August 2021: Ethiopia / Lalibela: Escape from besieged Lalibela

Escape from besieged Lalibela: Silieshi reports on it for us

We are ten friends and started our escape on 5 August. It is lunchtime. We are surprised, indignant, frustrated, sad. At first we walk very fast, run, get tired. After we are far enough from Lalibela, we decide to march. The first night we spend with farmers, ask for an evening meal and a place to sleep.  The hosts recognised our emergency situation and helped us with food and shelter.

On the second day, we set out at 6 am, reached the village of Gelesnot after a day-long walk. Again, the people welcomed us kindly. The positive experiences gave us strength for the way ahead.

On the third day we also started at 6 am and finally reached Serko in the evening. On the fourth day, we arrived in Abo – after arduous paths on foot. After our departure the following day, the news reached us after a half-hour march that Checho, our next destination for the day, was also already caught up in the war. Therefore, we decided to continue our escape on other paths that were still far away from the war. We came across a river that had so much water that we could not cross it.  Close to despair, we all cried. Then someone came to help us cross. At five o’clock in the afternoon, we reached the town of Gaint. There, the police took care of our safety, assigned us a place to stay and gave us food. We took a minibus to Bahrdar on the 6th day, spent the night in this big city and finally reached our destination, Addis Ababa, the following day.

We met very friendly and understanding people – in town and country, covered a good 350 kilometres on foot. Exhausted and very tired, our thoughts connect with the churches in Lalibela, our children and families, the many people we had to leave behind in our beloved city …May they and the whole world be blessed by God.

Sileshi Dargie

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