Monday, April 19, 2010


A couple days after arriving in Addis we flew to Lalibela, famous for its monolith, rock-hewn churches, eleven of them. The day went between slightly overcast and full sunshine. It started out a pleasant temp – but grew hot as the day wore on. The churches are fairly close together but there are some steep hikes at an altitude of 8500 feet. Needless to say, we were out of breath a few times.Jane, my traveling companion and long-time friend quickly observed the constant stream of tourists, thus Western income contrasted with the very poor lifestyles of those who live in the village. It would appear that all this influx of money has not filtered down to affect the standard of living.This is a town steeped in history and lore. The churches are stunningly incredible. It’s hard to imagine carving down over 55 feet into solid rock to make a building. Let alone doing it by hand. These churches are about 900 years old. There are all kinds of caves and tunnels, deep foot paths and strange stone cut pools.
After a while you realize that even though the churches are very much in use and ceremonies happen often, there isn’t real life in this religion. And perhaps that is the reason for the extraordinary poverty in a village with such a large foreign capital income.

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