At the National Museum today I met two very famous and important people. ‘Lucy’ is the fossilised remains of a human that are thought to be 3.2 million years old. It’s the earliest known evidence of any form of human life, which is why Ethiopia claims to be the ‘Cradle Of Civilisation’. I’m not sure if that’s true, but our ancestors were certainly a lot smaller than we are now!
Also visiting the museum was Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa who is here on a state visit. Well, I didn’t really meet him – I was waiting for him while he signed the visitor’s book but he seemed to be writing an essay, so I gave up. But it still felt incredible to be so close to someone who spent time in prison with Mandela, then succeeded him in leading the free nation that they had fought and struggled so long for. Some local journalists were there so we might be in the background of the photo on some front pages tomorrow!
Tomorrow morning we catch an internal flight to Bahir Dar, to visit Lake Tana and its many island monastries. I’ve met up with Dawit, who runs the school I’ll be teaching at, and passed on some jotters, pencils and story books that my school has donated. Just as well – the baggage allowance on Ethiopian Airlines is 5kg less than it was on the KLM flight that we came over on, so I had to shed some luggage!
More next time.