In this country people still seem very connected to the essence of their culture. Nothing is superfluous, everything is made up of a richness of small rituals, objects and cultural characteristics that create, as a whole, a flourishing, open country.
- The coffee which, as always is roasted in a pan and then poured into a stoneware pitcher, has a filter rammed into the spout of this ‘coffee pot’ made of the hairs from a cow’s tail. No need for a bin, everything is natural, everything is recycled.
- We reach a church at the top of the mountain that is a small room dug into stone. The priest gives me a walking stick as I sit down on the bench that is in fact a plain and simple tree branch chosen for its shape and placed besides a wall. For Ethiopians, the walking stick-something that nearly everyone has- represents a connector for the earth rather than an instrument to help the less agile. The walking stick also acts as a connector to above, like a kind of obelisk or tower, as it is lodged horizontally behind the back, held in place by both arms, in which case it keeps their posture upright thus holding their heads high as a reminder of their faith in above.
- Many of these churches are dedicated to the nine monks who were thrown out of Greece, Rome and Turkey as they believed that the divine was everywhere and that there was no separation between man and God. This is represented by the transversal Ethiopian cross, which represents the spirit moving in all axes.
- After lunch we start making our way up the slope that leads to the church of Abuna Yamata. An hour into it, we reach a very steep cliff where the guardians of the land help us up. There are holes, protuberances and shapes carved out into the stone that makes everyone who escalades this wall put their hands and feet in exactly the same spots since the 5th This notion is beautiful and touches me greatly as this whole trip one of my focuses has been detecting languages and in this case the language of music resonates strongly. The patterns engraved in the rock formation echo the notes of a music score that monks, tourist, and the guardians of the land play over and over since 11 centuries back.Anecdotes by Tinko Czetwertynski