Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Ethiopian Tuk Tuks (Auto Rickshaw)

Just like in India, Ethiopia has lots of little tuk tuks running around the country. They're actually imported from India. The three-wheelers get a different color scheme for Ethiopia and their owners seem to like to customize them a bit. One man's moving castle....

Hello Ethiopian tuk tuk. Permanent doors are a custom touch.

Or maybe you'd rather have an exotic curtain? Don't forget to add personal touches to the front of your tuk tuk.

Another version of a curtain, more fitted. Take advantage of the back window, maybe for an old advertisement?

The alternative future, modern taxis.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Please Donate In Ethiopia

When you visit a church or perhaps need to cross a river on a boat, you'll usually find a big metal box with a rough slot punched into it. Donations, please. There's no standardization to the boxes, each design a product of the local metal shop. Variety abounds!

A typical church box, open for business.

Maybe you like red, maybe you like yellow.

Perhaps add a picture of Jesus or The Virgin Mary, nicely wrapped.

Shoes off before entering the church. Sometime the boxes are hanging.

Maybe the box gets chained to a pole for security.

Or some sort of tape is applied over a lock or seam. Or maybe someone just stands guard.

Box at a school. Lunch money?

Friday, 25 April 2014

The Royal Enclosure Of Gondar, Ethiopia

Who knew you could get medieval in Ethiopia? Head to the city of Gondar and visit the Royal Enclosure, an imposing sets of castles built in the 17th century. The complex served several rulers, from Fasilides to Iyasu to Dawit. Gondar was the seat for these emperors during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The main castle in the complex.

An interior look at the simple rooms. A reservoir out back.

A room with a view? A skylit ceiling.

The complex has several buildings. Including tiger cages. You think an Emperor would just have a few dogs?


Another look inside. Ruins looking a little like the Rolling Stones Hot Rocks album cover.

Can't visit the real thing? Step inside the billboard.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Fasilides Bath, Gondar

One of the more beautiful structures from ancient Ethiopia is Fasilides Bath. It's a quaint, unassuming building centered in a bathing tank. Fasilides built the bath in the mid-1600s.

Time for a little reflection? James was lucky to see the bath filled with water, something Ethiopians do only once a year, for the Timket festival of Epiphany.

Bleachers set up for the festival, complete with sections painted in the colors of the Ethiopian flag. Plenty of over-grown patina, creating an ancient mood.

A look at the bath from the other side, the entrance to the building.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Meandering At The Washington DC Mall Monuments

You've got your Lincoln Memorial, a Washington monument, a few war remembrances. What else is at the Mall?

MLK, surveying the scene.

Photo-Op at the Tidal Basin. And time to listen to what the park ranger has to say about Jefferson.

Adding a little color to the marble background.

A (most important) man and his dog.

Teaching the next generation about the past.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Cherry Blossom Time In Washington DC

Spring is here, right? Not according to the recent dip into the 30's this week. Can we get a bloom, please? Sure, it's cherry blossom time. When in Washington, head to the Tidal Basin to see the show.

People and monuments, soaking up the environment.
The blooms don't last long, time to preserve the moment. If only people would get out of the background! Creative cropping?

After the tough winter, a welcome change. Some things, best left un-posed.

Another angle, another monument.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Dancing And Celebrating At Timket

Once the big Timket ceremony is over, it's time for some spontaneous celebration. For women, spectators at the big event, now you can do a little participating.

Time to dance!

It's a joyous time, with plenty of family and spectators watching and joining in. Beautiful textiles.

The future generation is concentrating.

But some kids have had enough, even if they've made the effort to wear their Timket best.

Maybe you still have a little energy. It doesn't mean you're going to see anything.