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這個現代世界的邊緣是人類的搖籃之一

  But community-based tourism is helping to keep ancient traditions alive in Ethiopia’s Omo River region.

  但是以社區為基礎的旅游業正在幫助埃塞俄比亞的奧莫河地區保持古老的傳統。

  At the end of a long day,we walked up to the village of Korcho.Tropical boubou birds were singing their duets on the edge of a lake.Circular huts,made of sticks and crowned with grass roofs,lay scattered along a ridge.Boys were herding cattle toward the family stockades for the night.

  在漫長的一天結束后,我們走到Korcho村。熱帶的boubou鳥在湖邊唱著二重唱。圓圓的棚屋,用樹枝搭成,有草屋頂,零星散布在山脊上。孩子們正趕著牛群回家過夜。

  Kara族是居住在埃塞俄比亞Omo-Turkana盆地的16個民族之一

  Korcho is a village of the Kara people,one of the 16 ethnic groups said to inhabit Ethiopia’s Omo-Turkana Basin.Ethiopia may be known for its rich and varied mix of ethnicities,but the diversity in the lower Omo River Valley in the southwest of the country,home to more than 200,000 people,is unparalleled.

  Korcho是Kara族的一個村莊,Kara族是居住在埃塞俄比亞Omo-Turkana盆地的16個民族之一。埃塞俄比亞以其多種多樣的民族而聞名,該國西南部奧莫河谷下游的民族多樣性更是豐富,并且在那里居住著20多萬人口。

  One of the cradles of humankind,the valley was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1980.Ancient stone tools unearthed there“offer evidence of the earliest known technical activities of prehistoric beings,”the UNESCO citation reads.The discovery of several hominid fossils has provided vital keys to an understanding of human evolution.

  作為人類的搖籃之一,這個河谷在1980年被聯合國教科文組織宣布為世界遺產。聯合國教科文組織在引文中寫道,在那里出土的古代石器為我們提供了已知的史前人類最早的技術活動的證據。幾塊原始人類化石的發現為理解人類進化提供了關鍵的鑰匙。

  Such has been the isolation of these peoples that until fairly recently few had even heard of the nation of which they were a part.For them,the capital of Addis Ababa might have been another world.To outsiders,the valley appears little compromised by the trappings of modernity.

  這些民族是如此的孤立,以至于直到最近,甚至很少有人聽說過他們所屬的國家。對他們來說,首都亞的斯亞貝巴可能是另一個世界。在外人看來,河谷似乎沒有受到現代化的影響。

  But inevitably the modern world has edged in.The Ethiopian government is creating a cascade of five dams on the upper Omo,a mighty river that winds for 500 miles through the central highlands and empties on the border with Kenya into Lake Turkana,the world’s largest desert lake.

  但不可避免的是,現代世界已經逐漸融入到這里。埃塞俄比亞政府正在奧莫河上游建造五座水壩,這條大河流經中部高地,蜿蜒500英里,注入肯尼亞邊境的圖爾卡納湖,這是世界上最大的沙漠湖。

  The Gibe III dam in particular,opened in 2015,has already had a profound effect on the hydrology of the lower Omo,disrupting the annual floods that support cultivation and pasturage and undermining a way of life that has flourished here for many centuries.Power lines now stretch across green hillsides flanking the dam reservoir.Some communities are being resettled.
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  特別是Gibe III大壩,于2015年開放,已經對奧莫河下游的水文產生了深遠的影響,破壞了支持耕種和放牧的河水,破壞了在這里傳播了幾個世紀的生活方式。電纜線現在搭建到大壩水庫兩側的綠色山坡上。一些社區正在被重新安置。

  I had come to the Omo from Addis Ababa,driving for three days across the agrarian landscapes of the Ethiopian highlands on roads where most of the traffic was pedestrian.Young men strolled arm in arm while women staggered in their wake beneath heavy sacks.A few horsemen passed.A white-robed priest appeared beneath a splendid parasol.

  我從亞的斯亞貝巴來到奧莫,開了三天的車,穿過埃塞俄比亞高原的農業景觀,路上大部分都是行人。年輕男子挽著胳膊散步,而婦女則在沉重的麻袋下蹣跚而行。幾個騎馬的人路過。一位身穿白袍的牧師在一把華麗的遮陽傘下出現了。

  Ethiopia strains the imagination.The presence of what is believed to be the Ark of the Covenant,housed in an unassuming chapel in the northern town of Aksum,offers a hint of what this world of cloud-high plateaus and plunging gorges,of peaks and blistering salt deserts,of monasteries and castles,would reveal to me.

