BootsnAll Travel Network

Gazar Market and Jinka 2nd Market

Having spent almost a week in Jinka sucking down juice and recovering from the Mursi “Incident”, I did get a chance to visit a couple of other not so touristed local markets.

The first was in a village called Gazar. It is located about 38kms North East of Jinka. I was able to get a mini-bus taxi there for a locals price of 4Birr, without even having to complain. That in itself was worth the trip. The market was actually rather large, even with the torrent of rain that almost washed everything down the side of the hill. I took a walk around the fairly mundane village. Not too much to offer except that it was in the heart of some rolling hills which made for some nice scenery. The people were also a bit more shell shocked with a farenji wandering about.

The rain was almost a disaster as it really started coming down. Luckily I was still at the top and took shelter under an over hang that was at the beginning of the walk down to where the market is. I got to watch as a constant stream of people walked up that hill while the path turned into a torrent of water and mud. So many people were leaving, I figured that the market was called on account of rain. After the substantial part of the rain had subsided I wandered down to find that the people were fairly prepared with a hillside of plastic flapping in the wind.

The people were I believe Ari which are the modernized tribe where the people are almost to the point of t-shirts and jeans. Nothing Mursi like so it was rather blah. I shouldn’t really say that since it was a tad more civilized, very colorful, and very picturesque after I made my way to a hill side facing the market hill. Had it not rained, I think it would have been the biggest market I had been to so far in Omo Valley.

There was not too much else to do except screw around with the kids, but when I had my own hillside full of people who were solely focused on my every move, I figured it was time to move on. One of the guys told me that the buses stopped in about two hours, so I figured it was better to be safe than stuck in Gazar.

Catching a bus I thought would be a nightmare with all the marketers trying to escape at the same time, but with my honed skills, I was slamming past old women, children, and weaker men. With hardly a problem, I even got a seat. Another 4 Birr, and I was smiling again.

Jinka has a second market on Thursday, so the Israeli’s and I headed on over to check it out since they had not had a chance to visit Jinka’s Saturday market. It turned out to be past the outskirts of town in another village. We ended up walking but it was not too far. The market was really quite small, but it was very colorful and pleasant as it was held in a big grassy field. There were a lot of clothing vendors who had strung poles up so they could hang all the shirts, pants, and cloth. With all the goats, donkeys, and kids running around it had a bit of a carnival feel to it.

One thing of mention is that I started to talk to a young man who I found to be rather pleasant and scored low on my tout gauge. He invited us back to his house so that we could see where he lived. It turned out his father is a chief of one of the local villages and his brother is a big wig in the local water and utilities office. He had his own condominium like place next to his brother and his fathers. It was kind of a semi-modern compound. He had all your general electronics sans computer, and his specialty/hobby was mathematics and physics. The guy was your typical African genius which really was correct after seeing his library of reading material. I never even touched on those subjects throughout my high school and college years. He ended up serving us a typical meal and we listened to some of his favorite music. It turned out to be one of those good moments on a trip where you actually meet someone nice and down to earth.

After almost a week, it was time to move on. I had my plan of heading back to Key Afer to catch their market one more time, but more specifically to catch a ride down to the village of Dimeka. The Israelis wanted to do the same thing but they also wanted to visit the Museum and to walk around the town a bit as they had not had a chance. I ended up catching a bus first thing in the morning while they would catch one mid-day and we would meet up in Key Afer. They figured they could still catch the market if they left around noon. I was questionable, but to each his own.

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