Peaks and Valleys

I wrote this a few days before returning home, around August 3rd or so. It was meant to be a brief explanation of why I hadn’t posted a blog in awhile, and I feel like it is still worth mentioning before I start doing back posts about the past few weeks.

The peaks and valleys, the highs and lows, the ups and downs—they are all major features of international travel. The midway slump is well documented among travelers, whether they are tourists or emigrants. As my lack of blogging recently can attest to, I was not impervious to the downturn on this trip to Ethiopia. The problem is easily diagnosed and it is simple to trace its origins, although a cure is unknown. The problem is that for the first month or so, the traveler is enamored with their new and unusual surroundings. The food is different, the language is different, the scenery is different, the smell is different, and so on. It is all exciting, and it is all noteworthy; it is also more blogworthy.

View from Ben Abeba Restaurant

Or, I should say, it feels more blogworthy. The new country is no less fascinating, but after awhile, the wonder wears off. Things are not less interesting or less important, but their effect is diminished on the traveler. After my last blog post about seeing a graduation in Jimma, I reached that valley of shoulder shrugging. We continued to travel all over Ethiopia and our work really took off, but the intrigue of everyday life—the foundation of travel blogging—dissipated. With the onset of a traveler’s slump, it became much more difficult to sort out the interesting from the mundane, especially for presentation to a distant audience. Hence, I have been blogless.

But do not fear, for this is not a blog stating the events of the last three weeks shall never see the light of the internet. It is a small elucidation on the reason why my part of the blog has been empty recently (i.e. an excuse). Over the coming days and weeks, Katie and I will be putting a lot of work into creating the final outputs of our work, attempting to transform the huge amount of material we gathered into presentable tidbits of media for your viewing pleasure. During that time, I will surely be reflecting on the many places we’ve been and the many things I want to say over this platform, and I will work on filling in the gaps.

Near the Yemeni Christos Church

  1. No comments yet.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Sites DOT MIISThe Middlebury Institute site network.