Leaving Ethiopia by Sea

Massawa in the morning.

I woke early Monday morning ready to leave. Anticipation had prevented much sleep. I loved lounging around Massawa, but it was time to move on.

The house boy was mopping the floor in the empty, high-ceiling offices of the shipping company as I arrived at a quarter to eight. No one else was around. Soon others arrived and I was being lead to the immigrations office.

...I got in the shipping company's Volkswagen Bug and we sped off. Where was this ship anyway? I had been looking around for it earlier and found nothing. Saturday they told me it was named Yehuda Ambasa, the Lion of Judah. Yesterday I had seen the picture of a large ship named Yehuda Ambasa in a bar. It didn't register with me then that more than one boat could have that name. Yehuda Ambasa was one of the many titles of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I. And the name goes far back into Israeli history.

I was at a loss when the Bug drove up to the side of the wharf and the driver said, "Here you are." ...

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Copyright © 2002-2006 Mike Metras

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