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Ethiopia: blessed are we

  Early in the morning of the 19th of January, we gather with the faithful at the field where the Tabots are kept. We are privileged to be admitted to the inner sanctum where the pool of blessed water is – with the Patriarch and senior clergy. Outside of the sanctum, hundreds of thousands of(…)

Ethiopia: Timket

  Ethiopia’s most important celebration is Timket, the Ethiopian Orthodox Epiphany. On the eve of Timket, the main churches of Addis bring out their Tabots in big processions led by the senior clergy and follwed by tens of thousands of believers. The Tabots are brought to a field on the edge of town where they(…)

Ethiopia: arrival in Addis Ababa

  With a rich and fascinating 3000 year history, Ethiopia (modern Abyssinia) is the only country in Africa never to have been colonized. Haile Selassie, Abyssinia’s last emperor, deposed in a military coup in 1974, is said to have been the 237th descendent of a lienage which goes back to King Solomon of Judea and(…)

The Congo: Brazzaville

  Brazzaville, the capital of the Rupublic of Congo, is a sleepy city of 1.4 million on the banks of the river Congo. Just across the river, Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (ex-Zaire) with its 14 million inhabitants and its high jumble of high rise buildings, stares at Brazza with  a mixture of(…)

The Congo: Secrets of the Jungle

  The M’beli camp is set up near a “bai”, a natural swampy clearing in the jungle, where researchers monitor the behaviour of the large mammals who visit it. Primarily a research station, M’beli seldom receives visitors. It is a very basic camp with no electricity or running water. We live in huts built on(…)