On Tuesday we got to meet our Compassion child (Birhane). She is a wonderful young girl and it was a pleasure to meet her. All of her information told us that she was six years old so we came with loaded with clothes, toys, etc. Well, apparently, in the rural parts of Ethiopia age is not something they cling to very much because come to find out she is eleven!!!! Needless to say, not a stitch of clothing fit, but I think her little sister will be well dressed for some time. Compassion was nice enough to let us arrange to send her bigger clothes when we get back to the states.
Birhane is incredibly shy and, of course, doesn’t speak English – so the conversation was pretty short. She was SO sweet. She spoke so gently and quietly that we probably could not have understood her even if we spoke her language. One gift that was a hit was a little baby; I don’t think she put it down for the entirety of our visit. Being so quiet and shy, it was hard to see if we really sparked her attention or curiosity, but one member of our family certainly did. She LOVED Tarik. She lit up when she would look at her and even did a great job holding her.
She lives in a village where they don’t have electricity and they have to pump all their water from a well. She is in her first year of schooling (even though she is older than most of her classmates). The reason this is her first year is because this is our first year to sponsor her – as if we needed any evidence of our direct involvement. It is amazing to see Compassion reach out, educate, clothe, and nurture these children. We got proof of that when Birhane surprised us and burst into the English alphabet! The Amharic alphabet has something like 260 characters, so to be working on a second version is pretty impressive.