Saturday, August 9, 2014

Did I walk out of this Ethiopian village 60,000 years ago?

Sunrise on Busso village, Konso tribe, Omo region, Ethiopia.
On my first trip to the Omo region in Ethiopia, my guide, driver and I spent several days interviewing the Konso tribal elders for the First Stories Project. 

On the first morning in the area, I took an exploratory walk just before dawn. A couple of miles out, I saw the village of Busso.  Something made my heart sing. It was like a full-production Sound of Music moment.

Morning walks in the Konso area were pure magic.

I couldn't explain it. There were strong inklings like I've been here before. Was it in some ancient past life?
But there was something more. Was it the surrounding steep mountains that reminded me of the Himalayas I loved? Was it the wonderful sunrise light? Or did it just look like the picture-perfect African village I was hoping to see? 

A walking stick awaits the traveler at sunrise near Busso Village, Konso tribe, Omo region, Ethiopia.
Or, was I actually hearing some DNA-deep feeling that this was near the spot where we as modern man left to populate our planet? DNA tells us that some of us stayed, some of us walked out from Africa. Had I lived here some 60,000 years ago? 

Did I walk out to explore the world or stay?

Now 12 years later, I still can't really explain why my heart sang when I first saw Busso village in the Konso area. And it happens every time I revisit.
Even after many trips to Busso over the years, I still love wandering through the village.

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