Three Nights in Turmi and The Turmi Market, South Ethiopia
Three nights at the Evangadi Lodge and Campground in Turmi with day trips scheduled. Turmi is a minute, one street, dirt road town but there is a lot to see in the South Omo Region. The campground has facilities for your own tent and individual cottages. There is also a very nice row of toilets and showers. Again, nothing flushes (use buckets of water) and the water isn’t “hot” but after the pipes sit in a 94+ degree F during the day, the water is warm enough and I’m grateful that I’m not one of those poor people hefting water from the well.
ex-Marine and I were blown away by a couple staying here from Holland with their little pop-up camper…View image… and their three beautiful little blonde girls, ages 10, 9 and 5. Home schooling, doing their own cooking, camping everywhere, and planning on a year’s trip throughout Africa. We noticed them earlier in the Key Afar Market posing with one of the warriors. They do not speak Amharic or any other of the many languages spoken in Africa. Did you realize that there are 53 African countries? Somehow they are managing. See? It can be done. Not by me, but this woman has to qualify for sainthood living in a camper day-after-day with three children.
The Hamer, Karo and Dassanech people gather at Turmi on Mondays for their famous weekly market. It’s the Hamer women with the copper hair selling all their wares that are the big draw. Smelly goatskins, metal arm bracelets, etc., selling the ochre (looks like piles of red dust), tobacco, piles of straw for their animals and shouting at anyone who points a camera without paying…
After the unbelievable Jumping of The Bulls Ceremony, I have enough video and photographs of the Hamer to last a lifetime. The market was within walking distance of Evangadi Lodge and we didn’t stay long. You didn’t have to. Every Hamer approaching or leaving the market wanted their photos taken. It certainly beats having to sell their goods.
Just a few more days of ethnic groups on the way back to Addis. A good thing. I’m running out of memory cards and mini-dvd’s for the camcorder and am forced to admit that we are getting “tribed out.” If one more person pokes me in the boobs or says, “Mama, photo…” I may have to scream. At least the goats just stand quietly looking and don’t ask for money.
It’s peaceful at Evangadi with the black and white crested “Go Away Bird”, brightly colored Superb Starlings, Weaver Birds and time to swap stories with other travelers. A drawback is the daily 98 degree F temperature in our cottage with its metal roof. The room doesn’t start to cool down until after midnight and by 6:00 am, is a mere (sarcasm) 78 degrees. You just have to cope by laying naked in a bucket of sweat until midnight. Tomorrow…back on the road to and through Konso….