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Mequat MariamOne of the things I would have liked to do when we were in Ethiopia is to know the country, but unfortunately we couldn’t at that moment. Lack of time, money and the main purpose of the trip, to adopt the children, didn’t let us do more than we did. We spent all of our time there in Addis getting to know the children and taking care of them.
But we made a promise to ourselves to go back to Ethiopia in the future once the children are old enough to enjoy such a trip.
We are the kind of people that don’t like luxury hotels that much or to have all our activities “planned” for us. We like to be able to spend the days at our own pace, take our time, preferring to see less but more deeply, to mix with locals, to walk instead of riding a car. We try to live our lives as slowly as the society let us and I really don’t need to be “entertained” all the time.
Abuna YosephSo, if you feel the same way as we do, and at the same time want to help the people of Ethiopia to sustain themselves, to take care of the environment and protect their culture, there is a wonderful and also very safe way to do tourism there. We hope to do it ourselves soon, it’s called community tourism. 
There is an organization called TESFA (Tourism in Ethiopia for Sustainable Future Alternatives) that is helping people in northern Ethiopia bring tourists to this area and encourages locals to manage the business and earn money from the visitors. 
TESFA has helped them to build hosting facilities and the people of the villages are the ones taking care of the visitors and all the money you spend there goes to the locals to pay for food, grains and education, among other things.
And you will have the wonderful chance to experience the “real” life of Ethiopia, visit historic places with the help of a local guide, view amazing landscapes, watch gelada baboons, enjoy the local coffee and after a day of hiking the mountains sleep in a clean bed inside a toukoul on top of a cliff with breathtaking views.
You can see by the photos that illustrate this post the wonderful location of the toukouls. Another advantage is that because of the altitude in which this hosting facilities are located, there is no risk of malaria in the area.
Here is a video of what TESFA has to offer:

Tourism in Ethiopia for Sustainable Future Alternatives

If you want to know more about it, you can read an article in TIMESONLINE or go to TESFA website.