Africa: Passing the Pipe in Ethiopia

In Africa, when I enter a village, I command respect. As a travel writer who seeks out remote tribal cultures on my own, my white hair has given me entre to societies that are usually closed to tourist groups. On a continent where 50 is considered old and especially in rural tribes that have no medical facilities and must contend with predatory animals and poisonous snakes as a way of life, I am usually senior in age to most tribal elders or chiefs.

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