Departures (2008–…): Season 3, Episode 9 - Ethiopia: Dances with bulls - full transcript

Scott and Justin meet up with Robel, who takes the guys to visit his sisters in his village of Harar. They visit the bustling chat market, and learn how to prepare the traditional stimulant...

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -

(rolling sound)

(upbeat music)

- [Wilson] We still in Ethiopia

and we're hoping to spend
a little bit more time

in people's homes and in the small town.

(upbeat music)

- [Lukach] There's that
adventure aspect that I know

is lying out there for us.

(upbeat music)

- [Wilson] So far, the
trip has already changed

all of our original preconceptions.

And yet we have so much
more of this country to see.

(upbeat music)

Every step of this world trip
has taken us further away

from home to places we
never expected to see.

(upbeat music)

- [Lukach] Two years ago, I
would never have understood

how much this change would change me.

(upbeat music)

This is why we travel.

This is the reason that we're out here.

(upbeat music)

We explored the North and the rich history

of Ethiopia on our own.

Now it's time to see
other parts of the country

from a local's perspective.

(upbeat music)

- [Wilson] We just flown
back through Addis Ababa

in order to get to just about
anywhere in the country.

We gotta come back through here.

So we're back in the capital.

We just met up with Robel
good friend of Hillcrest

from Zambia last year.

But you know the people,
you know the culture,

you know the problems.

- Right.

- And you know the
language, so you're our man.

Robel has been doing a lot
of work here in the capital,

you worked for the UN,
you worked for orphanages,

you worked for all kinds
of nonprofit organizations.

- So have taken some time off from that

and then especially to see my family.

- We're gonna take you home.

- [Robel] I haven't been
there for about two years.

- Can we expect a parade or?

- Yeah, I mean my three sisters are there

and then yeah, I'm sure
they'll be excited to see me.

- And then from there,
we'll head to the South

we'll see the South with you as well.

So we're in good hands in Ethiopia now.

- We are really behind schedule.

So we need to catch this flight so,

- [Robel] Yeah.

- [Wilson] Let's do it.

(upbeat music)

We've landed in Dire Dawa

which is about an hour away from Harar

the ultimate destination.

And hometown of our new good friend.

- We're gonna take car

to will drive for an hour and a half.

- Apparently we've flown
back to the sixties in France

because we're taking some,

door that doesn't open style backseat.


(door closes)


(car engine roaring)

(upbeat music)

(car swirls)


- Eh,

- How old is this car?

- 50 years.

- 50 years.

- Yes sir.

- Wow, excellent.

(both laugh)

Here we go.

Harar, 48 kilometers.

Everything's coming up,

Wilson and Lukach.

- [Robel] Yeah.

- [Lukach] And Robel.

- And Robel.

- There you go.

(car engine roaring)

I didn't forget about you.

(upbeat music)

- [Wilson] You could tell that for Robel

this was a big homecoming.

- [Robel] You're gone for a while.

And then your sis know
you're going back home.

It starts to click in as
soon as you're on the road

and you're almost counting
the miles and you know

that smile just starts getting
bigger and bigger and bigger.

(upbeat music)

♪ Country home ♪

♪ Going there ♪

♪ Down the road ♪

♪ To Harar ♪

♪ To Harar ♪

♪ Country home ♪

♪ Take me home ♪
♪ Take me there ♪

♪ To Harar ♪

♪ To Harar ♪

♪ To Harar ♪

(Wind blowing)

- Only 47 more kilometers don't Worry.

(upbeat music)

(triumphant music)

Going East from Addis Ababa

towards the border of Somalia
and out towards the Red Sea

to get more and more of Islamic influence.

The city of Harar here,

even the architecture
and the setup of the city

is a lot closer to that sort of design.

(upbeat music)

(indistinct chatter)

- Not long of a drive but,


- [Wilson] As soon as we
arrive in downtown Harar,

his sister came out and
she's one of those people

who is a take charge kind of person.

(speaking foreign language)

- This is my sister.

(speaking foreign language)

- Back in?

- Yeah.

- Okay

(upbeat music)

(door closes)

- [Robel] This is my village.

This is where I was born and raised.

- What kind of troubles did
you get into when you're here?

- My sister she's the oldest

and that she kept us disciplined.

(speaking foreign language)


(speaking foreign language)

- His sister seems really friendly.

