What’s this!?

Pretty simple: this is a blog created to help you before and while you visit Ethiopia. So… Welcome!

First of all, I must acknowledge that the idea of writing this came to me after visiting Zanzibar and navigating through the wonderful Gaby’s blog: zanzibarinsiderbuzz, which I found extraordinary helpful during my stay. Once back in Ethiopia, where I currently live, I wondered: “why not doing the same for people who are planning to come to Ethiopia?” So here we are!

Quick intro: my name is Gonzalo (Ashenafi, in Amharic). After many gifted trips worldwide, I was delighted to land in Ethiopia for the first time in the summer of 2008 (2000 in the Ethiopian calendar), repeating the following summer of 2009 and finally establishing myself for good in 2011. Ethiopia is a very peculiar country in many ways and I hope that as a foreigner who lives here (even though I would like to call myself half Ethiopian) I would be happy if I can make your visit a bit better and less problematic for both you and the local community.

Most of the things that I write are my own personal thoughts, experiences, and feelings collected during the many years that I have been living in Ethiopia; sometimes I had to consult online sources for specific info to compensate my poor memory. This should not be taken as an encyclopedia where things are simply facts (there are plenty of sites for that), but rather an introduction to the country from a resident’s point of view.

The way I thought of structuring this blog was to be concise and direct to the point for practical reasons, writing short paragraphs regarding each topic. But, in case you are interested in digging further, some of the themes written here may include a link to a blog entry where I explain with more detail regarding the subject (most of the time because I have personal experience to share about it).

I hope you find this blog useful and I encourage you to add comments, suggest improvements, give feedback and make it better every day with your experience or inputs while in Ethiopia so that other people can benefit as well.

Ready? You are about to step into one of the most amazing destinations… Enjoy the ride!

PS: As an introduction, feel free to watch the following 7-minute video that I made years ago with my relatives and friends to try to explain why I was so fascinated about this country (it’s in Spanish but you can activate English subtitles on the video settings).

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