Saturday, December 30, 2017
Yemrehane Kristos, near Bilbilla, Ethiopia
The cave church of Yemrehane Kristos...in the Axumite style of the 11th century, which means it predates the stone churches of Lalibela by a few centuries. I went there at Molla Kassaw's insistence, hiring a van and driver for the 2-hour drive from Lalibela. The destination was worth the drive, but so was the journey, which took us away from the relative prosperity of Lalibela to the more hardscrabble countryside between there and Balbilla. Most people live a very basic existence, farming or herding animals. Water is scarce, as is food. It makes the superabundance of American life feel frankly obscene.