Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ethiopia trip (part 2: Burji)

We took two trips south of Addis. The first was set up by our agency. When we get more news about our case, maybe I'll write about that trip. The second trip was to Burji, where the boys are from. For this trip it was important that we were not going as adoptive parents or connected to our agency in any way, we were just going to see the area.

Our driver H was a nice guy who didn't speak much English. With his few words of English and our few words of Amharic, we communicated OK. We had a beat-up old 4x4 Land Cruiser and a ton of waypoints loaded into our GPS. The first part of our trip was a big success.

We headed south from Addis on Highway 6 through gently rolling farmland (corn and teff), gradually descending into the Rift Valley.
Camels near Lake Ziway
Trucks and donkey pulling cart full of teff near Lake Ziway
We had lunch in Awassa, then continued through Dilla to Yirga Chefe. A group of very excited children followed us around Yirga Chefe.
Main market street in Yirga Chefe
Looking up the market street
The next morning we went about 10 more kilometers past Yirga Chefe and turned off the highway. Everything was very green and tropical-looking.
Outside Yirga Chefe

We left Highway 6 and took the gravel road toward Derba, in Amaro, at the foot of the Nechisar Mountains.
Road to Derba
Road to Derba
We were excited to arrive in Derba and have our morning coffee at the base of the mountains.
Helpful hint: If you are traveling through towns with no signposts, look for the local branch of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia. Even small towns have one. The bank's sign will tell you what town you are in.
At Derba the road makes a U-turn, going away from the mountains before turning south toward Burji.
Road to Burji
Mountains in Amaro
Car wash

By mid-morning we estimated that we had arrived in Burji.
Looking into Burji. Isn't it beautiful?
Our driver, H.
Burji road
Filming Burji panorama
Burji was beautiful and green and full of farmland.
Qai teff (red teff)
Nech teff (white teff)
Any time we stopped, it didn't take long for kids to turn up.
Kids with their animals in Burji
We passed through the largest town in Burji. The Commercial Bank sign confirmed that it was Soyema. We made a quick stop at the local clinic.
Soyema Clinic
 Around Soyema we saw quite a lot of soil erosion. I wonder if there are any reforestation projects in Burji.
Looking back over Soyema
Area around Soyema
 Soyema was the last town we saw in Burji. After that the road got rougher and we barely saw any people. We climbed for a long time. Finally we crested and looked down toward Konso.
Looking toward Konso
 Burji was behind us and we congratulated ourselves on a well-planned trip. Then there was an unexpected turn of events.


  1. Just beautiful! Now I am anxiously awaiting your next post!

  2. What a beautiful post Kyra! The pics of Burji literally brought tears to my eyes they are so gorgeous!

  3. Hanging on every word! Thanks for taking us alogn with you!

  4. Totally hanging on your every word! There is exciting stuff coming up in part three I can feel it!

  5. Gorgeous photos! So excited to hear the next installment. Congratulations on a trip well planned and executed (at least until the next post...)

  6. Oh my, what beautiful sights, and beautiful photos. And now I can hardly wait 'til the next post!

  7. I hope welcome again in burji soyama, It is my mother land and I love it so much Thank you for your picture.