CEF Goes to Africa - Ambassadors of Ethiopia
By Leah Yee, CEF social media coordinator
As the CEF journey across Africa continues one of the things that was asked of the CEF team is that they become ambassadors of Ethiopia and all of the beauty it has to offer. Sue Dick sends us an update and some photos from the few days they toured Northern Ethiopia and the incredible rock hewn churches of Lalibela:
“Everywhere we went we were greeted warmly. The landscapes were spectacular and difficult to capture the beauty on camera. The food was good and the streets were safe. What made this trip so incredible for me was being able to visit the remote farming communities and experience first hand what it is like to live off of the land. But there is another side. Tourism is growing in Ethiopia and for good reason. We did not have time to visit the historical cities of Aksum and Gondar but we did make our way to Lalibela to visit the rock hewn churches built in the 11th and 12th century.
There are 11 churches chiseled out of rock... not built up above ground but rather etched out of the stone! Some of the churches are detached meaning that all sides of the church are separated from the stone, some semi-detached with at least one wall connected to the rock and the third type of church is built right into the cave. Our guide was a priest and he had incredible knowledge of the area and the significance of the construction of each church. They were all unique and designed to tell one of the many stories from the bible. The area is named after a king who was also a priest and who was a beloved King of the people during the 11th century.
Our favorite church was Neakutolaab which was a short distance from Lalibela and built into a cave. Neakutolaab was also a king and a priest. The construction into the side of the mountain was incredible but what made it more special was that hundreds had walked from the village to this church for a special service on the morning of our visit. We had been told about the chanting but to hear it for ourselves was truly amazing.
Ethiopia has much to offer with Lake Tana monasteries, hippopotamuses, rock hewn churches and I would be remiss if I didn't mention the coffee."