the ethiopia post

this post is a little different. i’ve been on a research trip to ethiopia, and below i’ll be dumping photos (many) and observations (few). enjoy!


the trip was objectively horrible. london to pisa to rome to addis ababa in a day. i love travelling and i love planes but i like them better when my neighbouring seats are not occupied by assholes. i ended up not sleeping at all on my red eye. but then thankfully i didn’t need to do anything on the first day, so, all in all, it could have been worse.


i will never mock other esl speakers for their mistakes. this said, scrabble egg and portage have entered my vocabulary and they will never ever leave.


the italian embassy in ethiopia is pretty! thank you to our ambassador for having us. very interesting ot hear his perspective on italy-ethiopia relations, considering our troubled past.

many friends have asked how it is possible that ties between the two countries are so good, considering we (fascist italy) tried to colonise them. it appears that ethiopians don’t really resent us for that: not only because we have clearly moved on from mussolini’s regime (sorry Pres. Meloni), but mostly… because… they won.

lol. i mean, extremely fair. gotta hand it to them. thank god we lost lol. the only thing worse than being from a country that was bad at colonialism is being from a country that was good at colonialism


a view of addis from the hq of the ethiopian commission of human rights (where a friend was interning! love that for her).

and yes i applied the irl third world film yellow filter (the windows were tinted) (addis’s color scale is very much normal)


i saw lucy. i stayed up until 0300 sick. i was not defeated by traditional foods (and i ate a lot, see the rest of the trip). what did me in was 1) coca-cola 2) fried vegetables.

i seem to have the stomach of a five year old.

i felt perfectly fine for the rest of the trip.


beautiful blue skies and alleged chinese surveillance. had a blast at the african union’s hqs. the infrastructure truly appears to be there, hopefully it will also have a positive, stabilising, democratising… etc impact on the continent.


probably my favourite picture from addis. i loved seeing our group’s engineers discover my favourite ilaw professor. the man knows how to make up a fun hypothetical!


yours truly expressing actual interest at the eu delegation at the au. i had a lot of fun, especially after the main event, where i chatted with a general advising on military cooperation and an eu official working on digital innovation. the latter in particular was very amused by my love for critical infrastructure. i think we could become friends.


we then left for the second part of our trip. this internal flight landed us in jinka…


… and then we immediately got on the road…


from top to bottom, the three stars represent: addis, jinka, and omorate. I know yall know geography.
it just gives a very interesting sense of scale of how far out we went.

to reach our final destination of omorate!


girl dinner – giiiirl dinneeer! (egg injera ft 50% deet spray)


shout out to ermias, local militia commander who is also now besties with e (the guy taking his picture in this photo).

chillest man on earth. fit went hard

I reached out to my partner for comment.


another fit that went very hard. i think this reminds me of a fendi campaign. extremely strange thought, this having been taken in an idp camp.

i don’t think it’s my fault though. there’s something to be said here about luxury brands / designer products coopting extreme poverty as an aestethic, starting of course with the average model’s body type. it’s not really my brand (fun fact: I actually really like haute couture / haute joaillerie!) and i don’t feel like i’m necessarily qualified to talk about it, but still.

i mean, i still think it’s a good shot. but this is probably a good place to remark i’ve spent a week amongst people who truly have nothing. i’m not summarising our work here – we will be writing a report on it that should also be published somehow. but this has not been a holiday, both in a personal sense (it was exhausting) and more importantly in terms of general tone and vibe.


many of the pictures i’ve taken in the context of our work i don’t feel comfortable sharing here, because of 1) extreme poverty, which i don’t want to glorify 2) nudity 3) child nudity. nudity online is controversial enough, i don’t want to mess with that issue. anyways. this is one of the better pictures i’d still count as relatively safe.


i will also make an exception for this photo, which is clearly posed – at her request. i wish i had a polaroid camera, so that i could leave them with copies of their pictures…


and before y’all think that I assume they would have wanted a copy: this is a woman looking at herself in our vehicle’s rearview mirror. it is extremely unlikely that this tribespeople would have access any mirrors. the closest thing they have is probably small ponds. so yeah. i wish i had a polaroid camera.


before our flight back to addis, we stopped for a day in jinka. the place is absurdly lush. i became friends with the girl selling coffee at the airport gift shop.


the international departures / arrivals terminals in addis are much prettier than the domestic ones. like much much prettier. i bought myself an ethiopian opal necklace and i got one for my mom too. thankfully i did it before seeing an unset opal dealer because i would have exploded. opals do something to my brain. once again i should probably stop caring and start writing about jewellery once in a while.

anyways. this bag was fuck ass ugly (see: fuck ass bob) but it’s the last place i expected to see a beijing themed bag. you live and learn!

the god of travel smiled to me during the return trip. i had a whole three seat row to myself. it felt… nice.

also: coming back to italy and then london, celebrating my bday with my friends, having generally a whole lot of fun, eating well, doing fun stuff… very very jarring after that first half of the month! extremely strange! wild! etc.

you live and you learn. truly