  埃塞俄比亞讓人難以想象。在北部城鎮阿克蘇姆的一個不起眼的教堂中,有一個名為“約柜”的圣物,給我提供了一個線索,告訴我這個有高原和陡峭的峽谷,有山峰和酷熱的鹽堿地,有修道院和城堡的世界會向我揭示什么。

  埃塞俄比亞是“蓬特之地”

  To ancient Egyptians,Ethiopia was the Land of Punt,a mysterious world where the Nile River flowed from fountains.Medieval Europeans believed it was a place inhabited by unicorns and flying dragons,birthplace of Prester John,keeper of the Fountain of Youth,protector of the Holy Grail,and a supposed descendant of one of the three magi.

  對古埃及人來說,埃塞俄比亞是“蓬特之地”,這是一個神秘的世界,尼羅河從噴泉中流出。中世紀的歐洲人認為這是一個住著獨角獸和飛龍的地方,Prester John的出生地,青春之泉的守護者,圣杯的守護者,三位賢士之一的后代。

  Thanks to a remarkably inhospitable geography—Ethiopia is where Africa’s Great Rift Valley gets its start—isolation was total.“The Ethiopians slept near a thousand years,”wrote historian Edward Gibbon in 1837,“forgetful of the world,by whom they were forgotten.”
紐約時報中英文網 www.244129.buzz


  得益于極其荒涼的地理環境——埃塞俄比亞是非洲大裂谷的發源地——與世隔離是徹底的。歷史學家Edward Gibbon在1837年寫道,埃塞俄比亞人沉睡了近一千年,忘記了世界,被世界遺忘。

  But increasingly travelers are beginning to find this storied realm.On the third day of my slow-paced journey,somewhere beyond Jimma,fields and villages fell away as we dropped out of the highlands.Views lengthened as the landscape unfolded toward distant escarpments.This was an emptier Africa of savanna and acacia.

  但越來越多的游客開始發現這個傳奇的國度。在我慢速旅行的第三天,在Jimma以外的某個地方,當我們離開高地時,田野和村莊都消失了。隨著風景逐漸向遠處的懸崖峭壁延伸,視野也拉長了。這是一個更空曠的非洲,到處是稀樹大草原和金合歡樹。

  Some hours later I was ensconced in the sylvan setting of Lale’s Camp,a canvas-tented complex in the shade of wild figs on the east bank of the Omo.A collaboration between local Kara and sustainable travel outfitter Wild Expeditions,the camp is part of a strategy to mitigate the disruptions caused by the dams as well as an attempt to develop a tourism model that extends the economic benefits of travel to host communities.

  幾個小時后,我安坐在Lale營地的森林里。Lale營地位于奧莫東岸,是一片野果樹蔭下的帆布帳篷。該營地是當地卡拉人與可持續旅游裝備供應商Wild expedition的合作項目,是一項緩解大壩造成破壞的戰略的一部分,也是開發一種旅游模式的嘗試,旨在將旅游的經濟效益擴大到接待社區。

  The project provides revenue and employment for the Kara.Funds have been directed toward solar-powered irrigation systems that will allow,in the wake of the disruption of the dams,the continued cultivation of sorghum on the riverbanks,in addition to fruits,vegetables,and herbs that can be sold to the camp kitchens.

  該項目為Kara提供收入和就業機會。資金已用于太陽能灌溉系統,這將在大壩破壞后允許在河岸上繼續種植高粱,此外還可將水果,蔬菜和草藥出售給營地廚房。

  Travel from the camp is often by boat,making for less intrusive arrivals in remote communities.One morning we made our way downriver into the channels of the delta.Colobus monkeys quarreled in the forests that lined the banks.Children splashed distressingly close to basking crocodiles.A group of teenage boys peered through the trees.

  從營地出發的旅行通常是乘船,這樣可以減少偏遠社區的侵擾。一天早上,我們沿著河進入下游三角洲。疣猴在河岸的森林里吵架。孩子們潑著水,靠近正在曬太陽的鱷魚。一群十幾歲的男孩從樹叢中窺視。

  Some 50 years ago,not far from Lale’s Camp,remnants of one of the earliest examples of Homo sapiens were found.The area’s frequent volcanic eruptions over millennia created layers of debris and soil,which have helped scientists date the hominid and animal fossil fragments preserved in each layer.Almost 200,000 years old,the finds revealed the Omo valley to be one of the first landscapes to be inhabited by our human ancestors.

  大約50年前,在離Lale營地不遠的地方,發現了最早的有智人樣本之一的遺跡。數千年來,該地區頻繁的火山噴發形成了一層層的碎片和土壤,這幫助科學家確定了每一層中保存的原始人和動物化石碎片及其對應的年代。這些發現表明,距今近20萬年的奧莫山谷是人類祖先最早居住的地方之一。

  It is a landscape now changing but ever nurturing,teaching,remembering.

  這是一個不斷變化但不斷滋養、教導和記憶的世界。
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