I was born in on September 26, 1994 to Hirut Kebede and Efrem Bechere. I lived with my parents and my two older sisters. is a poverty stricken country, but when I lived there, nothing seemed wrong to me because it was all I knew. Then when I was six, my parents moved my family to America so they could find better jobs, and so that my sisters and I could get a better education. For 9 years, my family and I had lived here in America and my sisters and I had spent the majority of our lives here. Then, in the summer of 2010, my dad told me and my older sister that we were going back to to visit for a month but the plane tickets where really expensive so my mom and oldest sister decided that they would stay home. I was really excited to go back to see my relatives and to see how things had changed. A week later, my sister and I were packing way too much stuff like we always do. The next day, we got on the plane to start our 18 hour plane ride to Addis Ababa. The first 6 hours went by fast, but It was downhill from there. The next 12 hours where grueling to say the least! Eventually, the flight was over and my dad, sister, and I gathered our luggage and headed to our hotel with extreme jetlag. The next day, we took a taxi and toured the city. I was shocked. People were lying on the sidewalks, clothed in rags, and begging for money. One little boy caught my interest. He had to be about three years old. He was standing on the sidewalk without a shirt, and he was crying but that wasn’t the part that stunned me. What stunned me was that there were adults walking down the street past him, going about their business, like he wasn’t there. I thought, “How could nobody care that this kid is crying and alone?” But then I remembered where I was. I remembered that these people lived here and they’d probably seen children like this countless numbers of times. Even though that answered my question, it wasn’t comforting. It made the situation even sadder because it was okay to these people to see homeless children on the side of the street. During the rest of the trip, every time we would go out on the street and see those people, I would feel lucky to have what I have but heartbroken to see that they didn’t have enough. Three weeks later, the trip came to an end and we boarded the plane to come back to America. Having 18 hours on the plane, I was left to my thoughts and I had plenty to think about. The first thing on my mind was that I didn’t ever want to see homeless children on the street like the little boy so I made up my mind that when I was old enough and had enough money, I would go back to Addis Abeba and help in every way that I could. My trip to Ethiopia has made me grateful for everything and everybody that I have in my life; especially my parents. If my parents wouldn’t have made the decision of moving to America, I would have never had the opportunities that I have now. This three week trip has forever changed my view on life and it has been one of the most important experiences I have ever gone through.
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