Great to see Jakki Phillip’s piece Exploring Ethiopia’s Ancient wonders out in this month’s Hong Kong Tatler.
Great because we had a lot to do with arranging Jakki’s itinerary, one that took her to Lalibela, nearby Yemrehanna Kristos, Gondar, the Simien Mountains, Lake Langano, and the Bale Mountains. Reading the piece, Jakki is clearly a huge fan of Ethiopia, its many faces, religious, raw, modern and traditional. It’s always a delight when frontier-busting itineraries such as was Jakki’s go so well.
However, great also in terms of the epic nature of the article. Inspired by the great sweep – historical, geographic, cultural – that is Ethiopia, Exploring Ethiopia’s Ancient wonders is wonderfully warm and erudite piece of writing. The sights, sounds and tastes experienced by Jakki are enhanced and given depth by her knowledge of the meaning of the different ceremonies she encountered. In return, her eye for detail – her descriptions of a drinking den in Topedo, the lemon throwing antics of pilgrim courters, the boy on the black horse that emerges out of the mist below the Sanetti Plateau – adds real colour to that knowledge.
So, a great read, and one finely complemented by Frederic Lagrange’s extraordinary photography, which seems to capture in a single, rich and very long glance all Jakki experiences. Do have a read – and do go to Ethiopia. It is everything Jakki says it is.