When children surround you – no matter where in the world you are – and clamor for their photo to be taken, how do you deny them that simple luxury?
As I traveled to village after village in Ethiopia’s southern region a mere few weeks ago I took tons of photos of children who wanted their photos taken and then when they saw their faces on my camera, they giggled and giggled and wanted more.
It was always hard to choose children to treat with a look at their beautiful faces on my camera, but I obliged until I had to climb back into the SUV and drive away.
I miss the children of Ethiopia. I do. They had such innocent, beautiful faces. Even though we couldn’t understand each other’s languages we spoke with smiles, joy, and sheer happiness.
Life for these children is vastly different than what our children know. Many of the children had no shoes and every single article of clothing I saw on the kids was ragged and worn. Two little girls were fascinated by my earrings and bracelets. I almost took them off and gave them my jewelry, but I quickly realized two little trinkets could become a problem for them since so many of the children had so little.
Whenever I travel outside of the United States I always note the genuine spirits of the people I am visiting, especially if I am visiting a developing country. You can learn everything through the children. Time is never a pressing issue and everyone is so happy while having so little; at least little in terms of material wealth.
In the States, we are such sticklers for time. We never let up. We work for more and more things and rarely take a moment to assess and relax. These children taught me a lot in a few days: that you should always take time to smile, be joyful, and always, always be inquisitive.
P.S. I was in Ethiopia this month with Save the Children. Don’t miss a single post about my country observations about frontline health workers.