ENTRIES FROM THE GLOBAL TRIP BLOG CHRONICLES

A Long Way Since the Eighties

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted May 24, 2004

DAY 216:  Ethiopia has come a long way since the 1980s when a famine caused by political and economic struggle got worldwide attention, prompting American musicians to sing “We Are The World” as a benefit.  The news of the famine also spread to the United Kingdom, prompting British musicians to band together in a similar collective known as Band Aid and ask in song, “Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?”  My thinking is that the Ethiopians did know it was Christmas; the majority of the population is Christian after all.  (However, in Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, which uses the Gregorian calendar, Christmas is actually celebrated on January 7.)

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Cradle of Humanity

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted May 24, 2004

DAY 217:  Ethiopia lies in a region known as the Cradle of Humanity, the corner of the globe where it is speculated that Mankind was born — this speculation is supported by paleontological evidence.  Many cultures derived from this Creation of Man in Ethiopia, the earliest written history of it recorded in the Bible.  With such rich roots to explore in early Man and biblical civilization, Ethiopia’s history blurs the line between reality and folklore and has become a gold mine for paleontologists, anthropologists and archaeologists alike.  For tourists, it is also a gold mine; in fact, some consider Ethiopia to be “travel’s best kept secret.”

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Dominoes

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 02, 2004

DAY 218:  With the weekend over, I could finally get the wheels in motion for my pilgrimage to the Ethiopian holy sites north of Addis Ababa.  All my bookings were put on hold until I could confirm with Egypt Air that I could switch my flight from Addis Ababa to Cairo to a later date — after that, everything would fall into place like a set of dominoes.

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Get A Room You Two

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 02, 2004

DAY 219:  With everything set up in a tight itinerary, everything was all set on my week-long journey that would ultimate bring me to the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.  In order for me to make it in my limited time, I didn’t have much room for error — which was a pretty dumb idea I discovered that day.  Had I forgotten I was in Africa where, as a guide in Namibia told me, “Nothing comes easy?”

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Change of Plans

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 02, 2004

DAY 220:  On Day 218: Dominoes, I ran around Addis Ababa trying to book flights, buses and tours in a tight schedule where one thing would lead into the next and to the next like a row of dominoes.  Doing so cost more money than it had to be; but I didn’t have the luxury of time, and time is money.  It was my last month before meeting people in Spain and I really didn’t have much of a choice — or did I?

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Sacred Lake

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 02, 2004

DAY 221:  “Philippines!” the street boy finally guessed correctly.  Since the day before it baffled him where my heritage was from and I had him try and guess.  He told me that it it weren’t for my eyes, I’d probably pass as an Ethiopian with the color of my skin.

The Ethiopian street boys escorted us to a restaurant nearby where we picked up some sandwiches for later and then to a fruit stand for some snacks.  We had to have enough provisions for us since there would be no places to get food on our full-day tour of Lake Tana’s monasteries.

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From Guess to Gondar

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 02, 2004

DAY 222:  Before I came to Ethiopia, my American conception of the country from from images of starving children showed on Sally Struthers commercials asking for money.  However this stereotypical image continued to deteriorate the more I “discovered” the “real” Ethiopia.  Present day Ethiopia may be developing from a state of famine, but past Ethiopia had already developed into former kingdoms, like the kingdom of Gondar in the Middle Ages.

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Holy Land of Honey

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 03, 2004

DAY 223:  According to legend, in the the 11th century, an Ethiopian king named Lalibela had a divine vision in a dream, which instructed him to building a bunch of churches.  And so, eleven churches were built in his name in a mountain town of his same name, and it it amongst the holiest places in all of Ethiopia.

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Where Am I From?

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 03, 2004

DAY 224:  Great, another trek, I sarcastically thought to myself as I caught my breath hiking up the mountain, trailing behind my 16-year-old guide Adam.  The two-hour uphill trek alongside faithful villagers took us to the Asheton Maryam monastery, carved out of the side of a mountain before King Lalibela ever had the vision to build his eleven rock-hewn ones down the hill.

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Passing Through History

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 03, 2004

DAY 225:  According to Hollywood folklore — i.e. Steven Spielberg’s 1981 Indiana Jones classic Raiders of the Lost Ark — the Ark of the Covenant was taken by an Egyptian pharoah to the city of Tanis and hidden in an underground temple known as the Well of the Souls, outside of Cairo, Egypt.  However, if you follow history as recorded by The Bible, the Ark was actually taken from Jerusalem to the city of Aksum by Abyssia’s (Ethiopia’s) first emperor Menelik I, the son of King Solomon and Queen of Sheba. 

Apparently, Hollywood was “digging in the wrong place.”

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My Life in Airports

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 04, 2004

DAY 226:  I had so many errands to run that day for when I got back to Addis Ababa that I had to make a checklist:  get a taxi from airport to hotel, pick up bag in storage to get ATM card, go to privatized Dashen bank to withdraw cash, go to Commercial Bank of Ethiopia to wire payback money to Nugusse, go to NTO office to straighten out rejected AmEx mess, go back to hotel to sort out photos, organize a transport to the airport, go to the internet cafe to upload at least the photos, go back to hotel and type until my airport transport at 1 a.m.

Simple enough.  And then my flight got canceled.

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ABOUT ERIK R. TRINIDAD

When he’s not making a living as an interactive/motion designer or playing with fast food, Erik R. Trinidad is a travel writer, blogger, video host and producer focusing on adventure and culinary content. His work has been featured on National Geographic Intelligent Travel, Adventure.com, Discovery.com, Saveur, Condé Nast Traveler, and Hyenas Laughed at Me and Now I Know Why, which also includes the work of Tim Cahill, Doug Lansky, Jennifer Leo and Rolf Potts. He has also referenced his travel experiences in his solo book, Fancy Fast Food: Ironic Recipes with No Bun Intended.

For over ten years, Erik has traveled to the seven continents of the world — from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo — with a curiosity for exotic foods and a thirst for adventure (and writing material).  In his travels, he has been mugged at knifepoint in Cape Town, extorted by corrupt Russian police on the Trans-Siberian Railway, stranded in tornadic storms in the American midwest, and air-lifted off the Everest Trail by a helicopter that was thankfully paid for by his travel insurance.  But it hasn’t been all fun; he has also donned a tuxedo amidst the penguins of Antarctica, paraded with Carnival-winning samba school Beija Flor in Rio, run for his life at Pamplona’s “Running of the Bulls,” cage-dived with great white sharks, gotten shot point-blank in the stomach in Colombia (while wearing a bulletproof jacket), and above all, encountered many people around the world, including some Peruvian musicians in Cuzco who learned and played “Y.M.C.A.” at his request. He loves the irony that, after everywhere he’s been, he has never been to Mexico.

Erik writes stories and news articles when he’s at his base camp in New York City, and continues his blog when he is on the road — provided he’s not occupied tracking down lost luggage.

Additional news/article clippings at ErikTrinidad.com.



See Erik talk about travel in an American Express ad:



Read about Erik in this feature article from Filipinas magazine by National Geographic Traveler Associate Editor Amy Alipio.



The views and opinions written on The Global Trip blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the any affiliated publications.
All written and photographic content is copyright 2002-2014 by Erik R. Trinidad (unless otherwise noted). "The Global Trip" and "swirl ball" logos are service marks of Erik R. Trinidad.
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