She's trying to grab all her
bags and carry everything.

Like, no, no, no we're
just carrying it all so,

But this is the house here?

- He's already home and he's
taking phone calls already.

That's what happens I think.

The second that you come
back to your hometown

everyone finds out right
away that you're home.

The whole family knows your home.

You know, all three sisters
know that he's here.

So it's probably not gonna be long

before the other two sisters arrive.

(upbeat music)

(triumphant music)

(indistinct chatter)


Compared to the cities

we saw in the North already

this would be a lot more of a Islamic city

than the Christian cities
we saw in the North.

- Yeah, as you visited
like mostly you visited

I think church and masteries
and the Christian people.

And then here, is more symbol for Islam

that I neighborhood, the Muslim community,

come together and do
their prayer and worship.

- Ethiopia is a really good example

for the rest of Africa
in some ways, I guess.

Having kind of an equal
population, almost equal population

of Islam and Orthodox Christians

living now at least together at peace.

- [Robel] Just being an Ethiopian,

brings those people together

and then have very, very
common things to live for

rather than their religious differences.

So Ethiopia can be very,
very very good example

for the rest of the world.

(speaking foreign language)

(upbeat music)

(indistinct chatter)

- [Lukach] Everywhere we
go, people are very curious,

but it seems more in this
place that all eyes are on us.

Maybe its a camera.

(children speaking foreign language)

Now I start feeling
overwhelmed by everything

it's just nonstop.

- This is one of the big khat Market.

- [Wilson] What's khat?

- Khat is a leaf, is similar
to tobacco that people chew.

- They grow it around this area?

- The khat from this
area is one of the best.

So that's why you see like big
crowd this time of the day.

- So this crowd here is only for the khat?

It has nothing to do with the fact

that a bunch of foreigners
are here with a big camera.

- No.

- Say no to drugs.

(children speaking foreign language)

Say no khat.

(speaking foreign language)

- Mama Freh is mad.

(car hoots)

- This is the khat market.

This is khat

(speaking foreign language)

It's quite a stimulant

basically having like
four cups of that at once.

- How much is the cost?

(speaking foreign language)

- This is turning into
a huge debate already.

(speaking foreign language)

- Yeah, we're bargaining
to get a good price.

- I get the impression
she's just, you know

approved for the bargaining.

And she's just trying to
get the absolute best deal

that normal locals can.

(speaking foreign language)

- Let's go that side
and see the khat stock.

(speaking foreign language)

- Is you sister always
been kind of the leader

of the family?

- She is a mediator.

(speaking foreign language)

So we're getting this khat
for a hundred birr, this much.

Actually this would cost in
other places up to 800 birr.

(speaking foreign language)

- Eight khat is $10 which
normally would cost us $80.

So that's, she did a good job.


(upbeat music)

(indistinct chatter)

(speaking foreign language)

- This is the khat stock.

And after people buy it
here, they will export it

even to foreign countries; to
the middle East, to Europe.

So nowadays it's become more popular

but this is the birthplace of khat.

- So what do we have a
chance to taste the stuff?

- We go back to home and
then they'll make it.

She will show us

how the Hararian people
here do khat chewing.

It's one of the social
thing in the country.

- We got what we came for.

So it's turning into a bit of a zoo here

because their presence.
- [Lukach] Yeah,

I think the camera's
bringing a lot of people in.

So it's hard to move around.

(speaking foreign language)

- [Wilson] A bit
overwhelming being in there.

And to be honest, I think if
we didn't have Freh with us

it would have been very overwhelming.

I think people were a
little bit spiked on khat.

- Hey, hey, hey.


- [Wilson] It's hard
to judge or criticize,

but what I'm noticing this country

is something I haven't
noticed since India,

where a lot of people are coming up to you

and requesting money from you.

(speaking foreign language)

That's just part of traveling.


(upbeat music)

We're just about ready to have our khat.

It looks like we're
also having some coffee?

- People do the coffee ceremony as well

to show there welcome.

- [Wilson] This is incense.

- This is frankincense.

- [Wilson] Freh has gotten
into her traditional dress

and (laughs) Robel's gotten
into his traditional khat dress.

- The franken, frankenberry or


What is it called?

- Just pour some milk in
that thing and hand it over.

We're all set.

Con chocula over here, cookie
crisp, just round the corner.

- [Lukach] Frank,

- [Wilson] Cense

- Frankincense.

