Tuesday, August 31, 2010

While I'm at it

Since I'm doing old photos this week...

Tomorrow I fly off to Ethiopia for 10 days. Nothing fun, just a work trip. I seem to be traveling quite a lot for work lately. Add that to the stress of trying to finish out a number of major projects before my maternity leave kicks in, and it's a pretty hectic time.

I wanted to go to Ethiopia years ago, after reading one random story in a National Geographic magazine about Lalibela, the famous town where, hundreds of years ago, the Ethiopians carved a labyrinth-like complex of churches and tunnels straight down into the rock.

So when I got my first overseas job, an internship in Eritrea, I took advantage of my connections in the UN to secure a spot on the UN cargo plane that flew in between Asmara and Addis Ababa - the only way to fly directly between the two countries.

My dad and his wife Joan met me there, and we spent two weeks traveling around the historic sites of the North, seeing the medieval-style churches of Gonder, the ancient, boggling stelae of Axum (no one nows how they ever erected these huge obelisks), and of course, the churches of Lalibela. It was a really wonderful trip, one I have never forgotten. So even though next week I will be spending all my time in a hotel conference room talking about how to design a child survival project and how to prevent chronic malnutrition, I will be remembering this trip. And eating lots and lots of shiro. Mmmmm.

The Blue Nile Falls

A royal castle in Gonder.

The most famous church in Lalibela - was it St. George's? I can't recall anymore. But it's stunning.

A view of the top of the church in Lalibela.

This priest in Lalibela spends so much time indoors, and has his photo taken so often, that he puts on sunglasses to guard against the flash! :-)

One of the incredible obelisks in Axum. Sorry for my dad's thumb in the photo...

Dad and me out for a walk in Axum


Anonymous said...

Nice pics. Good memories. St George is the patron saint of Ethiopia.