Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Boat trip to hell

Hi everybody

Have you ever seen real live hippos only a few meters away?
They are quite impressive – and dangerous. Did you know that each year 2 900 people in Africa die in hippo-attacks?

Despite this fact, I and some others decided to take a boat and visit these killing-machines in the Lake Hawassa (also called Lake of Love – quite ironic if you know that death is lurking in the depths…). Anyway, we – as brave Swiss – couldn’t resist the opportunity to see these intimidating animals.
After a 30 minutes gentle cruise on the lake we spied the outline of a hippo. Then, a second one… Third one… fourth... Suddenly, we were surrounded – no way to escape. Then the first hippo attacked our boat! It rocked heavily and we desperately clang to the railing. Phu, by a hair could save ourself from landing in the dark brown lake. Then, a second hippo crashed into our boat – and it overturned. Plaaaatsch – the three of us dived into the water. The only thing I could think about was the shark movie “Open water” (although sharks are - according to experts - much less dangerous than hippos. A fact that didn’t really calmed me down). The hippos approached quickly and we screamed like hell. Fortunately, we’re all good swimmers. We saved ourselves on the shore – two seconds later we would have ended up as hippo-dinner…
Hahahaha, noooot. You almost believed it, right? Sorry to disappoint you guys, we had non-life-threatening moments with the hippos (although they are in fact Africa’s most dangerous animals along with mosquitos) and it wasn’t as adventurous as written above. Actually, we enjoyed the trip to the hippos, saw a baby-hippo and took a lot of pictures. And we had a safe trip back.
As usual, I’d like to introduce another business idea of one of our participating teams, called EthioPay. EthioPay is a platform that will facilitate e-commerce in Ethiopia. The platform will provide consumers and businesses the opportunity to buy, sell and auction items online by paying with airtime as the currency and using your mobile phone. Therefore, EthioPay will provide both a marketplace website and a mobile payment system. It’s a unique and innovative solution that addresses e-commerce and online financial transactions problems in Ethiopia.
Still disappointed about the (lame) hippo-story? If you’re interested in a real horror-story, please watch
Your hippo-whisperer,


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