Salambo discovering Ethiopia
I have been relatively quiet as I am currently undergoing an ayurveda detox treatment, which means that for ten days I have to stop drinking coffee, tea, alcohol and eat an exclusive diet of rice and mung peas (lunch and dinner). On the upside, I have different kinds of massage every other day. As part of the treatment, I was told to practice yoga every day and go to bed at 9pm (not my normal routine as I tend to stay up late and drink a lot of coffee the next morning to wake my mind up!). The idea of an ayurveda detox is to rebalance the elements within our body, such as water, air, earth and fire so we can live a healthy life, physically and mentally.
Five days into the treatment, I already see a difference, not so much physically although I do feel less tired, but mentally. I feel calmer and more serene when approaching my work, and I’ve noticed that I forget to check my emails first thing in the morning. We all know the intoxicating power of the internet, I find it interesting that we need (or I need) to go through a food diet to clear my mind of this compulsion. Because I need to always think about what I eat and drink, I live more into the moment, which really helps take a pause. It would probably be much nicer to do this kind of detox in an ayurveda centre in Southern India rather than at home where I have to cook for my family and watch them eat, however, it is better than none. Of course, I am not doing this programme alone but with the help of Deborah, an Ethiopian-Swedish lady who opened an ayurveda centre called Tulsi a year ago in the Kebena area of Addis. She offers all sorts of massage as well as yoga classes in her very pleasant space, which is fortunate as my long-standing yoga teacher in Addis, Emily, is moving to France next month to open a new retreat centre. I know I will miss her class.
I came to undertake this detox because I felt I was in a forward spiral I could not stop with work commitments, request for more travel, constant juggling of all aspects of my life, and so on. I needed to take a break. Such need became suddenly very pressing after we heard of the tragic death of one of our UN colleagues last week. I didn’t know her personally but the story shocked me. She was coming back from a trip to the Danakil when they had a car crash driving back up to the highlands from the Dallol plain. She was seven month pregnant and about to finish her contract to go back to her native Finland. Her partner survived but her friend travelling with her, a Polish lady on her honeymoon with her husband, died too. Her husband also survived. From what I heard, they were evacuated by helicopter from the scene of the accident to the nearest medical facility near the Potash mines in Dallol, but unfortunately it was too late. The accident was extremely tragic, even more so because on top of all the pain and grief, they had to deal with the awful practicalities of sending the body back home and of being two future parents of different nationalities and therefore depending on different national administrations for consular matters. I have no word of conclusion after writing these lines.