Traveling to Ethiopia changed me forever. In the two months I worked there in 2008 I met a proud country that fought off Italian colonialists, a diverse nation that communicates in over 80 languages and a complex people who challenged my assumptions and helped shape how I see the world today.
But that wasn’t what I was expecting. I grew up in the 1980s and 90s, decades that saw famine and political unrest in Ethiopia, as well as growth to our region’s significant Ethiopian-American population. For me Ethiopia was a country that evoked images of starving children, refugees and war.