Blog 2020Wednesday February 5th, 2020

Ethiopia, an incredible experience

I still have in my eyes the colors and in my ears the sounds but above all in my nose the smell of almost a month of Ethiopia, when I’m jotting down some notes on the plane bringing me back to Italy from Addis Ababa. It has been an extensive stay in a wonderful country, very widespread from North to South at the point that it seemed to me to have done many different trips in such a long time frame. It hasn’t been an easy journey, though. Several health problems have been arisen, maybe due to our fault or mistakes such as to not properly wash our hands before eating or trying to eat as locals do at the local markets forgetting that we didn’t have the same antibodies and immune activity as the locals have. But, after all, nothing really bad that some drugs couldn’t deal successfully with. We keep the memories of a country with nice and kind people, deeply plunged into a concept of religion that we may not have any longer in our hectic life. This was very evident in the North, in Lalibela, during the Timkat, the Orthodox Epiphany celebrated on the day that the Gregorian calendar calls January 19. The celebration of this feast features blessing of water and solemn processions with the sacred “tabot”. A priest carries this to a body of water where it stays overnight, with the “Metsehafe Qeddassie celebrated in the early morning. Later in the morning, the water is blessed to the accompaniment of the reading of the four Gospel accounts of the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan and the people are sprinkled with and go into the water. The “tabot” returns in procession to the church that same day. We had the chance to see the Lalibela rock churchs before the event, empty and mystic, as well as the following days, packed with believers. We went to Dancalia, one of the most arid desert in the world, hundreds of meters below the sea level and well known for its infamous hot temperatures. We had the chance, though, to experience a different situation altogether, with an unusual cold weather and cloudy sky which returned to us as an awkward situation altogether. And finally the southern Ethiopia, the Omo Valley, cradle of the mankind. The Valley is one of the most culturally diverse places in the world, with around 200,000 indigenous people living there. The Omo River empties into the unique Lake Turkana in Kenya, the world’s largest alkaline lake, as well as the world’s largest permanent desert lake. The Lower Valley of the Omo is internationally recognized and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Sites, possessing of “outstanding universal value”. But the valley and its inhabitants are now in jeopardy, as a land grab of “twice the size of France” is swallowing up indigenous areas and developing them into sugar, cotton and biofuel plantations. Further, dams are being installed on major water sources, in what is said to be a violation of Ethiopian law, and in total disregard for the rights of Ethiopia’s Indigenous Peoples. Some critics reports on the potential damage to the indigenous people: “For many tribes in the Omo Valley, the loss of their land means the loss of their culture. Cattle herding is not just a source of income, it defines people’s lives. There is great cultural value placed on the animals. The Bodi are known to sing poems to their favorite cattle. There are many rituals involving the livestock, such as the Hamer tribe’s coming of age ceremony whereby young men must jump across a line of 10 to 30 bulls. I was fortunate enough to witness some of the local tribes that still populate the area. Unfortunately I don’t think that what I saw it will stay for long yet. My fear is that, given all these dramatic changes in the region, those people, those tribes, won’t be there for long in the future. Asphalt roads are replacing the gravel roads that now you can drive only with a good four wheels drive vehicle. And those dirt roads in some way, are a sort of last defense for those tribes. Once it will be easy to get to them, it will be even easier for them to loose their identity in favor of the easier western way of life brought by us, the tourists.

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Jinka village, Saturday market

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – around the Jinka village

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Mursi tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Mursi tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Mursi tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Mursi tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Mursi tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Mursi tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Mursi tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Jinka village, Saturday market

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Jinka village, Saturday market

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Jinka village, Saturday market

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – around the village of Jinka, a pit stop is a way to come in contact with the local people

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – on the way to Omorate tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Omorate tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Omorate tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Karo tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Karo tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Karo tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Karo tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Nyangatom tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Nyangatom tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Nyangatom tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Karo tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Dimeka village, the ceremony of bull jumping

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Dimeka village, the ceremony of bull jumping

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Dimeka village, the ceremony of bull jumping

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Dimeka village, the ceremony of bull jumping

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Dimeka village, the ceremony of bull jumping

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Dimeka village, the ceremony of bull jumping

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Dimeka village, the ceremony of bull jumping

