Ethiopian Beauties

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On Tuesday I decided not to sleep in. This was not a problem because my night’s sleep at the Panoramic Hotel was quite invigorating.

I awoke and went for a city stroll that unbeknownst to me lead to a six-hour round-trip  hike to the hilltop monastery.

My Sherpa, Alex, overlooks the landscape from a landing on our way to Asheten Monastery

When my legs could take me no further I rode a mule.

The view from atop the donkey

When I realized that after an hour into the hike I was still a ways from the monastery I became annoyed, but I persevered. Alexc told me we’d reach the monastery after a short hike. I misjudged this statement. For Alex, a short hike is six hours long. For me, I thought it would take us only thirty minutes.

Just around the mountain’s ridge I entered the territory of two lovely Ethiopian girls, Abeba and Asmera. They spotted me on the ridge and yelled out the most pleasant words in perfect English “I love you… my name is … nice to meet you.”  We were extremely far from each other but the acoustics were excellent so we were able to hold a conversation.

The girls decided to make their way up the mountain. When they arrived, Abeba, eager to make my acquaintance extended her hand to shake mine. I was impressed with her professionalism.

Abeba, 2nd grade

Her older sister was just as impressive with her reserved but friendly nature. She smiled.

Asmera, 3rd grade

I immediately fell in love with their gorgeous smiles and cute afros. After snapping a couple of photos together, we said our goodbyes and I continued up the mountain to the monastery.

A monk holds Christian artifacts inside the Asheten Monastery atop the mountain.

Later, while making my descent from the monastery I ran into my new little friends again. This time they were making their way to school. I sensed their pride about walking with their American uncle.  I too was delighted to see them again.

The wife of the man whose mule carried me up the mountain prepares coffee and welcomes me into their home.

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