A sense of realism pervades in Ethiopia. Resources are limited and require a usage bordering on the reverential. Such is the lot of a developing nation.
With this in mind, it makes sense that practicality is an instinctive nature around the country. If the weather is cold, wear something warm; if the weather is wet, try and stay dry. And if the conditions are stiflingly hot, find shade wherever possible.
This latter point is particularly poignant in a country where temperatures topping 50 degrees are a regular occurrence. The heat is stifling, so much so that it barely registers on any accepted human scale. Mirages are commonplace and in many places – Dallol, the Danokil Depression – the landscape takes on hellish, miasmic quality. Ethiopia is home to some of the planet’s most alien environments.
Such conditions illustrate the potential life-saving qualities of an umbrella. There’s no need for ostentation when all that’s required is a touch of cover, something to deflect the unrelenting reach of an infallible sun and stave off the terminal threat of heat exhaustion. Extreme temperature is a discombobulating animal and can cause fatal damage if left unabated.
Instead, take the practical choice. Find cover in the simplest places and make use of whatever means are available. The weather in Ethiopia may be extreme, but it is never judgemental.