Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Ethiopia is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants.

With its capital at Addis Ababa, it is also the most populous landlocked nation in the world.

Ethiopia is also one of the oldest sites of human existence known to scientists today, having yielded some of humanity's oldest traces.

Alongside Rome, China and Persia, the Ethiopian Aksum Empire was considered one of the four great world powers of the 3rd century. 

The country has one of the most powerful militaries in Africa.

Ethiopia is the only African country where an indigenous alphabet is still widely used.  

Ethiopia also has its own time system and unique calendar, seven to eight years behind the Gregorian calendar.

It has the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa.

Ethiopia has some of Africa's highest mountains as well as some of the world's lowest points below sea level.

The largest cave in Africa is located in Ethiopia at Sof Omar.

Ethiopia has one of the largest number of rivers in the world.

Currently, Ethiopia is the top coffee and honey-producing country in Africa. 

Home to the largest livestock population in Africa.

The Ethiopian Aksum region was the first major empire in the world to convert to Christianity and it was one of the first countries to officially adopt Christianity as a state religion in the 4th century.

The Ethiopian economy is also one of the fastest growing in the world.

Ethiopia was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008.

Ethiopia is often ironically referred to as the "water tower" of Eastern Africa because of the many (14 major) rivers that pour off the high tableland. It also has the greatest water reserves in Africa, but few irrigation systems in place to use it. Just 1% is used for power production and 1.5% for irrigation.

The life expectancy of men is reported to be 56 years and for women 60 years.

Ethiopia is poised to become one of the top flower and plant exporters in the world. 

Ethiopia's population has grown from 33.5 million in 1983 to 75.1 million in 2006.

About 16% of the population in Ethiopia are living on less than 1 dollar per day (2008).

Only 65% of rural households in Ethiopia consume the World Health Organization's minimum standard of food per day (2,200 kilocalories), with 42% of children under 5 years old being underweight.  

Most poor families (75%) share their sleeping quarters with livestock, and 40% of children sleep on the floor, where nighttime temperatures average 5 degrees Celsius in the cold season.  

In the capital city of Addis Ababa, 55% of the population lives in slums.

Unlike rural children, 69% of urban children are enrolled in primary school, and 35% of those eligible for secondary school attend. 

Ethiopia has only 1 medical doctor per 100,000 people. 

Infant mortality rates are relatively very high, as over 8% of infants die during or shortly after childbirth.

Half the population of Ethiopia is illiterate. 

Addis Ababa has the highest number of NGOs in Africa, and possibly among all third world countries.  

Ethiopians are very proud of their culture, identity, and country. Avoid criticizing their cultural lifestyle, especially their brand of Christianity (Oriental Orthodox). Avoid all contentious religious discussion, or you may risk all good will and hospitality you could have been afforded. Rather than argue about the merits of Orthodoxy or Islam, it's best to ask friends to explain their customs, festivals and beliefs and to listen with respect.

The Ethiopians' relationship with the westerners is generally free of racial animosity. However, there is considerable suspicion and even xenophobia toward foreigners in the country side. Ethiopians can be short-fused if they feel they are not treated as equals.

If a woman is with a man, ask the man's permission to talk to her beforehand. For a man to avoid eye contact with a woman is considered a sign of respect. If you're a foreign woman and are in public with a man, don't be upset if Ethiopian men address all questions to him. They will do this not to slight you but to show respect. This will be the case on public transport and in restaurants. Likewise, if you are a foreign man, maintaining a formal distance from women will be seen as good manners.

It is very important that you remove your shoes when entering a home.

Ethiopia is a relatively low-crime country compared to Kenya, Mexico and South Africa. 

Ethiopia has one of the lowest unemployment rate in Africa.  The unemployment rate is 5%(2005).  The average income is about 120US dollars per month per person.

Ethiopia is the 2nd most populous nation in Africa after Nigeria.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Haile Roots- Bado Neber


Welcome to my new blog.

It is sort of a continuation in a way from the blog I have been writing for the last 2 years, 16 of those months have been pretty much daily entries.  I basically travelled all 7 continents making notes from the road-travel writing at ground level and I had the time of my life. I met amazing people and seen what this beautiful world had to offer and memories I will never forget. 

So now I start a new chapter in my life, which after my World Odyssey it always had to happen, but when I started this journey on the 29th March 2011, I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would find my soul mate on the other side of the world and that my new chapter would be starting in the African country of Ethiopia.  I had always joked that I would meet a Greek tycoon, an African Prince or even a Colombian Druglord, but to have actually captured an African heart is a dream come true for me and at the same time I hope to make a difference somehow to the amazing people that live in this very diverse and interesting country.  I also hope to open Ethiopia to the world and showcase what a great country it is to visit and I will be letting you know what kind of country it will be to live in.

I know that the transition for me will be challenging, but to be honest I think it will be easier to ween my way back into society here than if I was to be doing it back home.  There will be expectations of me in Ethiopia and I am just not sure who I would go back in Western life again?  Africa as a whole continent changed me, it was one of the biggest highlights spending 5 months there and I cant wait to call it my new home.