Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Wandering Northward

Strange thing about the River Nile is it's obviousness. If a person wanders the coasts of Ethiopia and he or she looks across the salt sea in a north westerly direction, none of it looks very pretty or inviting or different. But the Blue Nile, which meets the White Nile at Khartoum becomes the Nile River that waters Egypt and ends up in the Mediterranean. The Blue Nile from it's source in Lake Tana is no little stream. Nor is the White Nile with its source in Lake Victoria. Just pretend Ethiopia is the Land of Cush, and the Blue Nile the temptation of an Apple.

The idea of something like boat building being the Apple has for too long been the subject of polishing. "Look I've built a floating contrivance so that we can cross Bab el Mendeb" doesn't have quite the allure for your correspondent as "I wonder where that river goes." And it would have been a long trip a great deal of it through deep gorges, and maybe a waterfall.  Bab el Mendeb, The Gateway of Tears, or the Gateway of Anguish, so named from the legend of the great numbers who were drowned when an earthquake separated Asia from Africa. Yes indeed a great deal of Sabean oral history is confusing, not greatly assisted by the geneticists.

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