Fans From A Losing Soccer Team & Guns Don’t Mix

 In Dr Anne Small

UPDATE: Dr Anne’s African travels continue with the medieval castles and famous churches of Gondar in Ethiopia having to wait another day for a guided visit following gunfire ringing through the local streets. Perhaps the rival town soccer team buses in town had something to do with it. Nevertheless, Dr Anne made the most of seeing the countryside all the way back to the safety of the hotel!

CATCH UP BLOG 1 – A Wet & Wild Welcome To Africa

CATCH UP BLOG 2 – From GP To Goat Herder | In Search Of Africa’s Blue Nile Falls

With Dr Anne’s blog manager away for a week, we get back to her trip and continue on with the 3rd instalment of her journey …

Dr Anne Small of Moonee Pons MindBody Health Centre writes: “We drove about 3 hours from Bahir Dar to Gondar. There were non-stop fields of rice, tef and other grains being ploughed ready for sowing.

“Along the way there were many different traffic hazards!

“The itinerary for our sight-seeing sounded interesting but first we drove through the town to lunch. On the way we encountered the local soccer team and its supporters from the neighbouring towns in buses and trucks and local supporters who swarmed from every corner of the town! They numbered in their thousands! The only problem was that their team had LOST!

“We finished lunch around 1.30 pm but while walking back to the car we heard many gunshots – individual shots and volleys of shots also!! Our guide, Kibrrom, quickly took us back to the restaurant whilst the boys playing on the nearby soccer field left very quickly. We waited for 30 minutes but there were still gunshots, so we decided to abandon our sightseeing and return to the hotel.

“As I sit here on the hotel veranda on top of a hill at 5.30pm, three more gunshots rang out as they have been doing all afternoon. We can see that most of the streets are deserted. Kibrrom explained that not only do the police and army have guns but culturally many of the civilians do also – hence the situation can be very unpredictable – we hear that shop windows have been broken.

“So, an early night. Castles and church tomorrow morning before we drive to the Simien Mountains and the Gelada baboons.”

Visiting the baboons will be a rewarding moment for Dr Anne from Moonee Ponds Mind Body Health Centre, who is using her travel blog through Africa to spread awareness and encourage donations for the Melbourne-based organisation For The Love Of Wildlife (FLOW).

Dr Anne is calling for her blog readers to support FLOW’s mission to Geneva in August, where the group’s founding director, Donalea Patman OAM, will attend the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

CITES is the UN Convention that regulates the international trade in endangered wild flora and fauna. Donalea explains that CITES uses a ‘direct’ listing model, meaning the default position is unrestricted trade. “Because of the global decline in populations this means the number of listed species is rising constantly. Making enforcement ever more difficult and costly for national governments,” says Donalea.

“CITES needs to be modernised to cope with the vastly increased volume of the legal trade and to close the loopholes used by the burgeoning illegal trade.”

Donalea will be attending the conference alongside fellow Australians Dr Lynn Johnson and Dr Peter Lanius, of the Nature Needs More. They wish to take advantage of the opportunity for 4 to 5 countries (out of 182 countries plus the European Union) to raise their proposals to modernise CITES.

Donations to For The Love Of Wildlife can be made by clicking this link – CLICK TO DONATE HERE

All donations over $2 are tax deductible and are possible via Paypal, credit card or direct debit.

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