The story of how this book came to be written is a bit complicated.
Firstly, it is a harbinger of another book that has not been published. The unpublished book was written as a result of my hobby of visiting places especially those that are interesting by making long trips on foot to them.
Note that to me the physical exercise of travel on foot has been. inseparable from and as important as the acquisition of instruction and knowledge from the general experience of visiting interesting places.
One of the reasons why a healthy person falls sick is that he does not do physical exercises. A very tiring physical exercise could, however, cause ailment, not the transient discomfort that is the concomitant of strenuous physical exercise. This transient pain is the price that one has to pay for the gain one hopes to get from the physical exercise. Between complete inactivity and extreme exertions, rest and activity could be so combined that health is maintained or ailment avoided. These appear to be sound generalizations even though they are made by a non-professional. One must bear in mind that walking long distances on foot does not epitomize all kinds of desirable psychosomatic activities. However, it appears to be one of the most convenient and cheapest substitutes for them.
It would be considered folly for a non-professional to dare to recommend physical exercises to an already ailing person or even to a healthy one. This would lie outside his competence. I do not think that I am an absolutely healthy person. Yet, I can say that travel on foot for hours in the open air, in rural areas or even in some of those that are urbanized has done me no harm. But, secondly, health is not the only reason why I travel on foot for many hours as has already been hinted above. Travel is instructive and extremely enjoyable. Consequently, I travel for hours on foot for the latter reasons as well as for the former.
As far as I am concerned, therefore, the desire or urge to travel on foot for hours is strong for various reasons, and when an opportunity arises that requires my presence at a place relatively far away from wherever I happen to be, I sometimes don't mind walking up to the said place, and I have never regretted having done so. A third reason for my love of travel on foot could have something to do with my rural background. I passed the first fourteen years of my childhood or so in Sekota, Waag, a region full of numerous mountains, hills, hillocks, and valleys some of them nearly barren others covered with mainly native flora but all of them beautiful. That could not fail to inculcate in one the love for valleys, hillocks, mountains, streams, falls,flora, fauna, green meadows, etc. I then coupled this love of travel on foot with another objective - the objective of visiting places for the additional purpose of studying them, investigating them and writing about them. That is how I came to write the yet unpublished book entitled 'Lalibela and other
Sites in Waag and Booghna (Lasta)' among others. It is this undertaking, among other reasons, that forced me to pay more attention to the history of the Waag-Lasta region. Also, it is in this manner that I stumbled upon the Kibre Negest. I read it; but having read it, I could not then ignore or forget it, for it also appears to be very closely related to the history of the Waag-Lasta Region. I could not help raising the questions that I have, and having raised the questions, I could not help discussing them, as probably many others before me have done and as many may still be doing. Finally, I need to add that I have had the desire since several years ago to make public through the printed word what I have come to know and understand.
I think that I shouldn't say more as this preface to a book that is written about another book is already too long.