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I always like adventure, meet new people, learn about different places, and cultures. I also love my family and never thought it would be hard to leave them behind and explore my dreams.

One summer, I was invited by a close family friend called Almaz to stay with her and daughter Maria at her place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She thought it would be a good idea to take me away for at least for few months from the small town I was tired of. I always like being around her since was an independent, interesting, open minded, modern woman for her time. She had lived most of her life in USA, Ethiopia, and Europe, and toured around several countries. I remember once, I was astounded when she showed me her full of visas passport. I was very fascinated by her traveling experience and lifestyles. I then stated developing deep passion for travel and export the world. Since then, all I wanted to do was to travel like her.

As usual, we used to visit different towns across Ethiopia, especially on Sunday afternoons. The tours, organized by Almaz, helped me familiarize with the place as well as a family tour once a week. One Sunday afternoon, on July 17, 1994, Almaz along with her friend Weyen Eshet, who works in Addis Ababa Cultural and Tourism Bureau, had organized a joint family tour around city. The main aim was to visit some of the notable monuments such as the Monument of the Martyrs, the Statue of the Lion of Judah and Freedom Monument among others. While watching the Statues of His Holiness Abune Petros, a monument that was inaugurated in remembrance of Abune Petros, one of the archbishops from the Orthodox Church, who had clearly supported patriotism against the Italian invaders, I met a man who was filming this monument as well as the surroundings. I was very interested in what he was doing as he seemed to really enjoy every second of his job. I went to where the man was, and introduced myself as Nunu Tesfaye. In return, the man introduced himself as Detlef, a film maker from Germany. After a little chat, I introduced Detlef to Almaz and her friend Weyen Eshet. Detlef told us that he came to Ethiopia to do documentary film of 13th century Ethiopian historical heritage church Lalibela among other monuments such as the Statues of His Holiness Abune Petros.

Detlef informed me that, he had only been in the country for less than three weeks and faced challenges such as communication when talking to the locals and was looking for someone who would help him overcome this challenge. I quickly assured him of my assistance, as my help would enable me travel in various places in Ethiopia as well as learn some crucial activities regarding filming. Since I had attended some German courses while in college, Detlef was overjoyed as this meant that I could act as a mediator when he travelled to the interior parts of Ethiopia. On July 25, 1994, we started working with Detlef in the Capital City Addis Ababa as well as the other cities. I was extremely happy and I could not wait to travel with him and help him out. As we worked together, we found we had so much in common in terms of wanting to explore.

After few days, He offered me to come to Germany and work for him. I was real happy and did not need much convincing to pack up and leave for Germany with my new found friend. However, it was hard to convince my parents but they finally gave in. The day came I had to separate from my family, I was a new born gazelle, taking in the first busts of air and eager to begin and yet scared of the looming predators. The day of my departure was the hardest for both my family and I. We had never been separated. It was a very emotional moment that I will not forget, even to this day. At the airport, my parents bid me farewell with broken hearts, particularly my mother full of tears. There were very many big planes in the airport’s runway and this fascinated me since it was my first time to board an airplane. I started smiling happily and I silently prayed to thank God.

When the day came I had to separate from my family, one side of me was like a new born gazelle, taking in the first busts of air and taking the first steps of life, eager to begin and yet scared of the looming predators. On the other hand, my departure was the hardest for my siblings and I. We had never been separated. It was a very emotional moment that I will not forget, even to this day. At the airport, my parents bid me farewell with broken hearts, particularly my mother full of tears. At this time, deep down I was like a little girl, my heart skipping a bit, for I knew I was taking my first step towards realizing my dream to go see the world, discover knew things, meet new people and learn their cultures and lifestyles.

Thank you to Lord! My dreams came true the day I met Detlef in unexpected way. I have been fortunate enough travel to 28 countries around the world and met people from different countries, and learn their cultures, and speak four different languages. I now live my dream. However, I really miss my family.

Code: Sample20

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