My Date With An Ethiopian Hair Butcher

ethiopian barber

I left my heart in San Francisco, but I left my hair in Ethiopia.

The danger sign was there, quite literally. The two hairstyle options apparently available to me at my Ethiopian barber shop of choice: Ricky Martin and Ludacris.

I was in northern Ethiopia with a mess I’d deliberately grown out for almost two months — saving myself, the African haircut virgin — and I was determined to navigate yet another haircut-as-cultural-experience. A World Wrestling Entertainment match, piped in from somewhere in the Middle East (who knew WWE needed subtitles?), blared on the television. All the men in the shop sported either dreadlocks or close cut afros.

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Travel to Ethiopia: Why Visit and What Might Surprise You

Ethiopian monk

Curious about Ethiopia and what you might experience there? From its ancient history and rock-hewn churches of Lalibela to its mountains, bustling markets, delicious cuisine, coffee ceremonies and more, here are a few reasons why you should travel to Ethiopia. We're almost certain you will be surprised by what you find.

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How to Enjoy a Namib Desert Sunset

Sundowner in the Namib Desert, Namibia

When late afternoon falls and the day comes to a close in Southern Namibia, a ritual begins: the sundowner.

Prepare yourself by four-wheeling it to an overlook, high perch, or just about anywhere you can catch the sunset bathe the vastness of the Namibian desert landscape.

Then wait.

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On Gratitude

In honor of giving thanks, the best of intentions underpinning the Thanksgiving holiday, I offer this reflection on gratitude — the condition, the emotion and the state of being.  Note to Thanksgiving critics, skeptics and cynics: to underscore my awareness of the historical complexity behind the holiday, I point you to this article.  Also, if it appears that I’m repeating The Importance of Saying Thank You, I’m not.

Now, on gratitude.

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What Makes A Real Irish Pub?

I set my watch 15 minutes fast. That way, when I die I’ll sneak into heaven before the devil figures out I’m dead.

words of wisdom from the local dispensary, a spry gentleman one Guinness down in Westport, County Mayo

In almost every country we’ve visited around the world, with perhaps the exception of Bangladesh and Iran, we seem to stumble across an Irish pub. The problem with many of them: there’s usually something dubious, something un-Irish about them.

Possibly the food. Maybe the owners. Definitely the accent.

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Northern Cape, South Africa: The Land of Far Out

When they say “off the beaten track” in South Africa, Northern Cape is what they mean. And why it’s not more beaten, we’re not sure. This is the sum of our short time there, including a surprising and deeply moving human encounter at the very end.

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