Once on the other side, the usual circus started. Everybody insisted to be photographed for 2 Birr. We truly mean everybody. Children were pulling our arms, legs, T-shirts, groups of girls were posing and elderly ladies simply shouted at us – the Arbore déjà vu… This time, hardened by our adventure in the Arbore village, we used our newly developed strategy. We picked the people that we wanted to photograph, but soon we were overwhelmed by the villagers big and small pleading for more photo-shooting. So much for our plan…
The traditional customs of the Dasanech have been supplemented with modern accessories. The most popular one is a hair dress made from bottle caps and cartridges or a metal watch band dangling from a necklace. The men are very tall and slim, as do the women.
Their huts resemble small hemisphere in shape and are made of wood and dried leaves. The entrance is so tiny and narrow that we declined the many invitations to come inside, because it would have meant to crawl on our bellies through the dust.
On the way back a little girl was climbing down the river bank with the typical yellow canister for fetching water. When she got into the boat we got curious: why would she travel across to get water? Well, she was on her way to get booze for her father from the village, probably earned by posing for photos.
The small, characterless village of Omerate sits in the most southwestern corner of Ethopia. Kenyia is only 30 km further south and the border to Sudan in a similar distance to the west. What is missing most along the Lower Omo Valley is a bridge to cross. There is actually one outside of Omerate, but it cannot be used. The pillars to hold it are not strong enough. So this big steel structure kind of floats mid-air across the river, looking very much likes a catapult.
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