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series profile: Kibkab Wodemariam
Being born in Lalibela has determined my destiny.

Sixteen-year-old Kibkab Wodemariam thrives on spirituality. In his home town of Lalibela,Ethiopia, that is not unusual.

Legend says that Lalibela's 11 rock-hewn churches are the work of angels. Tradition dictates that the Ark of the Covenant lies in a church not far from Lalibela.

Influenced by his surroundings, Kibkab, the son and brother of priests, plans to devote his life to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, one of the world's oldest forms of Christianity. Though he still has several years of study yet to go, he has already passed one crucial test -- participation in the Timkat ceremony that celebrates the holy day of Epiphany.

Kibkab concedes that his knowledge of the outside world is limited to Jerusalem, a frequent topic in his religious studies. Still, he dreams of travel. One likely destination -- Greece, long popular with religious scholars.

But for now, Kibkab is firmly anchored in the highlands. Since filming for AFRICA finished, Kibkab's father, who acted as his teacher, has died. When Kibkab enters the priesthood, he may well work in his father's place, continuing to serve the communities of farmers that dot this breathtaking landscape.
Kibkab, devoted to the church

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