Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, is a vast and confusing city so I was very pleased that my old flatmate Shane Etzenhouser - I shared an apartment with him in the Czech Republic in the early 1990s - was there to pick me up. Apparently I arrived on the first sunny day after a two-month-long rainy season. From the plane northern Ethiopia is a patchwork of deep green fields and densely packed villages; booming Addis Ababa is a forest of half-completed buildings, a vast concrete jungle ringed by green mountains. It couldn't be more different than the dusty haze of Dubai, where I changed planes, and the barren, dun-coloured coast of Somalia, which we flew over.
Dubai from the air, complete with ever-present haze, window smears and the world's tallest building (for now anyway), Burj Khalifa.