Yesterday, I was walking up HaNevi’im when I passed Ethiopia Street. I remembered seeing a crowd on their way to a wedding last month, so I made a left onto the street to try and find the church.
The church is midway down the street, with the front gates on the right side. Raised above the gates is the Ethiopian flag. Its colors are also painted around the cross over top of the gate. The top of the church is an iron dome, with the Abyssinian cross on the top. Walking through the courtyard and up to the entrance, a priest motioned to me to take off my sandals before stepping inside. The floor of the church is covered with Persian carpets, and many icons feature traditional Ethiopian depictions of saints. I opened a prayer book in Amharic, wishing I could read the text.
Leaving the church, I looked ahead to see an Ethiopian family walking toward the gates with their children. Chances are that my father’s neighborhood doesn’t exist anymore. My mind always goes back to the possibility of it though. Maybe, at some point, my brother and I will fill up our backpacks and head over to Addis Ababa.