Wednesday, July 4, 2007

First Post From Ethiopia

This is our first Internet access, and we're sitting in a tin shack that serves as the town of Lalibela's Internet "cafe." It took 15 minutes to even get this web site to open, so we're not going to press our luck and try to send pictures.

We arrived Sunday night after a long but not so unpleasant flight, stayed in Addis Ababa for one night, and took an early flight to Bahir Dar, a town located on the shore of Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia and the third largest in Africa. It's a beautiful town, and we had a great guide who took us up to Blue Nile Falls, then on a boat tour of Lake Tana, stopping at one of the lake's 20-something monasteries, where we saw texts from the 3rd and 9th centuries. Incredible.

Second day we drove 3 hours to Gondar through the Ethiopian countryside and mountains. It's more beautiful than we had ever imagined. The most amazing thing is that, in that entire drive, we never went more than 100 feet or so without passing groups of people and animals walking along the road--the driving is heart-stopping, with our driver continuing to drive 60 mph past herds of goats, cows, etc. taking up the greater part of the road, but everyone seems to get out of the way, and so far we've had no casualties.

Gondar is a beautiful hill town, with castles built in the 16th century, a bustling market, and more farms.

This morning we flew to Lalibela, home of 11 rock-hewn churches dating from the 12th century. It's impossible to describe just how breathtaking they are, but we'll try when we're not on a slow internet connection in a shack. We're here for one more day, and Friday we'll go back to Addis and meet Sidamo for the first time.

We're so, so happy we decided to take this trip before going to meet Sid. We're learning so much about the rich and beautiful culture of Ethiopia, and we feel much more connected to his history now.

We'll post more when we have a more reliable connection, but we just wanted to say we're here and happy and having the time of our lives. Thanks so much for all your love and support.

1 comment:

vali said...

So glad to hear from you! I must admit you're descriptions are making me re-think our plans not to travel in advance.


Can't wait to hear about your first meeting with Sid,