Take two pregnant frankincense
on this little blue fire here

and it starts smoking.

(all laugh)

- [Robel] Frankenberry.

- Its frankincense, right?

- You said it right that (indistinct).

I just can't get over the original.

- [Robel] Part of a complete breakfast.

(speaking foreign language)

- [Wilson] The whole family's here now.

All three sisters have arrived.


Ethiopia is renowned for its coffee.

It's been a part of tradition

and culture here for a long, long time.

And it remains that way.

(water bubbling)

- Your sister's doing all the work

and you're sitting here
and hitting the shisha.

- This is our culture in Ethiopia.

In Ethiopia, the coffee
ceremony must be done by women.

The shisha is, we adopted
from the middle East.


- The coffee beans are being ground

in a huge mortar and pestle
now into the coffee grinds

which will then have
water poured through it

and you got coffee.

Probably the freshest coffee
you can possibly have.

And I'm ashamed to admit that

I don't drink coffee at all ever,

but in this case I'll
obviously make an exception.

Coffee actually murdered most
of my family, I written, no

I don't drink coffee

because I tried it a couple
of times and it made me sick.


(upbeat music)

(speaking foreign language)

What's the process like?

- The process is like

- What comes first and do
you have the coffee first?

And do you have the khat?

- The khat first like while
the coffee is getting ready.

- And just bite it like
a piece of celery, just

- No. (Wilson chuckles)

So you take the small leaf
like that and then you chew it.

And when you chew it you
chew it by your jaws.

(speaking foreign language)

- That's really, really bitter.

(speaking foreign language)

- And then you take the
peanuts and then you chew over,

it change the test.

- Mm, it tastes like peanut.

(Freh laughs)

- It is really, really bitter
when you first have it.

I'm surprised

at how much the peanut
changes the flavor though.

You don't swallow the actual,

- You just chew it and
then you swallow the juice.

- Eventually just turn the liquid

and you swallow everything.

- The juice is the one that
gives the effects for khat.

- And the effect again is what?

- Ha ha ha I'm alive.

I love it here.

look at me, na na na.

Have some khat.

- Some popcorn.

- Oh thank you very much I love popcorn.

- We don't eat popcorn with khat,

we eat popcorn with coffee.

- Oh I bet you have something to drink.

(upbeat music)

Help pass this too.

(speaking foreign language)

- Here take.

- Thank you.

(speaking foreign language)

- [Wilson] Will see how this goes

because me and coffee
don't really get along.

It's really good, no seeds,
like really rich chocolate.

- [Lukach] You shouldn't drink it,

you should just give it to me.

- You drink coffee, Lion.

- [Lukach] Lion, you want some?


You're not allowed that man.

- Cheers.

Thanks Robel.

And thank you to your sisters

for all this welcome and their hard work.

(cups clink)


(cups clink)

- Cheers

(upbeat music)

- [Wilson] The biggest reason
to come to Harar was to get

a very special interaction
with people and with tradition.

And we got that big time being
able to stay at Robel's house

the house he grew up in

and see what normal Ethiopians
live like in the city.

Robel has flagged down a minibus here

the whole family's got in
and we're heading somewhere.

I don't know where are you taking us.

- It's something that you must be seen

while you are in Harar.

- I can't take any more caffeine dude.

So I hope that's (indistinct).

- (laughs) No caffeine, no.

(speaking foreign language)

- We just arrived.

As you see there are hyenas

and then we're gonna to
go up and the make friend

- About a year ago this
month, we were in Zambia.

We were watching these things at night

from the safety of a vehicle.

Crush this skeleton of water Buffalo.

- And then we were in the
protection of that truck.

Right now in protection, this van.

- we're gonna go out of the van

that's the most interesting,
- You gonna go out the van,

we're gonna watch you.

- [Wilson] This guy is feeding them.

- Then hyenas understand that
if they mess with this guy

they won't have anybody
who will feed them.

(upbeat music)

- This is insane.

(speaking foreign language)

(hyena growls)

- Hi.

(hyena laughing)

- The longer I'm here

and the longer they're behaving
themselves the easier it is,

but you don't know what to expect

you don't know what they're gonna do.

And knowing how powerful these things are,

(hyena laughing)

They eat bone.

- They are scary, scary.

- Let it get hold.

- Hey mom, guess what I was doing today.

