We have heard that actually road to Jinka is tarred, however someone told us that we wouldn’t be able to drive through due to many uphills and steep down-hills …To be honest most of the time Rusty was on the second gear and max speed we reached was 40k/h (at some distances people were walking faster.), but we still managed to drive without overheating the engine. Moreover, due to driving really slowly, we seriously could admire that part of Omo Valley. We met again lots of beautiful and colourful tribe people and we were stopped by lazy moving herds of cows (Very often those herds of cows were grazed by local children, who didn’t know how to react seeing us: usually they were waving towards us, but time to time, kids were standing without any movement and staring on us like on extraordinary phenomenon or they were running away leaving cows on the middle of the road!)
After few hours we finally reached Jinka – place where tarred road ends, and dirt track welcomes you. Generally Jinka is set in hills above some National Parks. It is a really small town with limited services, but it has its own airport, which looks like grazing ground for cows and goats, but still ..it is an airport. This place is famous for its Saturday market (we have been on the market, but it was no on Saturday), where different ethic group coming to buy/sell/exchange various things. We also have visited the Fruit Market, where you can get delicious passion fruit also known as a „fashion fruit”
In Jinka we also visited South-Omo Museum and Research Center, which provides an great overview of the unique material culture of the various ethnic groups living in South Omo ( objects exhibited range from clothing and adornment, to household items, ritual paraphernalia, music instruments ). The museum cost 30 Birrs/International person and is worth to visit. We have learnt how different traditions ethnic groups can have, even though they live in the same area.
Some interesting facts:
For example in Dassanetch marriage can be settled through negotiation by the parents ( for instance girl is promised to the boy, when she is still very young) or when a boy and a girl fall in love with each other and just run away without the permission of their parents.
In Hammar mostly marriage is settled by negotiations (“..the boy’s family asks for the girl by bringing gifts to the girl’s family..”), however sometimes men marry girl by force „..the man will ask the butter man to rub his hand and the girl’s hand with cow dung by force. Even if the girl’s parents have not given permission, the marriage will be scaled and cannot be dissolved any more”).
In Kara ethic group no one can force the girl into marriage („a man must always ask the father of the girl first. There is no robbery in Kara..”), however bride hood for these girls is tough („…your husband makes you suffer. He beats you with his whip. His mother supports you, but still is hard..”).
In Jinka we also had one of the best ingera ever. We went to a very local restaurant and that food was amazing and so fresh! Charlie basically ate raw meat (berbera), and he enjoyed plus he was absolutely fine after!
Jinka is also one of those places where the person of Barack Obama is very cultivated. It looks that President of USA is a very significant icon for Ethiopians as not only they wear Obama T-shirts or have his pictures on the walls at homes, but also they also name their businesses after him (More examples in future posts)
We didn’t stay in Jinka overnight – we decided to head towards Turmi. We were told that the road leading to Turmi from Key Afar was in much better condition than the road from Weyto. And actually it was true. It was still gravel road, but it looked that it was freshly done and we had a really „smooth” drive. On our way we met lots of people from Hammar tribe. Some of them didn’t mind when we were taking photos, actually they were happy seeing themselves on camera screen…
After few hours we managed to arrive to Turmi… and there was a nice surprise waiting for us:D…..