Around the town of Jinka is Ari territory. The village we visited late afternoon was just lovely, well kept with lots of fruits trees and very green. Of course a local guide joined us onsite, who had brought along an assistant, who had brought a traditional skirt made from small twigs. Quickly this was wrapped around Heidi hips and masqueraded like this we walked around escorted by throngs of children.
Different to most other Omo tribes, these Ari do not dress in traditional clothes. They are extremely relaxed with foreigners, interested in genuine interaction and there is none of that dishing out Birr for Photos on end.
One family was preparing a traditional “Injera” and invited Heidi to make one as well, which actually turned out quite well. It was the first time we tasted this type. It was very light and almost sweet, the best one we had in Ethiopia. Our little cook-out eventually comforted one of the little boys in the family. He was crying bitterly, because his mother had not bought him flips flops at the market as she had promised. Our delicious Injera made him move out of the bushes where he was hiding.
In another compound a lady was modeling an Injera plate from clay in no-time. It was a fascinating to watch her tempo and precision. For a long time we sat down with the village blacksmith who was in the process of making a cow-bell. He did not use more than two or three tools to do so. With a bellow made from leather, he kept his fire at the right temperature, while he turned his masterpiece in the fire looking at it critically.
Just before we left the older pupils returned from school and we had a chance to look at their notebooks and what they are being taught. These kids, who do not speak one coherent sentence in English, had copied pages and pages of complicated definitions of physical laws and categorizations of African languages.