.  It is extremely disfiguring but the women think it is a sign of beauty and so the teenagers are encouraged to do the same.  They have to knock out the bottom four teeth before they begin this process.  One problem is that since there is no bottom lip or teeth they drool and spit a lot.  It is absolutely NOT a pretty sight but this is what they do! 

While Elder Phelps was excited to visit this tribe I just couldn’t get my heart into it.  After the experience of the night before I just didn’t want anything more to be do with these “foolish and evil traditions of their fathers.”  I could see as I watched the group from the car that the women were not aggressive but seemed to be quite passive.  I thought, “Maybe I should get out and take one picture.”  Eventually Sister Collings made her way over and let me know that the tribe was quite passive so I mosied on over to where Rick was standing and ended up taking one picture.   It wasn’t long that we were back in the car heading back to Jinka sitting on the patio having an egg sandwich for lunch.

                                A cute shot of the naked boys looking at Sister Collings' iPad.

This boy was standing on the side of the main road as we were driving and started racing us.  He saw Elder Phelps snap a picture and was not happy that we did not stop to give him 5 Birr.

After taking a nap in our room (very rustic again,  but I didn’t see any spiders) Elder Phelps and I had an enjoyable afternoon taking a ride in a Bajaj (a 3-wheeled motorcycle taxi) to see the town of Jinka.  We had a really cute teenage driver who's name is Rafael.  He giggled a lot and was really happy.  Especially when Elder Phelps tried to talk with him.  His English was not great but we were able to communicate....mostly!  We stopped at the market and the hill above town for some photos.  Then we rode to the other side of town and stopped at a (sort of) park.  There was a swing that we enjoyed playing on and then climbed up some huge rocks.  It was just a fun afternoon NOT being in a hot car.  We made a fun memory!  Another memory was made when just before dinner we discovered that there was NO water in our room!  NONE!  Actually NO ONE had water in their rooms!  And it continued throughout the night.  We left the next morning with just a spit bath.  Thank goodness for bottled water!  And Hats!!

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