So this afternoon I took a trip with a couple friends (and a local guide) to the Addis Merkato, the biggest outdoor market in Africa.
Below are some pictures.
The market was a great cross-section of Ethiopian life, culture, and commerce. According to Lonely Planet, you can buy everything from coffee to Kalishnikovs there, although we saw none of the latter. Even still, it was a memorable experience. I realized that the Bole region of town (where our hotel is) is pretty posh compared to the rest of the city - but even still, Addis is pretty booming.
Tomorrow morning I will be flying north to Mekele, the capital of Tigray province. From there, over the next few days we will have meetings in Mekele, and then go to the village of Adi Ha for 2 days. For me, personally and professionally, this will be the highlight of the entire trip.
Not sure if I will be as connected in Tigray as I have been here the past few days, but if not, I'll be sure to update you on March 8th, when I return to Addis.
My colleague Chris and I had to help our driver push our cab into the parking space.
The market was crowded today - Saturday is the biggest market day of the week.
Many different types of people (and donkeys) come to the market.
The spice market. This type is used in traditional coffee ceremonies.
Different types of beans.
Potatoes, onions, and garlic.
A guy carrying a lot of mattresses.
These girls sold me a pack of gum, and then followed me around for the next hour, smiling and waving. They were pretty cute, so I overpaid.
Our lunch was Pepsi and cake. Not too traditional, but still good.
Somewhat scary mannequins.
Ancient bibles, church scrolls, and prayer beads for sale. Probably illegal. Or at least unethical. (Wouldn't a museum like to have them?)
Silver jewelry and old coins.
An interior part of the market.
Heading home - there were still a lot of people out.