Look at that, that's pretty sweet.


His face so powerful.

Watch his face when he punches.

- It's just a piece of skin
and a little bit of meat to it.

But when they get it

they just put it right
in their back molars.

And they just crush.

(gentle music)


Normally, I don't right
about feeding wild animals

but this is part of a tradition here.

And when the hell else am I gonna be

in this kind of position to do so,

- If you look around

there is actually a couple like babies

sitting around here too.

- [Robel] People used to
make a party for hyenas

so that they won't attack their cattles.

And then they keep that tradition

and then the hyenas became used to it.

And then they get close to the people

and these people kept that custom.

So they were pretty much friendly.

- 10 minutes ago we were like,

I don't know if we should
get out of the van.


It's like, Ooh, come and get it


It's been two years
since you've been home,

this is how you remember it?

- This day is very special for me.

Like I'm as excited as you guys are.

- Face is gonna fall
off when smile so much.

- My home is like your
home away from home.

So you guys are anytime welcome.

- That's an open
invitation from us as well.

But I don't think if you came to visit us

we're not gonna be having khat,

feeding hyenas from our mouth.

- We'll play ice hockey.

- Yeah, exactly
- Yeah.

(all laugh)

- That's a promise.
- I'm a little bit scared.

- Which will probably end
up being more dangerous

for you than this was for us.

(all laugh)

- [Robel] So there's still more to see.

(upbeat music)

- Bye bye.

(speaks in foreign language)


- Thank you so much.
- Thank you.

- [Lukach] So we're
pretty much heading South

from this point on.

And a lot of it for
you is kind of unknown.

- I don't travel because of my,

my work is based in Addis.

- We're in good hands
and you're in good hands.

So I think it's all gonna work out.

(airplane door opens)



(baby cries)


- Can I get some apple
juice, apple juice please,

ice cream please?

- Oh man.


I think after three years

I'd be used to shit like this.


(upbeat music)

We're hopping a flight directly South

to the town of Arba Minch

where our road trip
into the desert begins.

(upbeat music)

We've landed in Arba Minch

and from Arba Minch this is the gateway

to the rest of the South

and the rest of Ethiopia for us to see.

We're barely half an hour
outside of the city of Arba Minch

and we're at the top of probably

one of the greatest
concentrations of crocodiles.

And apparently some of
the biggest crocodiles

you're gonna to see in all of Africa.

- These waters are supposed
to be just full of them.

- [Wilson] Because Robel
has never seen the South,

we've got Haile with us now.

Haile is a friend of, no,

the brother of Robel's
friend, something like that.

It's a friend of a friend
of a brother of a friend.

Anyway, somebody who was local here.

And that's why we need him around

'cause Robel is an Ethiopian,

but he's not a Southern Ethiopian.

- [Andre] How warm is the water?

- The water is like

- [Andre] (laughs) Just kidding man.

(all laugh)

- They all just checking
the block, you fell for it.

- I tell you its about 13 (indistinct)

- I bet you'll be so

'cause chances you get
attacked to be pretty

(crawling sound)

- [Robel] Pretty, pretty low.
- Slim or none.

- Here's our captain,
the name is Hatchondo.

(boat engine starting)

- Holy smokes.

He almost got your head.
- Yeah.

(boat engine starting)

(boat engine roaring)

This is nice.

(boat engine roaring)

(upbeat music)

- [Wilson] Just being on this
Lake is really beautiful.

And there's a lot of different birds.

There's hippos.

And then of course the crocodiles,

which most people end up coming here for.

- [Lukach] You travel a
little bit of distance

to this country and it just
changes and changes and changes.

(upbeat music)

The driver has switched
off the engine here

and he's got a long stick.

That's kind of bringing you a sense

that we don't scare these crocs.

- And when you get really
close to them they are so huge.

- Have some of the bigger
ones are four meters.

(upbeat music)

- [Lukach] Scary part is
you'll be looking at them

and also they just go,
they just disappear.

You don't know where they've gone.

(upbeat music)

- [Wilson] This is probably the first time

that I've really felt like I was in Africa

by the visuals that have
been laid out before me.

This sort of visual with
these kinds of animals

are really what most people
think of when they think Africa.

(upbeat music)

How many Ethiopians do you
think actually get to see

this part of their country?

- Traveling itself would
not be easier for them

because of the road conditions
and their lifestyle.

