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“Woyba Tis” for men a new or old trend

I visited the Afar tribe in Ethiopia a year ago. My local guide took me into a small, dim reed hut where I could see a baby dozing on a bed made of sticks and goatskin. There was a hole in the ground with a raging fire in one of the cabin’s corners. The infant’s mother went and covered herself in a blanket and sat over the smoke hole. I found this to be a little strange. What’s she doing, I wondered. She’s smoking herself, he said, as if it weren’t obvious. Yes, you say, but why? I think his dark complexion grew rather scarlet when he said, “It’s to purify herself after giving birth to her baby…and tighten her private parts.” We travel to discover differences these days, so I’m always open to new cultural experiences that will push me a little outside of my comfort zone. So a year later I was waiting for a standard “butter massage” in an Ethiopian beauty parlor with pink walls, pull-down hair dryers from the 1970s, and satin pillows with my Venus Adventures all-female tour group. My Ethiopian friend Felekech recommended it to me over the phone when we were traveling, so I called her to book reservations for us. She makes a weekly trip there. sounded distinctive and fascinating! After being stripped off (get those pants off you cowering Westerners! ), we were carried upstairs in groups of three and stretched out on massage tables wrapped in plastic.

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