In June of 2009 a much younger Amlaku Teshome had been subcontracted by one of Lalibela churches guides to take a visiting New Zealander to see the Yemrehanna Kristos cave church referred to on Day 6’s itinerary. Coming out of the church Amlaku plucked up his courage and said to the visitor ‘Please Sir, I want to go to University.’ His dream was to learn, so that he could bring his remote village some 200 years into the modern age. That started a journey for Amlaku, leading him to Dessie University, from which he graduated in 2013 with a Degree (with great distinction) in Plant Science, and then on to a number of agricultural projects, which have seen his village community of some 70 families travel on a major journey from subsistence to sustainability. The project is ongoing, with the villagers now totally on board with Amlaku’s dream. The project has been resourced from New Zealand, but it is Amlaku’s vision that has brought it to where it is today. Check this amazing journey out at www.bricks.org.nz
Today, we will walk the 8 kms to Baregota Village (travel by mule is optional), where we will be welcomed by villagers, and then will explore the village, to see the improvements that have been made – in agriculture, in water distribution, in the production of cash crops of vegetables which are supplied to the hotels in Lalibela, in the introduction of a diesel powered grain mill, in the building of sturdy new houses, in the growth of the local school, and so on.
We will stay overnight either in a specially built guest house or in tents. The facilities are basic, but it is an amazing experience. The scenery is absolutely stunning.
We will spend the next morning continuing our exploration of the village, possibly visiting the 1000 year old church and nearby primary school (a 10km round trip on foot or mule), before making the 8 km trek back to Lalibela.
Day 8 (or 10, depending on whether the option of visiting Baregota Village was taken up) Return flight to Addis Ababa (336 km journey)