After Colorado, Before Ethiopia

Less than 24 hours ago I was sitting in traffic on a parkway in Connecticut. I was making my way through the highways of BoWash on the final leg of my journey from Colorado to New Hampshire following my graduation. On Monday, after a few days of driving around Maine and New Hampshire seeing old friends and family, I’ll be hopping on a plane to Frankfurt then Addis Ababa.

I spent most of college finding ways to travel to other countries, so it probably surprises nobody that I am flying out six days after finally returning home. The fact that it is unsurprising doesn’t make it less overwhelming, I admit.

There is a lot I still need to do to prepare that got lost in the throes of graduation, but I am not worried that it will be too much. At this point I mostly need to read a lot more about Ethiopia and nail down a place to stay for the long term. Unfortunately I have not found readily available books, movies, or websites that will tell me everything I need to know about the history of water conflict in Ethiopia, so some digging is required. The recent flare up between Egypt and Ethiopia over the Nile may offer a gateway to learning more about the overall water situation there, but we will still need a path to understanding the more personal impacts of water conflict.

Despite the work ahead and the recent flurry of life events, I cannot wait to get to Ethiopia and start figuring things out. I know of no better feeling than landing in a new country and being just grounded enough to not get lost, but still awash in unfamiliar new surroundings. So much can be learned that way. It is all the better that I will be traveling with a purpose to learn, not just for myself but for others back in the U.S. As a Peacebuilding fellow, I won’t be just a wandering traveller, but a researcher with a mission to discover stories of water conflict.

With that, I should be off to eat up everything I can find on Ethiopia. I know there is plenty left to discover.


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