...Ethiopia is an independent Federal Democratic Republic with a President as head of state and a Prime Minister as the head of government? The constitution was established in 1994, following the over-throw of the Mengistu military dictatorship in 1991.
...the capital, Addis Ababa, whose name means "New Flower", was settled in 1886 and given its name by Empress Taytu, consort of Menelik II? The population of Addis Ababa is approximately 3 million.
...Addis Ababa is situated at over 2,500 metres above sea level? Ethiopia has a total population estimated at approximately 70 million and is home to more than 80 ethnic groups and a wide diversity of languages. More than 80% of the population live in rural areas.
...the ethnic groups are: Oromo 40%, Amhara and Tigre 32%, Sidamo 9%, Shankella 6%, Somali 6%, Afar 4%, Gurage 2%, other 1%?
Religions: Muslim 40%, Orthodox Christian 40%, Animist 15%, other 5%.
...Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which comprises twelve months of thirty days each and a thirteenth month of five days (or six days in a leap year)? The calendar is seven years and eight months behind the Western (Gregorian) calendar with Christmas being celebrated on January 7 and New Year on September 11. (Right now it's 2004 here in Ethiopia).
*All wording for these facts came from www.ethiopiantour.com.
Scenes from the past week around Ethiopia:
Alana and Paulos say, "hello" from Awassa-
Sunset over the mountains behind Lake Awassa-
Our family in front of a local restaurant way back off the road (when I say way I mean waaaaayyyyyyy off the road) at Sabana Resort on Langano Lake-
Remember those huge storks from my last post? This is a stork nest-
A market we passed near Langano Lake-
Langono Lake: we let the kids wade in the water (Paulos refused). See that flag behind their heads? It is the back of a designated swimming area. Right next to the flag a hippo kept coming to the surface.
If you've ever been on the Safari ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom, you have seen the (fake) termite hills. This is a real one. Termites dig into the ground, and up comes sediment and termite excrement and makes a huge mound on the surface.
All the bumps/mounds you see in this field are termite hills.
Showing you how tall the mounds were! Most of the ones we saw were at least 6-7 feet tall.
Today I am thankful for: being one step closer to coming home by being submitted to Embassy today, Jayde finally finding a traditional Ethiopian dress she likes, and Sucrets for a sore throat.