The Magnificent Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia

View over Bete Georgis (St. George) Church from an adjacent hillside

Imagine being a slave in Ethiopia during the 12th and 13th century reign of King Lalibela. Now imagine being handed a chisel, hammer, and an axe, and told to carve a three-story high church out of solid rock. Inconceivable, certainly. But when you consider that the King actually completed construction of the 11 magnificent rock-hewn … Read more

PHOTO: Hamer Tribe Woman at a Weekly Market in Turmi, Ethiopia

A Hamer tribe woman in southern Ethiopia picks her teeth with a twig of Neem while selling butter at the local market in Turmi

In Southern Ethiopia, a Hamer tribe woman picks her teeth with a twig of Neem while awaiting customers at the local market in Turmi. The Hamer are one of some 56 indigenous tribes that live in southern Ethiopia, in an area designated the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region. The Hamer (sometimes spelled Hamar) are … Read more

PHOTO: Young Girl Serves Fresh-Baked Bread at an Ethiopian Wedding

This young girl was responsible for distributing fresh-baked bread to guests at an Ethiopian wedding in Lalibela, Ethiopia, to which I received an impromptu invitation when I walked by

The tiny village of Neakutoleab came into view as I left the Monastery Church of Neakutoleab. Music wafted down from the top of the hill. “Want to go see what’s happening?” my guide asked. “Absolutely,” I said. I struggled up a steep dirt path to a concrete house painted in brilliant primary colors and rounded … Read more

PHOTO: Priest at Monastery Church of Neakutoleab in Lalibela, Ethiopia

Orthodox Christian priest at Monastery Church of Neakutoleab in Lalibela, Ethiopia, shows me 500-year oldMiracle of St. Mary book, printed on goatskin

An Orthodox Christian priest at the Monastery Church of Neakutoleab in Lalibela, Ethiopia, shows me the 500-year old “Miracle of St. Mary” book. Both the text and illustrations were done by hand using plant-based inks on goatskin parchment. The Monastery Church of Neakutoleab was originally built inside a natural cave by King Lalibela in the … Read more

Hope in a Changing Climate – Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in China, Ethiopa, and Rwanda

Efforts to improve the situation of indigenous peoples through restoration of the environment is one of the most intriguing stories to emerge from travel. One of the organizations doing important work in this field, the Environmental Educational Media Project, produced the documentary Hope In A Changing Climate, which promotes the enormous potential of restoration. Screened … Read more