Secret Women’s Business In Ethiopia

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This is not going to be what you think….

This is not a bad story. Not at all!

As A Note: That is Pete in the pic above taking photos. I don't know how many he took but he made the most of the day that is for sure. I miss Pete. A true traveler and a gypsy soul. Follow him on Insta.

We were visiting the Mursi tribe in the Omo Valley area of Ethiopia. The trip out to the tribe from Jinka was an hour and 45 minutes in a little bongo van and the tribe usually gets only one van visit per day. They are cattle farmers so most of the men are not in the village during the day, or for days on end for that matter. So when you get there it is primarily women and children.

We had a local guy take us out and he had told us that to take pictures it was 5 Birr which is around 20c (USD). So we all had some change (some of us more than others) and were keen to hear about the tribe and their stories.

When we get there we are taken to one families hut and the guide tells us that the villagers know that we want to learn about their culture and look around first and then we will be taking photos. So he proceeds to tell us all about this family and the tribes customs and practices. While we are listening this little woman sidles up next to me and looking me up and down, smiles and pats my boob. Like “is that real?” kind of pat. Not a grope, definitely a pat. Pete one of the guys was next to me and while Pete's not exactly led a sheltered life he looks decidedly uncomfortable. I've got around 20 years on Pete and he's quite Southern for want of a better word so I can understand that it makes him a bit unsettled to have a local woman handling my breasts.

I am trying not to giggle and when I look at her she has the cheekiest face and is grinning back at me and nodding like she is very chuffed with herself. We keep learning about the village and while we are wandering around she pops back and while chatting to one of her “Housewives Of The Mursi” cohorts smiles and again pats my boobs. She's escalated to patting both now and is clearly intrigued. They are roaring with laughter and I'm not really bothered so Julia and I are also both having a giggle.

I've included this pic of Julia and I above primarily because for the purpose of the story you need to see that Julia is in face a red head. It's important to remember from this point forward that to Africans who rarely see white people, that red hair is something to see. I realise my hair also looks red in this photo however it is just my horrible hair faded after a bad color but Julie is a ranga by birth.


And now its photo time

Our Mursi education ends and photo time starts and its frigging bedlam.

They all come out in their finery with lip plates and piercings, head dress and feathers, paint and beads adorning every neck, head and chest. I took about 10 photo's mostly because I never cope very well with you buy you buy, and in this case its you take photo, you take photo and I'm a bit put off to tell you the truth.

Everyone else is taking their shots and paying their 5 birr to each model and we are all having fun. Julia, Tom and I move over to the shade of a tree and Ms Cheeky and a few other women and their children follow us. They soon figure out that we aren't going to take any more photo's so they start trying in earnest to communicate with us. Particularly Julia and me. I think mostly as Julia is a full Ginga and my color has faded out with the African sun and cheap shampoo to be pretty orange as well.

Ms Cheeky is still fixated on my boobs and Julia suggests its because I'm older than her and she can't quite figure out how I might have had 4 children, be my age and have boobs that aren't tickling my toes. That's exactly what she says by the way! I hadn't thought about it but it makes sense so I pull my bra strap out of the top of my TShirt and show Ms Cheeky my bra strap. I think she will realise that my boobs are being supported and leave it at that. Nope – that didn't work, so I raise my TShirt to show her the bra. Quick as a rattler she moves in and grabs my bra and janks it up, screams in delight and gives my nipple the biggest squeeze!


I yelp, Julia snorts water out her nose, Ms Cheeky wails and the balance of her possy scream with what can only be interpreted as “white boob hysteria”. Tom the poor guy bolts and doesn't know quite where to look.

Julia and I are in hysterics, so much so that our guide comes over to see what's going on. I'm pretty sure Ms Cheeky tells him some load of bullshit as he seems non plussed and walks back to the other group. We have now made firm friends with Ms Cheeky and the Cheekettes. It is so cool that despite language, cultural and geographical differences here we are in the Omo Valley in Ethiopia with other women laughing about boobs.

An elder woman of the Mursi tribe in Ethiopia

On to the soft furnishings (wink, wink)

Now that she's clearly being exactly who she is, Ms Cheeky has gained confidence and starts to chat to her posy. They are looking at Julia and talking and at exactly the same time Julia and I look at each other and realise that she is wondering if the carpet matches the drapes!

It is so clear that is what she is thinking so Julia gives her the head nod and turning around (we're being discreet here – well we are trying) pulls her pants out and shows her. The look on her face was priceless! She is open mouthed, then screams, then smacks Julia on the arm and turns and launches into what we can only surmise is a vivid description of Julia's nether regions. OMG we are in stitches, they are in stitches, the guide comes over and separates us (what are we 12?) and all the boys wander back wondering what in the hell is going on.

Goodness help the next van load of people the following day!

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