And this is their house, their own culture

their own unique thing.

They don't travel much
from one part to the other.

Coming here and experiencing the nature

and see what their country naturally owns

that's really incredible view
and incredible experience.

(upbeat music)

- [Wilson] I think the thing
that impresses me the most

out of seeing the hippos out here

and all the crocs and everything,

the massive flocks of birds.

The thing that impresses me
the most are these fishermen

because they've got to
come out here every day

on these rickety little rats.

(speaking foreign language)

- [Robel] The crocs came

and sometimes try to
take that away from them

and then usually they chase them away.

- Does he have a method?

I mean, how does he?


How do you get rid of a hungry croc?

(both speaking foreign language)

- [Robel] They use a
stick to hit the water.

- [Andre] How many fish
will you get in a day?

- [Robel] 20 or 30 of this a day.

- [Andre] Gulls Perch, or Nile perch?

- [Robel] This is a Nile perch.

- [Andre] Nile perch.

- They're pretty good size,

- [Andre] Smile to the camera.


- [Robel] Most next thing, if
you, if you have this fish,

- [Wilson] He's got khat there?

- [Robel] Yeah, he got some khat.

- Is that what keeps him calm out here

with all the crocs and
the hippos and everything.

- Yeah.

It keeps him alert.

(speaking foreign language)

(boat engine roaring)

- Good luck.

(upbeat music)

It takes a lot of guts to come out

and do that for a living every single day.

(upbeat music)

(rhythmic music)

What's the word, Professor Lukach?

- The word on the street
is we're going to Konso

and that's about two hours away from here.

We're gonna spend the night there.

That's what my report says.

- It's roughly accurate,

From here on in heading South.

We're not gonna run into
a lot of major towns.

We're gonna hit a lot of
open spaces in between.

So we have to take rest
stops where we can get them.

And we'll get a couple of
hours under our belt tonight

and then start fresh in the morning.

- We heard that there's
a big market tomorrow.

- This is supposed to draw in a lot

of the different tribes from the area

into one market on one
particular day of the week.

So arriving there, you
know, as early as we can

Monday is going to be
key to get this market

which is the only day it happens.

- Get it ready for shopping.

- I'm a shopper.

I love shopping.

- What we can fit in the van.

- [Lukach] Yes.

(upbeat music)

- [Wilson] We're going with Robel,

but at least this is a
portion of the country

where he really has no experience with.

Sometimes that proves to be
some of the best adventures

to have a mix of a local with you,

but where they're almost
like two residents as Well.

(upbeat music)


- This is like a meat locker.

Come on in.

- We've just reached Konso.

So we've got a room for the night.

- This is a room or a jail cell?


- We've got soap.

Which is nice.

And we've got rationed toilet paper.

So no more than that.

- So you use one side
and I use the other side.

- Exactly, thank you
- That's how you ration it.

Big bed or small bed?

One, two, three show.
- One, two, three show.

- Yes.

(indistinct chatter)

- Hey look at this.

This is build maybe in the evil times.

(Lukach chuckles)

I am a short man and I can't
even fit in here with the.

- [Lukach] This doesn't
even have running water.

- [Wilson] (chuckles) That's.

- Yeah.

It's only gonna to last a night.

(upbeat music)

(car engine roaring)

- [Wilson] Well, we've got
some rest surprisingly.

Year one trip one.

If we walked into a hotel like this

we'd both be like, what the hell?

Now it's like, night.


- Yeah, we have gotten stronger.

- Today we got a long road ahead of us.

We got a bout, maybe seven hours or so

until we get to the market.

(upbeat music)

Starting early is key

'cause now it's starting to get really hot

and a lot of the roads under construction.

Most of it's dirt so
it's pretty rough going.

(upbeat music)

- [Lukach] We're about two hours away

from start this morning and we're stopped.

There's a guy out with a gun.

So I'm not sure if we're
actually gonna be told

to you know, turn around
and go back or what.

- We've reached some sort of a checkpoint.

Apparently we're supposed to have paid

some sort of ticket or toll, right?

(children laughing)


Since we've got this far it's
not exactly the kind of place

where we wanna just
turn around and go back.

So we're trying to negotiate
to see if we can just pay

whatever toll the driver was
supposed to pay in Konso.

If we can just pay that now

- [Lukach] Nothing can be simple, nothing.

