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Eccentric Graces

There are some places that hound the imagination of a traveler years before they actually have the opportunity to visit. The ancient lands of Eritrea and Ethiopia beckoned to author Julia Stewart.

Breathtaking landscapes, attractive citizens, a gentle culture and rich history, intricately spiced foods-it was all waiting for her. All of these things, Ms. Stewart came to experience and appreciate with abundance. What she did not predict were several mysterious happenings: coming face to face with abject poverty, harassment at the hands of "union busters, " and her own reactions to these unpredictable events.

Ms. Stewart's travels to Eritrea and Ethiopia are of a current vintage, unlike those of such famous explorers of an earlier period as the Scot, James Bruce. Her travels were during the post-war era when tremendous changes occurred in the political and social lives of the people there.

Stewart faced many surprises, good and bad, and she shares all of them with her readers. Despite a sometimes-arduous adventure, Stewart's fascination for Eritrea and Ethiopia has not ceased.

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