During the month of September, Ty. Christen Joseph, will begin a 700 kilometer journey on horseback from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, enduring mountainous terrain, variant climactic changes, and diverse tribal regions for a period of 35 to 40 days, before concluding my journey in the historic town of Lalibela.
Acknowledged by Ethiopians as an unknown wonder of the world, Lalibela is one of the most remote, yet historical sites on earth. During the 12th century, while in exile in Jerusaleum, King Lalibela ordered the rock-hewn churches to be constructed as a 'new' Jerusalem composed entirely of rock. Although Lalibela's historical significance holds its own against such sites as the ancient city of Machu Picchu in Peru and the Egyptian Pyramids, it is not recognized as a man-made wonder of the world. In fact, the town of Lalibela was virtually unknown in the West until the 16th century and still evades most foreign ideas about Christianity and Ethiopia today.
This trek is meant to raise awareness about Ethiopia's culture and history as well as to empower the Ethiopian people through charitable donations, as all proceeds will aid in the development and restoration of educational facilities dedicated to orphaned and underprivileged youth.
Traveling on horseback from the capital city of Addis Ababa to Lalibela is no small feat. This ride will be the first expedition of its kind in Ethiopia. Over the course of this journey I intend to interact with local Ethiopians providing a portrait of Ethiopian life and culture in ways the world has never seen. The journey will be documented through journal and blog entries, photos and video in order to compose a definitive seven-part documentary. The ride will be promoted through various social media sites alongside Ethiopian media outlets in order to inspire others to donate or help in any way they can.
After successfully completing this journey and the documentary with the help of AGOHELMA the partnering organization, I intend to carry the knowledge of Lalibela and Ethiopia as a nation to various universities within Addis Ababa and New York City. I will screen the documentary for interested student organizations and hold discussions about Ethiopia and how they can become involved in making a positive impact on the world.