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Living history – a journey along the historic route in Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA HAS LEFT me utterly selfish. After a week in this spectacular country I have been consumed by it and want to keep it all to myself. I don’t really want to see tourists scrambling to take photographs in the ancient churches and palaces I have been introduced to. I don’t want others to come and see the beauty of its people or the anger of its storms, to experience the silence of its forests and lakes or to feel the elegance of its music and dance. But everyone should. This is Africa as it is imagined, and it defies all expectations.

Yes, our existing images of Ethiopia are harrowing, but those images created an emotional attachment to Ethiopia that shouldn’t be ignored. Before my trip I told everyone I met where I was going, just to gauge their reaction. While most were surprised, they were also excited by the idea and wanted to know more. It seems people want to like Ethiopia. They feel they know it and have an interest in its future.

Religion is everywhere in Ethiopia. In fact, for anyone brought up with even a vaguely Christian education, a trip to Ethiopia is your catechism brought to life. The traditions and way of life outside the cities, particularly surrounding its historic sites, can only be described as biblical. It sounds an overly dramatic description, but this is a place where time has stood still. At least for now.

Source: www.irishtimes.com

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