A tool designed by NASA scientist Dr. Berhanu searches for water on the moon. I discovered that Ethiopia had one such lava lake in the Danakil Depression, known as Erta Ale. I didn’t know much about Ethiopia, so I started doing some research. Suddenly, I came across amazing accounts of the rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, visuals of the Simien Mountains, and information that the earliest human fossil had also been discovered in Ethiopia, in the Afar Regional State, a place called Hadar.
I couldn’t resist the allure of this historical wealth and beautiful scenery, so I chose to travel to Ethiopia instead and looked for a quick trip that would take me to Erta Ale. Despite the fact that I work in administrative administration now, I started keeping a journal about my travels last year and found the creative writing component to be very enjoyable.
My three-week trip was inspired by the idea of an internship at The Reporter in Addis Abeba, where I could learn more about the local way of life and share what I discovered with others back home.
I thought that Ethiopia was a developing country, so when I landed in Addis, I thought the airport would be chaotic and busy, like Kathmandu, Nepal, where there is always something going on. However, I had already purchased my visa, gathered my luggage, and gone outside into the warm sunshine to find my pick-up waiting in the parking lot; everything was extremely simple and stress-free. I then waited in a line to have my passport stamped.