It was Sunday and I had left Bahir Dar to make my way to Gondar. My driver took me across the Ethiopian flatlands for nearly four hours before we arrived at what was once the capital city more than 500 years ago. I wanted to ask my driver to stop so that I may take photos of the people, but doing so seemed increasingly tricky with the itinerary we had to keep to and the difficulty of limiting an impromptu photo session to simply interaction that did not include a money transaction. Ethiopians are quick to monetize an experience as I have discovered. Perhaps this is not unique to Ethiopia as I found this true in the Philippines also.

After exchanging pleasantries they will inform you of their need for books, clothes, or some kind of financial support. Today instead of refusing their request I obliged.

After a brief introduction these young boys informed me of their need for a new and durable soccer ball. I was eager to impress these guys with my generosity as well as create a lasting memory with the people of Gondar.

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