Blue Nile River BasinItinerary

September – October 2007


Blue Nile

Alison returns this September to continue her documentation of African watersheds. She will spend several days before and after being in the Upper Blue Nile River watershed interviewing scientists, conservationists and development NGO representatives in Addis Ababa. She will spend one week (Sept 1–8) photographing the Upper Blue Nile River Basin and interviewing scientists, conservationists and development NGO representatives there. Documentation will cover historical Coptic Christian culture, land usage, agricultural practices of terracing, and water availability.

(Also see Blue Nile Photo Gallery.)


architecture

THE BLUE NILE RIVER BASIN

Sunday, Sept 9: Addis Ababa

Conduct interviews with four Blue Nile watershed steward-stakeholders:
Million Alemayehu is Liaison Officer of the Organization for Relief and Development (ORDA) of Amhara [in the Blue Nile River Basin]; and a Steering Committee member of the Nile Basin Initiative. He believes that, “ORDA’s mission is to support the Amhara people in their efforts to become self-reliant, through the promotion of sustainable rural development programmes based on the genuine participation of the people themselves.” ORDA works mainly in remote and marginalized areas of Amhara Region.
Meseret Kifle is with Save the Children, working in Sudan’s Blue Nile River Basin.
Mark Chapman is Chairman of TEFSLA, a community-based tourism business.
Abdullah Bagersh is fourth-generation owner of Ethiopia’s largest coffee export company.
Overnight in Addis Ababa

Monday, Sept 10: Addis Ababa

Observed preparations for Ethiopia’s new millenium, as their calendar is 7 years behind the Gregorian calendar (the internationally accepted civil calendar).
Overnight in Addis Ababa

Tuesday, Sept 11: Adadi Mariam – Melka Kunture – Tiya

Happy New Year and New Millenium, again! Visit cave churches, stellae and archeological sites dating back to over 1.5 million years ago near Awash River Gorge, believed to be home of the Neolithic man.
Overnight in Addis Ababa

Sept. 11–21: in OMO RIVER BASIN.

Sunday, Sept 23: Yeha

Drive 36 miles to Yeha, Ethiopia’s first known capital and birthplace of the country’s earliest civilization. Visit its temple 12 meters high.
Overnight in Yeha
Ethiopian Guide: Assefa

St. George's Church

Congregation outside the rock-hewn St. George’s Church during a service, Lalibela

Monday, Sept 24: Lalibela

Fly to this Eighth Wonder of the World to visit its 11 churches, chiseled out of solid rock in 800–1200 AD. These labyrinthine monuments and their mazes of tunnels center around grottos and receptacles of holy water running off the mountains. Conduct interview with Assefa Aleya, historian and tour guide.
Overnight in Lalibela
Ethiopian Guide: Assefa
Lalibela Expert: Habte Yabarek

landscape

Tuesday, Sept 25: Asheten Mariam

Mule trek through small villages up to monastery hidden under mountain ledge overlooking Lalibela.
Overnight in Lalibela
Ethiopian Guide: Assefa
Lalibela Expert: Habte Yabarek

Wednesday, Sept 26: Yemrehane Christos

Drive 20 km northeast of Lalibela to Axumite wood-and-stone church.
Overnight in Lalibela
Ethiopian Guide: Assefa
Lalibela Expert: Habte Yabarek

Yemrehana priest

Priest next to draped coffin at Yemrehana Christos Church

Thursday, Sept 27: Nakuto Le’abe

Drive to a cave where King Nakuto Le’Ave became a hermit in 1270.
This evening is the celebration of Meskel honored by lighting of a massive bonfire, dancing and feasting.
Overnight in Lalibela
Ethiopian Guide: Assefa
Lalibela Expert: Habte Yabarek

Friday, Sept 28: Addis Ababa

Morning will be spent observing continuing Meskel celebrations. Conduct interview with Habte Yitbarek, tour business owner. Afternoon flight back to Addis.
Overnight in Addis Ababa

Saturday, Sept 29: Addis Ababa

Drive up to Mount Entoto (3200 meters) in morning. Visit Ethnographic Museum and Archeological Museum (which contains 3.4 million year old Lucy) in afternoon.

Tuesday, Oct. 2: Addis Ababa

Conduct interviews with Dr. Richard Pankhurst, historian and author of 22 books on Ethiopia; and Thomas Mattanovich, owner of Travel Ethiopia and explorer of Ethiopia for 50 years.

Wednesday, Oct. 3: Addis Ababa

Conduct interviews with three Nile River Basin steward/stakeholders. Memberu Allebachew is with the Nile Basin Initiative. Tschome Lemma is Program Manager at CARE and currently seconded to the Millenium Water Program. Dr. Tadesse is a member of the Water Task Force.