This was my first trip to Africa so I was an excited little frog.   I visited Ethiopia and travelling this country is like hopping back in time.  The people in Ethiopia use a different calender, the year there now is 2003, and they celebrate the new year in mid-September.  They also use a different way to tell time – 6 o’clock Ethiopia time is known as 12 o’clock frog time – so if someone asks to meet you at 4 o’clock in the day – it could mean either 10 o’clock or 4 o’clock!

Everyone loves Polly - including these Hamer girls!

Ethiopia is a very old civilisation, and they have found remains of tools over two million years old!  I was able to touch an axe that was one million years old – I wonder if frogs were living in Ethiopia then?

A one million year old obsidian axe at the Melka Kunture Prehistoric Site

Shane told me that Ethiopia has an important history, coffee was first used by the people in Ethiopia before anywhere else in the world, and the Rastafarian movement is based on the support for the former Emporer of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I.

Ethiopian food is very spicy, Shane said it was hotter than the food in India – the people eat lamb, chicken, goat, fish and vegetables.  Most meals are served with a sour bread called an injera – it tastes nice with spicy food.

Ethiopian meal of spicy meat with a sour bread called on Injera.

We travelled to a part of the south of the Ethiopia known as the Omo Valley – it is near the borders of Sudan and Kenya and it took more than two days in the car to reach there because the roads were rough.  When we arrived, I was able to see some beautiful views.

At the village of Kolcho overlooking the Omo River at sunset

There are many different tribes in this area.  The Mursi tribe all carry guns and the women wear lip plates – they looked scary!  The Karo people paint their bodies and are friendly.  My favourite tribe were the Hamer (pronounced hah-mehr).  I went to the market and met three Hamer girls, they liked me very much and I liked them too because they painted their faces very nicely.  They wanted to keep me, but Shane did not allow them.

Hamer girls are looking at me because they said I looked beautiful!

Hamer women are beautiful and their hair looks very different.  They plat their hair and then colour it with red clay.  The ladies also wear bangles and traditional clothes.  I have only seen people like this on TV until my visit to the Omo Valley!

A Hamer woman looks serious - but she laughed after the photo!

Ethiopia is the most interesting country I have ever visited, but it was a hard country to travel in because it is a very poor country with bad roads and hotels.   I hope other frogs can visit Ethiopia one day, I think they will like it as much as me!

9 people like this post.


11 Responses to “Visiting the Tribes of Southern Ethiopia”

  1. Fantastic pictures and interesting information!

  2. This was such an interesting post! I really love the pictures with the Hamer children and the picture of Polly near the Omo river is perfect! You’ve traveled to so many remarkable places, and I’m so happy that you take Polly along with you and that you’re willing to share your pictures and stories with our readers.
    Thanks again,

  3. Your post initiated a huge discussion with my husband and I about how they keep time in Ethiopia. I searched the internet and found this explanation:

    “The Ethiopian clock has 24 hours in a day, similar to its western counterpart. However, Ethiopia has shifted their clock by six hours so that the clock rolls over at 6 am – the start of the day. This is an entirely sensible approach given Ethiopia is located near the equator and the sun comes up at the same time every day of the year. To convert between the Ethiopian and western clocks, simply subtract six hours.”

    Thanks again for a great post! I love looking at the world through your adventures.

  4. Great post. That is what I call taking Polly to unusual places.

  5. It seems like a great picture is all about being in the right place at the right time. The photo of Polly with the three girls looks like something right out of National Geographic. It’s a Kodak moment, to be sure. Bravo!

  6. History of Africa
    January 4th, 2011 at 7:48 am

    A cool post and really appreciate your work. The pictures are really great.

  7. Fantastic post…the girl in the bottom picture looks very sullen. Do you know why?

  8. That spicy meat dish looks really good!

  9. This is a neat article. The pictures of the children are intriguing. Unless I’m seeing something, the face paint seems to match each child’s expression–maybe even their personalities. Also, it’s amazing that everybody is caught up in an image of them while they’re just as fascinated with the frog. Pictures really are worth 1000 words! Good stuff!

  10. Re: Sullen looking girl

    I do not know why she looked like this, in other photos she was laughing. Shane thinks that people in Ethiopia believe that photos are important, so they want to look serious. Or maybe she was scared of a little frog!

  11. Mrs. Anderson's Class
    April 16th, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Thank you for posting all of these pictures. I love learning all of this new stuff. Where will you be traveling next? Also, what type of meat was that?

    Mrs. Anderson’s Class (West Virginia, USA)