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Hamer village near Turmi

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Hamer village near Turmi

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Hamer village near Turmi

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Hamer village near Turmi

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Hamer village near Turmi

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Dimeka market

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Dimeka market. Hamar people

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Alduba market, home of the Hamar tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Dimeka market. Hamar people

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Alduba market, home of the Hamar tribe

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – Alduba market, home of the Hamar tribe

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – the Orthodox Epiphany, the Timkat, in January

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – the Orthodox Epiphany, the Timkat, in January

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – the Orthodox Epiphany, the Timkat, in January

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – the Orthodox Epiphany, the Timkat, in January

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – the Orthodox Epiphany, the Timkat, in January

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – The northern Ethiopian town of Lalibela contains the highest concentration of rock-hewn churches in the country. Constituting the major pilgrimage site for followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, its eleven churches are among the finest of Ethiopia’s nearly 200 rock-hewn churches. Carved into a rocky massif located approximately 2,630 meters above sea level at the base of Mount Abuna Yosef, the complex consists of two groups of churches and a single church divided by the river Yordannos (Jordan). Timkat is the Orthodox Epiphany one of the most interesting moments to visit Lalibela

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – the Orthodox Epiphany, the Timkat, in January

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – The northern Ethiopian town of Lalibela contains the highest concentration of rock-hewn churches in the country. Constituting the major pilgrimage site for followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, its eleven churches are among the finest of Ethiopia’s nearly 200 rock-hewn churches. Carved into a rocky massif located approximately 2,630 meters above sea level at the base of Mount Abuna Yosef, the complex consists of two groups of churches and a single church divided by the river Yordannos (Jordan). Timkat is the Orthodox Epiphany one of the most interesting moments to visit Lalibela

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – Timkat time in the Biete Medhane Alem (House of the Saviour of the World) which is an Orthodox underground monolith rock-cut church located in Lalibela. Biete Medhane Alem is home to the Lalibela Cross.

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – The northern Ethiopian town of Lalibela contains the highest concentration of rock-hewn churches in the country. Constituting the major pilgrimage site for followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, its eleven churches are among the finest of Ethiopia’s nearly 200 rock-hewn churches. Carved into a rocky massif located approximately 2,630 meters above sea level at the base of Mount Abuna Yosef, the complex consists of two groups of churches and a single church divided by the river Yordannos (Jordan). Timkat is the Orthodox Epiphany one of the most interesting moments to visit Lalibela

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – The northern Ethiopian town of Lalibela contains the highest concentration of rock-hewn churches in the country. Constituting the major pilgrimage site for followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, its eleven churches are among the finest of Ethiopia’s nearly 200 rock-hewn churches. Carved into a rocky massif located approximately 2,630 meters above sea level at the base of Mount Abuna Yosef, the complex consists of two groups of churches and a single church divided by the river Yordannos (Jordan).

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – life in the countryside on the way to Asheton Maryam Monastery

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – Biete Medhane Alem (House of the Saviour of the World) is an Orthodox underground monolith rock-cut church located in Lalibela. Biete Medhane Alem is home to the Lalibela Cross.

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – Asheton Maryam Monastery

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – the Saturday market

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – Asheton Maryam Monastery

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – The northern Ethiopian town of Lalibela contains the highest concentration of rock-hewn churches in the country. Constituting the major pilgrimage site for followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, its eleven churches are among the finest of Ethiopia’s nearly 200 rock-hewn churches. Carved into a rocky massif located approximately 2,630 meters above sea level at the base of Mount Abuna Yosef, the complex consists of two groups of churches and a single church divided by the river Yordannos (Jordan). Timkat is the Orthodox Epiphany one of the most interesting moments to visit Lalibela

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – Church of Saint George (Bete Giyorgis) is one of eleven rock-hewn monolithic churches in Lalibela, a city in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia.

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – the Saturday market

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – Biete Qeddus Mercoreus (House of St. Mercoreos/House of St. Mark) is an underground Orthodox rock-cut monolith church located in Lalibela, Ethiopia. It was built during the Kingdom of Axum. It is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site at Lalibela. Biete Qeddus Mercoreus may be a former prison because of ankle shackles found there

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – Biete Gabriel-Rufael is an underground monolith rock-cut church located in Lalibela. The Orthodox church was built during the Kingdom of Axum. It is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site at Lalibela. Biete Gabriel-Rufael (House of the angels Gabriel and Raphael) is possibly a former royal palace, linked to a holy bakery

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – daily life in the village

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – Biete Medhane Alem (House of the Saviour of the World) is an Orthodox underground monolith rock-cut church located in Lalibela. Biete Medhane Alem is home to the Lalibela Cross.

