Decisions, Decisions

Sunday, February 14, 2010 | Gondar, Ethiopia (map)

Coca-Cola, Ethiopian style, at a roadside truck stop
Making snap decisions in a foreign environment is challenging, especially early on, when one is unaccustomed to the rules and particularities of a new destination. For our first two weeks in Ethiopia, Jacqueline and I kept looking back at decisions we had just made, and wondering "How could we be so stupid?" At every turn—whether with hotels, transport, meals, or anything else—we seemed to choose wrong. Our misadventures in the Simien Mountains were the icing on the cake, and in the aftermath, our spirits were low.

Recognizing that Jacqueline was near the end of her rope, I finally made a good decision: I proposed we take a day in Gondar to recuperate (and to coat everything Jacqueline owns in flea powder, which we finally found at a local pesticide store). After the flea treatment, a shower, a night's rest, and several nice meals, I was able to coax Jacqueline into continuing to the final destination on our northern Ethiopian road trip—Lalibela.

It proved, against all odds, to be another great decision. The full story on Lalibela is coming up next!

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