On our way back from Lalibela, we stopped off at two interesting towns where we were able to meet up with some volunteer friends. Our first stop was Woldia, where we met Shelagh and Marian. They arrived in Ethiopia with us in September and work at the Woldia College of Teacher Education. They showed us some of the highlights of their town…
Cho-cho the goat is a local celebrity. He is an Afar goat, from the Afar region on the eastern border of the country, and is currently living behind a shop as a pet – it’s most unusual in Ethiopia to have a goat as a pet!
Also we had a look around the market, popped into a dress shop and saw a large family of pigs roaming around by the river. Pork is not eaten at all by Ethiopians, so it is most surprising to see pigs anywhere and these seemed to be living wild, not owned by anyone. After having a look around the college, which is currently housed in temporary tin buildings, we had a lovely homemade meal that night – Shelagh and Marian wowed us with their cookery - pasta with cheese followed by chocolate trifle! For us it was quite a luxury, and some leftover Christmas crackers were pulled to add to the party spirit.
Woldia was a nice place to visit. A typical medium-sized town on the main road from north to south. However some big plans are in the pipeline for Woldia – the college will be finished, a university is starting to be built this year, and an airport, train station and international stadium are all due to be built in the coming years – so in a decade or so the town should be a thriving city. Perhaps some of this is due to Woldia being the hometown of Mohammed Al Amoudi the richest man in Ethiopia, and has helped put the town on the map.