Gismu the Guide


My Story

I was born on 19th December 1985 in a small village situated inside the Simien Mountains National Park. As a boy I was fortunate to be able to attend elementary school about 15 kms away from the village. I am grateful to my parents, especially to my father, for providing me with an education despite many hardships. Lack of awareness and environmental influences result in very few people receiving a formal education, and I am the only one in my family.

After elementary school, because of the absence of a high school in my village, I had to leave my village and attend school in Bahirdar for three years. Bahirdar is one of Ethiopia's ancient and attractive  towns, where many tourists come every year to visit Lake Tana, one of the largest lakes in Ethiopia.

Three  years later I was compelled to return to a small town near my village to complete my schooling.  A year later I graduated from the Tour Guide training program. This program was launched to develop a sustainable tourism industry, run by local service providers. The Austrian Government Development Co-operation Project, proposed an idea to give high priority to the locals based inside the park, to improve the awareness of the National Park by the people. The project performs different activities for the Park in an integrated manner, putting emphasis on a "park with people" approach.

After passing the exams for the Regional Bureau of Tourism Commission I had the opportunity to become a Guide and am a founding member of the Walia Guide Association. I feel truly blessed by this initiative, and can hardly find the words to express my appreciation to the two concerned organisations which exerted unreserved efforts to assist us.