It just slowly getting on your nerves.

(speaking foreign language)

You wanna rent this truck?

That's fine.

But doesn't come with
wheels, that's extra.

Oh, you wanna sleep in this
hotel well there's no water.

(speaking foreign language)

- [Wilson] Justin is hanging
on by a thread right now.

I think the roads and the disorganization

and the you know, the
rooms without showers

or running water at all and such stuff.

It starts to add up but he's
hanging in there so far.


Well, I think we've already settled it.

So we're back on the road again.

- All right.

(car door closes)

(upbeat music)

- [Wilson] There are a lot of
different traditional tribes

that live down in the South
Omo Valley region of Ethiopia.

(upbeat music)

Turmi is kind of in a
way for these people.

When you consider that for
a good 250 kilometer radius

there's really nothing.

Then you see how important
little towns like Turmi become.

(upbeat music)

- Robel, has been itching
all day to do some shopping.

- I'm gonna spend some
with my money today.

- [Lukach] Most of the people
here are the hamer tribe.

And you can tell them apart

from the rest of the different tribes,

because they have like kind
of like a red changed hair.

(indistinct chatter)

- One of them was selling
different like seeds and beans.

Is this the kind of
souvenir you're looking for?

A big bag of this?

- No.

- [Wilson] The hamer tribe
and some of the other tribes

of the Omo Valley, aren't
just crop growing farmers

they're also livestock farmers.

You're seeing a lot of that here too.

- So I just bought this wood bracelet

and it's a color of the Ethiopian flag.

This is a little reminder of shopping day.

- What are these things?

(people conversing in foreign language)

- When someone gets married,
it's like a wedding ring

but here they put this in their neck.

(upbeat music)

- [Lukach] Have noticed
a lot of the females

have scar tissue on their back.

What's that from?

- Well in the hamer tradition,

they have this ceremony
that the man jumps bulls.

While he has successfully done that

and the women has to
show their appreciation

by getting those beating on their back.

- You think your girlfriend
would take a cup of lashings

if you jumped over a couple of bulls?

- [Robel] No.

- [Lukach] No.

- Who would?

I wouldn't for her, she wouldn't for me.

- Love is a strange thing.

- It has a really big
role in their culture.

(upbeat music)

- [Wilson] While we were looking
around the tourney market

we were approached by
a young man named Oyta

and Oyta was one of the hamer tribe.

But he was also one of
the few hamer people

that was pretty fluent in English.

And he was really helpful to us.

- I noticed the guys, they have
something different they do.

Like a patch in the back.

- This is mud.

- Yeah.

Even this gentleman behind you here Andre.

(speaking foreign language)

- This man has killed big
animals up here with the mud,

he's put here red soil.

- Would you mind telling
this man that this back home,

that's a symbol of strength
for the man, which is BS.

It's just teenage are anx.

(both conversing in foreign language)

It's good.

- Well, stretching the
truth a little bit but,

- [Lukach] Stretching the truth?


- So how many animals or what
makes you to deserve that?

- Yeah.
- What did you do for that?

- I had to kill a pig in
Cook Islands to get this?

- [Lukach] You had that before though.

- Yeah but I got it in advance for it,

The truth be told this
was to impress a girl,

which is probably if you really
got down to know this guy,

he'd probably say the same
thing about his stuff.

You think this guy

they probably just do this
stuff to impress the girls?

- Yeah.

(both laugh)

(upbeat music)

[Wilson] Everyone's starting to walk away

from the market now.

It looks like it's starting to close up.

Do you know why they're leaving?

- There is a bull jumping.

- [Wilson] The bull jumping.

- Bull jumping.

- So actually they're doing that today?

- [Oyta] Yeah today.
- Ohh.

- We've gotta see this.

(upbeat music)

- [Lukach] We've hit a
little bump in the road here.

Our drivers are concerned
that we can't go any further

than where we are right now
because of this terrain.

We may be walking about seven kilometers.

So I don't know, we might miss everything.

We don't even know.

- [Wilson] This river bed
is of course all sandy.

That's what their concern is.

They're gonna get hung up in the sand.

- [Lukach] They're trying to figure out

if it's worth driving down here

and then hopefully being
able to drive back up.

(upbeat music)

- This is the far as the van's gonna go.

From here there's a walking path.

How many times have
you seen this ceremony?

- [Oyta] Five times.

