The Ethiopian con

Meets you out and about Addis and asks that you use your camera to take family pictures. The con starts with student Mehari Geta and his ‘mother’ asking that I take pictures of her visiting him at the University of Addis Ababa. They tell me they are from Lalibela, I say that is my next destination and they invite over to their house. What a family! I thought, personality free but kind and generous like all Ethiopians and very hospitable. I stayed at Asheten Hotel and moved in with the Geta’s after they asked me to take more family photos. This was going to be two days after I was supposed to leave Lalibela.

I asked if they could put me up, they agreed and I moved on Wednesday. I woke up with a swollen face on Thursday, went to church then went to the hospital and back to the Geta’s to nurse my allergy.

I took pills and slept all afternoon and most of the evening. When I woke u[ on Friday, 5000 Birr has grown legs and strolled out of my bag. Let us recap: I am asked to move in, money goes missing and what happen when I tell the woman of the house? NOTHING. No asking her children if there were other guests, no trying to help me make sense of how money can grow legs.

I have never been stolen from on the road. This family defiled a wonderful experience and put me in the middle of a stereotype I hate most about Blacks; that of Black people as thieves.  They, NOT Lalibeleans, are thieves. So don’t judge Lalibela on the Geta’s. Just puff and pass this information to anyway heading to Lalibela.

Confession: My last sms with Mehari was a detailed warning of how I am going to make sure they curse the day they stole from me because I am not on the road to be a casualty, I am not in Ethiopia to finance “poor” families as his mother complained every time she unlocked a canister of cooking fat. This should have been my warning because WHO PUTS A LOCK ON COOKING FAT?

Here goes the con in pictures.

The pretty young lady is Mehari’s sister. Only she and the little sister was at the house most of Thursday afternoon.

The woman in white is Mehari’s mother. She is a teacher and asked me to stay until Thursday when the church had a celebration so I could take pictures to send to their “lonely son” Mehari in Addis Ababa. That’s me and my allergy abused face 😦

The man is daddy con. The kiddie cons are the youngest Geta’s photographed on the daily sunset treat I took them on.
Brother con Mehari posing at a museum in Addis Ababa. The woman is her mother’s close friend and not involved in the con.


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About leratomogoatlhe

I fell in love with traveling Africa on a four day trip to Accra in 2006. I started my journeys around the continent in 2008, when I went to Senegal, and around West Africa to launch my dream of knowing Africa through all my senses. I have been to 24 countries (and counting) over five years of stopping everything in my life to focus on one phenomenal continent. #AfricaRocks.
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One Response to The Ethiopian con

  1. mostlyuhuru says:

    What an absolutely horrific experience. A situation like that could change the whole course of your travels; I’m glad you could dust yourself and get back on the horse. When I read that you woke up with a bruised face I thought they had been beating you up! Glad that’s not the case. However I couldn’t help but laugh at “who puts a lock on cooking fat”? Displays your good attitude, which is the second thing to pack after your passport

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