First, Ethiopia drives on the same side of the road as the United States, which was a welcome comfort for me. Ethiopia was so much cleaner than Kenya, and the landscape was mountainous.
Still, one must act with a certain amount of caution when in a new country for the first time. We decided to get our feet wet by going to a couple of museums, one that housed “Lucy”, and the other on the stunning campus of the University of Addis Ababa.
A culture rich with history was to be found. Tracing the origins of man to the oldest found skeleton of Lucy, learning of Ethiopia’s relative independence in development of government, art and music was fascinating.
Seeing a country that has three predominant religions; Muslim, Christian Orthodox, and Ethiopian Judaism, all with influence but no conflict within its people is a lesson to be learned by the rest of the world.
Ethiopia’s musical instruments go almost as far back as Lucy itself. As you learn about them and the tribes which developed them, the museum plays the hypnotic sounds.
On the campus grounds, they have the actual rooms of former great Kings of the past. You can stand before a dressing mirror that has the scratch from a bullet that was from a 1960’s assassination attempt on the King’s life during a Coupe D’ etat.
The museums were a great way to slowly adjust to a new country, and learn about the history of the great Ethiopia.