Calendar   Home
Previous Day

March 17, 2002

Next Day
Without any natural resources except a port, Djibouti imports all products. Therefore every item has been marked up and it's all expensive. Djibouti has no traditional economy. Ethiopia provides the major income by exporting goods out of Djibouti's port. The world navies - Germany, France, and USA - pay to use Djibouti's port because of its strategic location at the entrance to the Red Sea. Most of the people, many of them refugees from Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia (from recent wars), seem to be looking for the next departing boat. Foreigners here are either soldiers, divers, or geologists. Since we don't fit in these categories, we feel it's time to leave. Riding a small boat across the Red Sea to Yemen seemed aggressive since our embassy warned us about Yemen's tourist kidnappers and terrorist radicals. It's easier and safer to fly. The authorities at the airport detain us - they're surprised we managed to obtain a visa (from Yemen's embassy in Ethiopia) and they don't know what to do with American tourists. The tour guides we contracted via email had to bring several documents taking full responsibility for our safety. Eventually the authorities released us and we made it to our hotel after midnight.
Djibouti's spice market - everything imported.
Camel parking zone: Yemen holds on to its traditional culture.