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My boyfriend Richard and I are foreign service officers, I am stationed in Kampala, Uganda and he is in Sanaa, Yemen. We hadn't seen each other since June, so we met up during Columbus day weekend in Ethiopia.
I arrived to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Thursday morning at 6:30 am, and found Richard pretty quickly. He had arrived at 3:45 am and had waited on me in the airport. After a few days in Addis, we decided to take a day trip north of the city. The whole day was fabulous, even the 100km drive was beautiful, dotted with farms and herds of sheep, cattle, and goats being led by young shepherds, with the mountains in the distance.
We hiked out over a 16th century bridge built by the Portuguese, overlooking the Blue Nile Gorge, which is similar in size to the grand canyon... but imagine the grand canyon covered in green terraced fields with monkeys jumping around and waterfalls. Stunning doesn't do it justice. It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. After passing by a 3 tiered waterfall and overlooking the massive expanse of the canyon with the Blue Nile river below, we sat down on rock outcrop with the waterfall to our right and a bit behind us and the stunning view ahead of us. It's then that Richard pulled a Blue Nile ring out of his bag and asked me to be his wife. :)
Obviously, I said yes and we remained on the rock overlooking the vista for a long time, soaking up the moment and not wanting it to end.
Eventually though, we hiked back. We drove back through same beautiful countryside, but this time with the sun setting and with a permanent grin on my face. The driver must have known something was up b/c he put in a cd of all American 90's love songs for the drive home. We were mostly serenaded by Celine Dion for the next 100km and for once, that was the perfect music. :)
That was my perfect day in Ethiopia.