No Wi-fi In Konso!
Stillness. No early morning call to prayer or perhaps I was still asleep when the first call was made. Any roosters were too far away. Because of the wooden shutters, the early morning light could not penetrate into the room. Checking the time it was 6.31 am and after yesterday's sunrise knew I had to quickly move to get to the rim of the Rift Valley.
Being uphill it was cool in the morning but not cold. The sun quickly warm the air up as we enjoyed breakfast with the occasional vehicle in the distance. Then the local Orthodox Church call to prayer over the neighbouring church loud speakers sounding different but in some ways like the Muslim call to prayer.
A short drive back down the hill and into Abra Minch to stop off at the bank where we tried to exchange our larger birr notes into 5 and 10 birrs so that we can pay for the photos that we would be taking in the Omo Valley.
Stopped by another tree with the hives suspended up in the tree. The guys who harvest the honey don't wear suits but rely on their sweat to ward off bee stings.
Passing fields of sunflowers, corn and seeing more yellow water bottles being filled from either the river or at some villages they had a hand pump surrounded by a fence of wooden tree branches with a gate probably to keep out the animals.
Two hours later and just 85 km on a good tar seal road from Arba Minch arrived at Kanta Lodge in Kanso. Oh, the joy to be able and jump under a hot shower with a large dump rain shower rose.
No electricity till 6.30 pm and there was both good and bad news. Yes, they have wi-fi but no, it's is not working now. In fact no wi-fi at all in Konso. So more stillness and there is nothing wrong with that!
With our local guide Gezehagn it was off to the Konso community museum. In this area soya bean, sunflower, maize, cotton, sorghum, millet, kasava, katt, kumera / sweet potato and coffee are grown.
Excellent collection of carved wooden totemistic waga sculptures or generation poles raised in honour of Konso warriors after their death and not only depict the 'hero' but also his family, and the enemies and dangerous animals he has killed.
Then off to the Konso village and it was like a pied piper procession with the children following us. Yes, I had wanted to take photos of the villagers but once you start paying one then everyone wants in.
The clay pot at the top of the roofs are not only decorative but also ties the thatch together. A cross indicates that this family is Orthodox Christian.
Konso Chief Gezahegne Woldu Compound
The chief (46) has been one for 12 years. It is a position handed down within the family. Trained as a civil engineer he returned when his father died to live and uphold the tribal Kertita clan traditions.
He sees his main role as dispute resolution as well as being a spiritual leader.
- to retain custom, culture, language and clothes.
- to maximise agricultural rural side like forestation, multi cropping in case of a crop failure, develop the terracing. No machinery is used except on the lowlands because of the stony and hilly ground.
- to wants the community and generation preserved.
- to face both environmental and technological changes.
Life is more expensive and it is through tourism that he sees it will provide opportunities to promote and keep their culture alive.
Marriages are arranged through friends.
Modern concession were a cell phone to call for a tuktuk or bajaj. Otherwise he would walk everywhere which would take hours.
HIGHLIGHTS Tues 16 Dec: Konso
Tuesday, December 16, 2014