Retracing My Dad’s Steps in Ethiopia

On my recent trip to Ethiopia I took along with me some copies of the photos my dad took while he lived there in 1962-64. Dad lived in Addis and among his photographs were some images of the neighborhood he lived in. I got him to show me on a map before hand, and in Addis I set off on a quest to find the same locations and document them again. It’s really amazing how little things have changed there. The trees are bigger, and some short walls have been made taller, but that’s about it.

Below, left, is an image from 1964 of the walkway/alley leading to the house my dad lived in with his roommate, Charlie, seen in the photo. Access to the house (the one with the chimney) and its yard was through the gate behind Charlie. On the right, I am standing in front of the same gate in 2008 (less than 2 weeks ago). The same gate is there–they just added wood to the top section and painted it green.

dad's house in Addis; 1964 on the left, 2008 on the right

Below are two images of the street leading up to this alleyway, at the top of the “70 steps”. The top image is from ca. 1964 (Dad’s camera had a much nicer lens on it than my little Cannon digital Elph), the bottom one from today. You can see the same stone wall to the right (extended upwards today), and even the same green shack on the right of the telephone pole (also the same!).

top of the '70 steps' in Addis, ca. 1964

top of the '70 steps' in Addis, June 2008


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