This is Ethiopia. The heart of Africa. In the photo above are Ethiopian children. Not your usual sight, I would say, unless you were, well, oh I dunno, Ethiopian? *note the sarcasm* So maybe not all of Ethiopia is like this... I know for a fact that Addis Ababa, the capital is definitely not suffering like this- no way- instead, people of Ethiopia use the money that might be lying around to build malls and movie theaters. Is that so important when you know half your people have claimed the title of 'poorest of the poorest'? Don't you want the other half to catch up before you move too far on ahead? While the capital is trying to rid itself of the mark as '3rd world' by crawling out of the developing country standard, children and families are dying one by one of things like disease and famine. When your people are dying out, what's the point of establishing shopping centers? That, I truly want to know. I myself have been to Ethiopia many times and if I got a penny for each instance a beggar came up to my car window, I'd be the world's biggest philantrophist. If only you knew how it felt when the rural children surrounded you while you walked among them, the nicest smiles spread across their faces as they offered you hand made gifts and tokens. 'These children could sell snow to the eskimos', I keep reminding myself. I will always remember Jordan, the 12 year old boy who befriended me on my way back to the car in Lalibela. His broken english didn't stop our conversation, as we spoke of Ethiopia, his school, his sister. I didn't know wether he knew I could speak speak Amharic or not, but I let him speak in English- as practice. Minutes later, I could not leave. The children had such engrossing things to talk about, they were so happy and exuberant, how could you tear yourself away from that? I did. When I got home i knew that Operation Ethiopia was going to be life changing, as I thought of ways to raise money for the youngsters in Ethiopia who I knew could not attain an education, let alone a home and decent health. Jordan gave me a 3 generation old coin which I still have today. To Jordan, it probably seemed like he gave away a fortune... to me, he gave me a piece of history to hold on to, so I'll always remember what I'm fighting for.