- [Wilson] Five times.

- [Oyta] Yeah.

- In your whole life.

So we are very lucky to see this?

- Yes.

- [Wilson] Unless you had been here before

to see one of these
bull jumping ceremonies,

there'd be no way you'd
find this place on your own.

It's not right at the side of the road.

It's not, you know,
right on this main trail.

We've come probably 10
kilometers, at least

along a cattle path, pushing
the van to its every limit.

(upbeat music)

- [Lukach] Starting to
hear some distant music.

So we're pretty confident
we're on the right path now.

- We can see the people from distance

gathering for the ceremony.

- I would probably be a
little surprised to see us.

So I'll show up in the middle of nowhere.


- The last five minutes
we've been hearing this noise

and as again every footstep
gets louder and louder

and now now you can see it.

(horn blowing),(anklets jingling)

I think we're about five minutes away

from this starting off.

(horn blowing), (anklets jingling)

I know it's about to get even crazier.

(horn blowing), (anklets jingling)

(upbeat music)

(horn blowing), (anklets jingling)

I can't believe this.

- The women are already getting whipped

and they're pretty much
begging to be whipped.

So there's these selected men lab wits.

And I mean, they sound like
a whip when they get hit.

I mean, it sounds like a
huge cow whip or something.

(singing in foreign language)

(anklets jingling), (horn blowing)

Absolutely brutally

you can see the puss

that comes off their
back when they get hit.

(horn blowing), (anklets jingling)

- Every time I see him get
whipped and just like lynching.

They don't get whipped once or twice

they're being whipped well, 20 times.

Some of them, you can see the
whip marks across the back

and they're just bleeding down their back.

(upbeat music)

- [Wilson] I think they
must just be getting

almost the high hit of the adrenaline.

They don't even really
flinch when it happens.

They just sort of stopped jumping
and then they keep jumping

and they keep begging for
more and more and more.

(upbeat music)

It's quite a shocking
kind of horrifying sight

to see at first.

And the to think that really allowed me

to get past it in the end

is that in their culture
those scars on their back

represent their dedication
to tradition and culture.

(gentle music)

What's the idea with the painting?

What are they painting here?

- This our friend, is jump today.

- So people get painted to show support?

- Yeah.

- [Wilson] Okay.

(upbeat music)

- [Lukach] The guys who actually
doing most of the whipping

are actually the ones that are
doing some of the painting.

- [Wilson] Were outsiders
so this is leagues

beyond anything we've ever
seen or dreamt of before.

But for you, this is still your country.

Like how does that feel?

- It's beyond my expectation.

Its absolutely new thing for me.

To be around like all those whipping,

all this face painting going on.

And that's very, very different
and very, very surprising.

- [Lukach] Anytime you
make that kind of effort,

you go to those kinds of
lengths to see something

and be somewhere it
always seems to pay off.

The best jewels of travel are hidden.

They're not easily accessible

and that's what's allowed
them to hold their tradition

and to hold their value

(upbeat music)

We've moved locations
from that dried up river

to the top of this Hill.

And this fellow here is the actual jumper.

- Yeah.

He's a jump today

and after two weeks he
already have an elder brother

and then he's ordered for him a wife.

- Has he seen his future wife?

- No. No.

- So basically what's happened is

his brother has actually
picked a wife for him.

He had kind of gave his brother

an idea of who he's looking for.

And his brother went and
picked a wife for him

and actually ask the father.

And the father is the
one who says, yes or no.

And the female actually has
no choice in the matter.

Tell him we wish him good luck.

And you hope he does a fantastic,

(speaks in foreign language)

- [Lukach] He's in the zone right now.

He's trying to be focused and everything.

I don't blame him.

This is like the biggest
moment of his life.

(anklet jingling), (horn blowing)

- It kind of feels like the
calm before the storm right now.

There's a funny calm, I suppose.

But compared to the
whipping we saw earlier

the women are just sort
of blowing the horns,

dancing around a little bit,

Just down a ways

is a bigger group that
started dancing men and women.

They're all kind of friends.

They're all from a neighboring village

or villages that have come
in for the ceremony as well.

So they've kind of started their own ring

and they're doing kind of a vertical leap

but you know that the bull
jumping is gonna happen soon.

(anklet jingling ), (horn blowing)

- [Lukach] The sun's really
beaten down right now.

