Donkeycide

We made the journey back from Arba Minch to Addis Ababa. I have never been so happy to be in a hotel in my life. This trip was scary. Flat out scary.

We left the lodge this morning at about 9:00am and headed to the Dorze tribal community. We looked around at their market and snapped some photos and were on our way by 11:45 to Addis. The trip to Addis usually takes about 6-7 hours. All was going well and we stopped and ate lunch, and we were making great time. There were showers here and there and the sky was getting really dark. Our driver was dodging the usual people in the road, and animals running around (keep in mind that we are only going 35-45 MPH). We saw two donkeys ahead in the road, ahem, “socializing.” One donkey was simply not having any part of this “socialization.” The donkey abruptly broke loose from it’s previous position and ran in front of our path.

Our land cruiser killed the donkey.

Not just killed the donkey. Destroyed the donkey. We didn’t hit the donkey straight on, the front left quarter of the car hit the donkey straight in the head. The car squeeled to a stop and it was quiet for a second.

Our driver then did the predictable move of slamming on the gas and flying through the village to make our escape.

At first we thought he was trying to avoid paying for the donkey he killed, but no, things were a bit sketchier than that apparently. As we peeled out through this town, every person in the town came out of nowhere and pelted the car with stones. Not little stones, huge stones. Volleyball sized chunks of concrete were hitting the car. We were driving the gauntlet. The driver had a terrified look on his face and was driving about 65 MPH. He explained that they would be calling ahead to the other towns up the road to set up road blocks and they would crush our skulls with rocks like he did to the donkey.

Our skulls?!?

I was still trying to figure out why all of us had to die for his shitty driving, but I eventually just went with it and focused on the situation at hand. He had to beat the roadblocks and get out of there really quick-like. So, speeding down the road dodging people and animals while being pelted with rocks can be pretty stressful. Our driver doesn’t even break before hitting two small goats crossing the road dead on.

The total is now 3 in case you are keeping track.

We’ve now pissed off an entirely new group of people (luckily they weren’t as organized when it came to rock throwing). It is also completely dark now, pouring rain, and there is now crazy lightning all around. It’s like a Scooby Doo episode.

The next three hours were spent in silence. Eyeing the road for people. We were all just watching in front (and behind) of us. Every car that passed, could have been the people catching up to us. Every town we drove through, we were waiting for a roadblock. Tense situation.

When we finally made it to Addis, our driver was beating on the dashboard and screaming “not killed, not today, not killed.” This was about the point when we realized that he was quite serious.

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