Hello from Ethiopia
Meet my dear friend, Habtu.
Habtu and I met in 2006 when I went to Ethiopia, East Africa. He was like a son to my grandfather, who spent half his time in Ethiopia volunteering as a neurosurgeon. My sister and I traveled out there to volunteer for six months in an orphanage that Habtu had helped us find. He was asked by my grandfather to check in on us frequently and make sure we were always safe. We became great friends, as he was part of a life changing experience.
While living in Ethiopia, Habtu took my sister and I to the institution where Down syndrome children were sent to be taken care of and isolated from society (just another way the good lord was prepping me for my future child!). Yes, institutionalizing is still very common in other parts of the world. Isn't that hard to believe? Habtu informed me that many of the workers have been abusive to the children. When he told me this the other night, my heart just broke. How absolutely horrible. He was instrumental in getting some of those workers fired. Thank heavens for Habtu!
Habtu got a visa to come to the USA and visit for a month. He says many of his friends think he is going to run away and stay here, which to him is crazy since he has a beautiful family back home. We were lucky enough to spend some time with him between his travels to a few different states! I feel so blessed to know such an amazing man. We love you, Habtu!