The Way Up, Debre Damo, Tigray, Ethiopia, October 2007

The Way Up, Debre Damo, Tigray, Ethiopia, October 2007

Debre Damo is a monastery village located on top of a mesa. There is only one way to the top of this mesa, a single rope to a path that leads to the top (other ropes you see are either for safety or for hauling up supplies). Only men are allowed to the top, a rule which extends to only allowing male food animals to be brough up for eating (we saw a couple goats being hauled up as offerings). Another complication of living on top of a mesa is that all the water must come from the river in the valley below, a significant hike with an elevation change of sseveral hundred feet in itself, I think.

The photo is quite busy at this resolution, so here is a crop to showw the guys at the top, some of whome are hauling people and supplies up, but most of whom are simply getting in the way and making a nuisance of themselves (the area at the top of the rope is very narrow, and there is a lot of traffic).

Detail of above photo.

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