I’ve had the opportunity to travel to 11 countries on three different continents. In my previous adventures across Europe, a love for travel and culture and people was born. I’ve had amazing conversations all across the world. I spoke with an Iraqi citizen in Morocco and a dutch man in Greece. I’ve met some great Australians (everywhere) and I shared an awesome night with Carly, discussing the meaning of life with another young couple in Italy. There is something to be said about finding common ground with people from an entirely different world. Often times, I see myself in the people I meet in Hostels and hikes. They often share a love of among other things, travel, foreign policy, and partying.
So I was excited when I saw two young guys with big backpacks walking down the street in Bonga. So excited, I almost screamed and pointed “FIRENJE, FIRENJ” while demanding they give me money.
They introduced themselves to me as two young former Israeli soldiers who were backpacking from Addis to Johannesberg. They were roughing it for sure. They were on their way to spend a few nights with the most isolated of tribes in southern Ethiopia, and had camped in Simien Mountains and the Danikil Depression before coming to Bonga. These were my kind of people.
They had been told that Bonga was beautiful by a local and decided to check it out. I told them I was working with tourism and would love to show them around. We ended up spending the next three days together. I taught them some Amharic and they told me about life in Israel. We hiked a total of 25 kilometers to the attractions around Bonga. They took some great pictures and seemed genuinely interested in my views on life. We talked about Iran, hummus, peace in the Middle East, Bar Rafeali (look her up unless you are my girlfriend or mom), Obama, and American movies. It was great to have one of those hostel like conversations here in Africa. I also made two friends for life. They made me promise to travel to Israel and they would be my personal tour guides. In a country like this, and in conversations like that, fast friends are easy to make.