Pastoralism in Southern Ethiopia

Situated at the border of southern Ethiopia (Oromia) and northern Kenya, Moyale is a bustling market town. I, along with my research assistant and driver, traveled from Addis Ababa to Moyale to study the impacts of expanding export cattle markets on local subsistence herders. To break up our 12 hour journey along the bumpy highway, we spent time in Awassa and Yabello.

The landscapes along the way were breathtakingly, unbelievably gorgeous. I mean colors so vivid...

Occasionally, however, the roads had me fearful that we would be stuck by the road begging for assistance.

Anytime I saw a cattle herder, I had the driver pull over so I could have a conversation with him. Whenever, we came across a herder who did not speak Amharic or English, we called my assistants cousin who speaks Orominyan. His cousin would speak to the herder, translate to my assistant in Amharic and then he would translate to me in English. Somehow it all worked out.

Transcribing those interviews back in the states turned out to be a beast. But still it worked out.