Dawn breaks on Addis Ababa like any city in America. A rooster crows in the distance and a braying donkey can be heard above the swelling sounds of morning traffic. This is Africa. Yet somehow, Ethiopia feels like coming home.
On first encounter locals here address me like one of their own. The color of my skin, the texture of my hair, the cast of my eyes, are all familiar to them. But upon second reckoning of my clothing, the camera bag on my shoulder, my manner of speaking they realize. I am a foreigner, a “forengee.” Yet still I am welcome. It’s up to me to impress upon those I meet that I have come to love their homeland, my motherland, and that I want to stay a bit longer.
Despite my own genetic connection to this place I believe anyone who visits here might feel a similar since of kinship. After all, it was upon this continent that more than 10,000 years ago the human race was born. In our travels I believe that we often see a common bond between ourselves and others, a shared humanity that will likely be the salvation of our race on this planet. This is a letter from Africa with love.
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