Monday, May 11, 2009

An Incredible Story

The second leg of Dave’s journey through Ethiopia takes us to Axum (Aksum). Both Dave and I had been to Axum while we were stationed at Kagnew Station in Asmara.

Axum is a small town that is very rich in Ethiopian (Abyssinian) history. It is best known for its Stelae (Obelisk) Field. The Queen of Sheba purportedly ruled her empire from this small town. Many Ethiopians as well as Eritreans consider Axum to be a very sacred place.

A few days before my journey to Axum, I was speaking to a local friends’ mother about my impending trip. As a child she had been to Axum with her mother (who was the mistress of an Italian military officer, her father, stationed in Ethiopia). They had traveled on a pilgrimage from Asmara to Axum for the Feast of Saint Michael.

In vivid detail she told me of her journey; what took us about three hours took them 3 days. The best part of her story was that on the feast day, the priests carried the “Ark of the Covenant” from the Cathedral to display it to the faithful that were gathered there in the Lord’s name.

I was in awe, because basically, this unbelievable story was being told to me by a woman (in her late 40’s) that I shared breakfast and coffee with several times a week. We had previously spoken about many things, but never religion. I knew that she and her daughter were Catholics because of the Asmara church (St. Antonio) that they attended.

Personally I do not believe that the Ark exists. I’ve never seen it. I have never seen God either, but I do believe that there is a “higher power”.

Without further ado, below is Part II of my friend Dave’s story (with more excellent photographs) about his trip to Ethiopia. As before, you can click on the photos to enlarge them.

The Beach Bum

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