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – The northern Ethiopian town of Lalibela contains the highest concentration of rock-hewn churches in the country. Constituting the major pilgrimage site for followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, its eleven churches are among the finest of Ethiopia’s nearly 200 rock-hewn churches. Carved into a rocky massif located approximately 2,630 meters above sea level at the base of Mount Abuna Yosef, the complex consists of two groups of churches and a single church divided by the river Yordannos (Jordan). Timkat is the Orthodox Epiphany one of the most interesting moments to visit Lalibela

 

Ethiopia, Lalibela – Church of Saint George (Bete Giyorgis) is one of eleven rock-hewn monolithic churches in Lalibela, a city in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia.

 

Ethiopia, Omo Valley – cooking the traditional ethiopian bread, the Injera. Injera, ənǧära, is a sourdough-risen flatbread with a slightly spongy texture, traditionally made out of teff flour. It is the national dish of Ethiopia. It is central to the dining process in this culture as bread is the most fundamental component of any Ethiopian meal

 

Ethiopia, Danakil depression – Dancalia

 

Ethiopia, Danakil depression – Dancalia, Dallol

 

Ethiopia, Danakil depression – Dancalia, Dallol

 

Ethiopia, Danakil depression – Dancalia

 

Ethiopia, Danakil depression – Dancalia

 

Ethiopia, Chencha village – daily life of the Dorze which are a small ethnic group inhabiting the Gamo Gofa Zone. Chencha is located in the mountain part of Arba Minch area which creates a unique view over the lake and the backland valley

 

Ethiopia, Chencha village – daily life of the Dorze which are a small ethnic group inhabiting the Gamo Gofa Zone. Chencha is located in the mountain part of Arba Minch area which creates a unique view over the lake and the backland valley. Making the traditional bread, the Kotcho, made out of the false banana tree

 

Ethiopia, Chencha village – daily life of the Dorze which are a small ethnic group inhabiting the Gamo Gofa Zone. Chencha is located in the mountain part of Arba Minch area which creates a unique view over the lake and the backland valley. Making the traditional bread, the Kotcho, made out of the false banana tree

 

Ethiopia, Addis Ababa – The Menelik Palace, sometimes also known as the Imperial Palace, is a palatial compound in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For years known as the Gebi, it was the seat of the power of Ethiopia’s emperors. Within its confines are several residences, halls, chapels, and working buildings. The palace grounds contain different churches. The most important is the Ta’eka Negest (Resting Place of Kings) Ba’eta Le Mariam Monastery. It has a large Imperial crown at the top of the dome. The church serves as a mausoleum for Emperor Menelik II, his wife Empress Taitu, and Empress Zewditu, his daughter and eventual successor.

 

Ethiopia, Addis Ababa – scene in the city

 

8 responses to “Ethiopia, an incredible experience”

  1. Gli occhi degli uomini, delle donne e dei bambini che hai fotografato sono riusciti a trapassare l’immagine e a toccare il mio cuore e la mia anima.Le emozioni che suscitano questi scatti li rendono unici e sublimi ed è nella capacità di trasmettere emozioni che si riconoscono il vero talento,l’arte,il genio.

    • Stefania, grazie mille per le tue parole. Ti assicuro che non ho fatto nulla di speciale, i soggetti che avevo davanti a me, nella stragrande maggioranza dei casi, erano così come li vedi, naturali e per nulla intimoriti davanti all’obiettivo. E dunque facile registrarne i dettagli…

    • Grazie mille Franco, mi fa piacere che le foto del viaggio abbiano colpito. Per quanto riguarda i “commenti” in inglese, immagino ti riferisca alle didascalie sotto ogni immagine. Ma il sistema le legge direttamente dal file ed io, per ragioni di vendita sul mercato, scrivo tutte le didascalie in inglese, così che dove vadano vadano le foto, tutti potranno leggere la descrizione della foto! Grazie ancora, Franco!

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