Sunday, March 11, 2012

Addis Ababa 2: Some views

 So what else is in Addis Ababa other than churches?

This is the view from the Hilton where I stayed. Driving there at night, Addis seemed to be an interesting mix of the US, Europe, and Nigeria, but clearly several notches ahead of Nigeria.

However, immediately next door to the hotel we see this.

Recently, a town of shacks like this was uprooted to make way for the Sheraton hotel being built. These people don't have any title to the land they live on. I was told it was not wise for Caucasians to be outside past 5pm, a caution Nigerians have not felt the need to give.

This is a memorial to the war with Italy.

There are numerous places where you are not allowed to take pictures. Guards are actually stationed specifically to deal with camera-wielders. Right behind me, for instance, is a military barracks. Yeah, that's a nice place to not take a picture!

The Hilton is near the Palace, which another place you don't take pictures.

Colorful shops on the main street. Off the main street, the shops look a lot more like the side stalls I'm accustomed to in Yola.

A public school.

My guide mentioned the problem they have with buses. The Dutch gave them these really nice buses, 20/25 years ago (above). They still run. They're good on the hills and mountains.

Recently, the Chinese are giving them buses (below). These buses he says are always breaking down and aren't very good.

After Addis, I was stuck in Abuja for several days. Spending time in our capitol, I had to revise my estimation. Addis and Abuja are pretty close to the same level developmentally. The only possible exception is that it costs million of Naira to live in even the smallest apartment in Abuja, while there are smaller shacks available for some people in Addis.

Stained glass at the UN conference center where we met. Oddly enough, the view was better from the outside than the inside -- stuff was in the way of appreciating it.