We had a great buffet breakfast at the hotel this morning, all included with our hotel bill. The papaya was out of this world, much sweeter than the papaya we can get in the USA. It took me back to my boyhood in Angola, but even the non-lovers of papaya thought this was good. And this was just a tiny fraction of our breakfast.
After breakfast we boarded our Project Mercy bus and went to the National Museum of Ethiopia, housed in a former palace of Emperor Haile Selassie. A young man who has his Master’s degree in Anthropology was our guide. He took us first to the prehistoric fossil findings in Ethiopia, including those of Lucy, celebrated as one of the earliest human fossils ever found. He explained that the Great Rift Valley extending down the eastern length of Africa has been a rich source of fossils, many found only in the last thirty years. Lucy is one of the most complete human fossils ever found.
Finishing the tour of the museum by 12:45, we took our bus to the Hilton Hotel and enjoyed a good lunch offered in their immaculate gardens. Then the rest of the group did some shopping for souvenirs while I took a nice nap on the bus. (I’ve turned leadership of our group over to my son, Randall, whose work with Project Mercy had given him lots of experience in Ethiopia in recent years.) We returned to our hotel before 5 PM to freshen up for dinner at 7 at one of the top cultural restaurants in Addis. The buffet dinner of traditional Ethiopian foods was marvelous. Then we settled back to enjoy the Ethiopian band and watch an athletic group of dancers perform many traditional dances of Ethiopia.
Today introduced us to the distinctive aura of Ethiopia. Tomorrow we’ll take an early morning flight to Gondar where we’ll revisit a bit of Dodge history from 50 years ago and learn much more about Ethiopia’s unique history.