I was in the heart of the “real” Africa, the Omo valley. It is comprised of a plethora of tribes and communities both pastoralists and hunter gatherers living in the southern-most regions of the rift valley. I travelled to remote regions in Afar, visiting Erta Ale, an active volcano, and the Danakil Depression, once considered extremely dangerous, and one of the most remote areas on earth. I made my way north to the Tigray Region, well known for its 5th century Catholic Churches.
High up in the Gheralta mountains, where there was no other way than to vertically climb, I met priests who looked after unique churches cut into the mountain face.
There was so much diversity in Ethiopia, from its natural wonders to its people, that it’s hard to consolidate my astonishment to a mere few words. I can say that the preservation of the old and traditional ways of life are at the fundamental core of what defines Ethiopia as a nation. Shamanism and magic is prevalent in the Omo Valley, where my “tricks” were well received, but not to be compared to the power of their leaders. In the North, faith and spirituality courses through the region.