Ethiopia first impressions

After a couple days in Cairo, Egypt, I can only describe it as apocalyptic with “rats” running everywhere.  A city so old and broken down, lack of infrastructure, too many people for the amount of housing and no employment to find housing if they wanted it.  I spent part of a day walking streets and alleys that tourists done walk down.  I didn’t take any photos as it doesn’t seem right capturing images of the extreme poverty.  “Hey mister, let me take a photo of that splintered bone sticking out of the end of your finger.  Hey lady, I realize you cant see me, because you don’t have any eyeballs, but I’m going to take a photo of you, to show people back home.”

Extreme poverty with the worst possible conditions you can imagine.  Old Cairo reminded me of rats – not that the people are bad or have any control over their situation, but certainly very overpopulated with an older population and nowhere for the people to go, nor any way to get there.  People who are just a bunch of rats crawling all over themselves.  Wicked sad and depressing.

So, if Cairo is filled with rats, Ethiopia is filled with mice.  There is obviously an extreme overpopulation problem here as well.  I’m not talking about the tourist cities or areas tourists frequent, but the backroad villages I pass through on a daily basis.  The children are like mice running everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE.  With nowhere else to go, they line the roads and city streets, begging, pushing, shoving, and grabbing at you – they’re crawling all over the place.  With this may children, it’s quite apparent how pack mentality sets in and bad things happen.  Now, put a machine gun in one of their hands and look out – when the young men are packed up, they become completely unruly.  There isn’t a place you can stop along the road without kids coming out of nowhere instantly mobbing you.  I know it’s sad to say, but it’s like walking into a barn infested with mice.  The countryside is literally infested with children.  Ethiopia’s population problem is going to explode in the nest 10 – 20 years when all of these kids grow up.  The mice will become rats with nowhere to go.

So far, it’s really just sad traveling here.  I’m headed south tomorrow to the capital of Addis Abba.  I’m going to try and find a place to stay outside of the city and skirt my way around it on Sunday.

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