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Ethiopian Culture

Mark & Amy Robinson’s Ethiopia Visit

By | Ethiopian Culture

Written by Mark and Amy (Link Ethiopia sponsors and parents to Ben, a volunteer with Link Ethiopia). Our trip to Northern Ethiopia can only be described as a major assault on the senses – in a good way. From the spectacular beauty of the Simien Mountains, to the architectural wonder of the Lalibela churches, this part of Africa is surely the continent’s best kept secret. © Amy Robinson, 2016 We travelled to Ethiopia because our son, Ben, was near completion…

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Ethiopia and Islam – a colourful (brief) history

By | Ethiopian Culture

Written by Cecilia For Muslims Ethiopia has historically been the land of freedom from persecution and emancipation from fear. Ethiopia is considered “the heaven of the first migration or Hijra”. In 622 CE, some of the Prophet Muhammad’s followers, given the persecution they were subjected to in the city of Mecca, undertook their migration or journey to Ethiopia, where, there was a King who “did not wrong anyone”. Ethiopia was known as a land where its King Negus – or…

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Gondar in a Day

By | Ethiopian Culture

Written by Rory & Hannah It is a time-worn cliché that you never visit the famous sights of the place where you live, focussing instead on the day-to-day necessities of life and saving the money to visit famous sights in far-flung places. Of course we are in Ethiopia so this does not quite apply, but it did take us a few weeks to get around to seeing some of what Gondar has to offer to tourists. Inspired by previous volunteer…

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Touching Down in Gondar

By | Ethiopian Culture

Written by Hannah Dillon It was with great anticipation that we arrived in Gondar, our base for the coming months and a historical city located in Ethiopia’s Northern highlands. Apart from the extensive castle complex, the main things we had heard about before arriving were the excellent fish and chips at AG Hotel (from Matt at Link) and the entertaining Northern accent of the inhabitants (from the Bishoftu office staff). Suffice to say, Gondar, and the Amhara region in which…

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A Day in Addis

By | Ethiopian Culture

Written by Ben Robinson Many volunteers are able to spend just one day in Addis at the beginning or end of their stay in Ethiopia. Here Ben, a previous volunteer, outlines his recommendations of where to eat and what do with that day. One option in Addis is to stay at Leya Hotel, and these recommendations are written from there. Breakfast – Sunbird Cafe “Go out onto the main road outside Bole Mini and cross over the road. Turn right…

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First Impressions of Gondar

By | Ethiopian Culture

Written by Emily Gretland “Enjoying an overdue breakfast on the small plane from Addis to Gondar, I peer out the window as we descend and glimpse my first view of this beautiful country. The vibrant shades of green are arranged in checkerboard patterns across the land and provide a lush coating on the mountains. It’s so different to anything I have seen before, especially when compared to the dryer and barer landscape of home, Norway. I cannot help but snap…

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Gelada Monkeys – Exclusive to Ethiopia!

By | Ethiopian Culture

The Gelada old-world monkey is endemic to Ethiopia and only found in the highlands, with large populations residing in the Simien Mountains, in the North. The Gelada’s have adapted to the cooler climate; with their thick coats these rugged mountaineers are protected from the cold. Interestingly they’re the only monkeys on Earth that survive on a meat-free diet, feeding predominantly on mountain grass. The lack of calories in their diet means they spend most of their day grazing and sitting…

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Two Weeks in Bishoftu: An insight into Ben’s Ethiopian experience

By | Ethiopian Culture

Written by Ben Robinson Arriving in Ethiopia, the senses are most definitely overwhelmed. Little sleep on the flight, mainly due to lights going off at 2am and back on at 4am UK time on the flight definitely contributes, being surrounded by an alien language doesn’t help, the natural disorientation of somewhere new, and coming to terms with the idea that life (restaurants, cafés, shoe-shining and hawking, and above all conversation) takes place on the street can be a little daunting…

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Growing tourism for Ethiopia. Why not experience this beautiful country for yourself?

By | Ethiopian Culture

Written by Julia Wathen The tourism industry in Ethiopia has long been left trailing behind other African nations, yet it seems people are beginning to appreciate and embrace the culture and wonders of this amazing country. The visitor numbers are growing by 10% each year, the Simien Mountains National Park (a prime tourist site) has experienced a huge increase in the number of tourists from 5,000 in 2007 to 24,000 last year. Read more information about tourism in Ethiopia here….

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Five Things I Learnt in Ethiopia

By | Ethiopian Culture

Having worked as a finance manager at Link Ethiopia for 18 months, I was finally on my way to Ethiopia – from spreadsheets to reality. As a hard bitten traveller (ahem), a putative Masters graduate in Development Management and a Link Ethiopia veteran, you may have expected that I knew what I was letting myself in for – well think again. Here are a handful of pointers I carried in my rucksack back from Addis Ababa International airport. 1) No…

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‘We are coffee farmer’

By | Ethiopian Culture

Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world after oil, and Ethiopia’s biggest export. This video is a great resource – meet some Ethiopian coffee farmers, learn about the importance of coffee to Ethiopia, and about an initiative to help farmers get more back from their work. See the video here: http://vimeo.com/35764583

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Bahir Dar

By | Ethiopian Culture

Bahir Dar is one of the most visited towns in Ethiopia. Nothing more than a sleepy waterside village (its name means “Sea Shore”) in the early part of the twentieth century, it later came to the notice of Emperor Haile Selassie because of its stunning position on the southern banks of Lake Tana and its relatively central situation in the northern part of the country. He had a palace built nearby and he even considered making it the site of…

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Timkat celebrations

By | Ethiopian Culture

This is certainly the greatest festival in the Ethiopian calendar and this year the Gondar authorities added to the celebrations by launching the first Carnival in Ethiopia alongside the more traditional festivities. Here is an edited extract from the circumference.org website which tells about Timkat in Gondar. “Gondar, one of Ethiopia’s largest cities, springs to life every January for Timkat, the Ethopian Orthodox celebration of Epiphany. Timkat, which is celebrated on January 19, commemorates Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River…

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Meskel

By | Ethiopian Culture

At the end of September, Addis Ababa, “new flower”, lived up to its name: fresh daisies lined the streets, strewn in piles in markets, heaped on to minibuses, gathered in bundles on the backs of white-robed women. The occasion was Meskel, a festival named for this flower and for the cross, both of which feature prominently. Sophie McGrath writes for the Guardian newspaper… “It officially celebrates the somewhat arcane landmark of the discovery of the cross by St Helena in…

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