And these girls have been out here dancing

in this heat for the
last four, five hours.

They're sweating, but they
still have the energy, you know.

I mean, they're almost looking
like in a trance somewhat.

This day is basically from one man.

And all these people that
have turned up for this event

it goes to show you how much
this tradition means to them.

Especially the women.

(horn blowing), (anklet jingling)

- [Wilson] A lot of these
tribes have been isolated

long enough that they don't understand

our interest in their culture
and the idea of a camera.

And so it takes some convincing

and it takes some patience
with them to allow them to see

that we want to just observe their culture

and that interests us.

(horn blowing)

(anklet jingling)

Sun's getting down quite a bit

and there's no distinct time

just as there's no particular day

when they decide to do the ceremony.

There's also no particular time

for when the bull jumping
actually happened.

You just sorta watch.

And when they feel like
it, they go for it.

And everyone's starting to move off down

towards where the bulls actually are.

(gentle music)

(anklets jingling)

(gentle music)

(anklets jingling), (horn blowing)

So the setting up the bulls now,

they line up the bulls.

How many bulls?

- 11.


- And he has to do this
three times, right?

The same thing over three times, right?

- You mean jumping?

- Yeah.

- No four times,

- [Lukach] Four times?
- Four times.

- Wow.

I can't wait.

You know what I mean?

All day we've been kind of
preparing for this moment.

(anklets jingling)

(tense music)

(horn blowing)

(tense music)

(horn blowing)

- They've rounded up all the bulls now,

They're keeping them
really tight, really tight.

The jumper is getting ready.

He's kinda psyching himself up.

He's completely naked.

Everything's kind of building up.

The music, the chanting, the
way the cows are behaving.

Everything's kind of tensing up.

- I'm feeling nervous myself.

I feel nervous for him.

(horn blowing)

(anklets jingling)

(chattering in foreign language)

(anklets jingling)

(horn blowing)

(tense music)

- [Wilson] In a heartbeat
it's over and he nailed it.

He went all the way there all the way back

all the way there all the way back.

Didn't fall once and afterwards
there's just elation.

That that was the culmination
of Ethiopia for me.

I mean, without even knowing it

we've waited this entire time
and to see this, this is wild.

This is one of my favorite
experiences of all time.

And it just feels so true to the earth.

This kind of tribal
living and tribal ceremony

has been probably going on 10 times longer

than any of the religions that we've seen.

And this is just people
living off the earth

the way it's always, always been.

And that's the coolest thing

- Is amazing because
this is untested culture.

- [Wilson] This is a picture
perfect image of I think

what a lot of people think Africa is like

but not necessarily what Ethiopia is like.

And even if this is what you
thought Ethiopia was like

you'd still be wrong.

It's a lot more to it than this.

- I just wanna thank you so much.

- Okay.

- It was amazing experience.

And you know you showed us something

that we didn't even think existed.

So thank you so much.

- Thank you.

- It was kind of the
goal for us to, you know

come here and experience this country

and leave with a new frame of mind.

And you know, I think we accomplished it.

- [Wilson] It's good to be
able to share this with people

because we're the only ones
who are really gonna know

what it feels like to be here.

And that's why I'm glad

that you're here and you're
here and you're here.

I dunno.

Maybe I'm just getting very emotional.

- Has he started crying?

Three years have never,

All my life have never seen you cry.

- No, no.

Not yet.

Not yet.

- Brick wall, this guy.

- [Robel] All right guys,

I think we have to wrap up or stay here.

- We always do this at
the end of the show.

You point at the camera

and go, "That's your departures
time for us to depart."

So you wanna say it for us?

Okay, ready?

One, two, three.

- [both] That's our departures
time for us to depart.

(all laugh)


- We never do that for a reason.

We never do that.

All right.

( Robel laughs)

- [Lukach] We got a long walk out of here.

It's been a long day in the sun.

- Let's go.

- That's our departures.

Time for us to depart.

(upbeat music)

- [Wilson] We're leaving Ethiopia,

but we're staying in Central Africa.

We're gonna fly to Rwanda

and experience a country that's
had this miraculous recovery

from such a recent and dark history.

(upbeat music)

(men hullulating and clapping)

- We are so (clapping) happy

- I just made it back up our Hill.

And we weren't sure we
were gonna make it back up.

But instead it was no problem at all.

Good bye.

(upbeat music)