Day Six – Crossing the Omo
by John Downey
I’m hopeful that the following six images summarize what it’s like to cross the Omo River at Murelle. Raw and left behind.
Half developed and “owned” by Ethiopian Rift Valley Tours, this was one of the more depressing locations we visited thus far. Along the Omo, there is abundant evidence of several NGO projects gone unfinished.
Harangued by dozens of out-of-school children, we walked to a small and mostly vacant village that was simply too depressing to photograph. Thus, on the return to the overloaded, half-floating ferry, I decided to make some b/w images of a corral and leave it at that.
Later in the day, we moved five clicks from Murelle to a Konso village that is privilege to a wide-angle bend in the Omo. Knowing we’d be confronted by locals and not wanting to enter the village, I made this shot from atop our vehicle.
The Konso villagers were hospitable, as long as I paid the photo fees of two Birr per finger press of the shutter. These guys have it down pat. They confer among one another while you click away and double-check the numbers when you dig for your wallet.
Tomorrow’s post will feature portraits of a Konso village and its chief, far cry from today’s experience along the banks of the Omo. We’re not sure if we’ll leave for Addis in the morning or not. After 2000 km of driving, it’s tough to think of the last push to Addis, through Debre Zeit (the most dangerous stretch of road in Ethiopia) after two peaceful rest days at Aragash Lodge.
Enjoy a couple of images from our way out of Murelle.
Cheers from Yerga Alem,