Turmi, Ethiopia | 8 April, 2007 | $3.41
Our original plan didn’t include a three night stay in Turmi, we had only stopped in order to catch the traditional market day in Dimeka. Most towns have one day a week where the market sets up and people from different tribes in the surrounding area come to buy and sell goods. One woman around my age took a shine to me and found a kid who could translate—she wanted to know why I was wearing so many clothes! She went on to pet my (blonde) arm hair, take my earrings out and question how my tongue piercing worked.
She was definitely as fascinated by me as I was by her and her wonderful beadwork. Hammer woman are responsible for their own animal skin garments and are proud of their handiwork. When I asked about cleaning the hide she told me that if it gets dirty she just rubs it with the same dirt that she uses on her skin and hair.
Up until this point I hadn’t eaten any meat in Ethiopia because of the large Orthodox Christian population strictly following lent. Easter morning in Turmi consisted of blaring Shakira before dawn and a bowl of boiled, unflavored meat for breakfast. The owners were so excited I couldn’t turn it down.
Our unplanned third night in Turmi was due to our five hour drive trying to find a rumored bull jumping ceremony. We didn’t find it and when we tried to take the direct road out in the morning it had flooded enough to warrant our driver to wade in to check the depth and decide to take the long way—a two hour detour. Now more than halfway through our roadtrip through the South Omo Zone and days away from the main road, we started heading East.