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He's with me..!

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

Almost three years ago, a small boy saved me from a situation very close to becoming dangerous in a small local market in southern Ethiopia.

As a passer-by, I did not know the customs and rules of etiquette dictated by the locals, and through a series of wrong decisions, I managed to upset both the vendors and the buyers. Very quickly, the commotion began, a small mob gathered around me, and it was evident who was out of place. Before I could understand what was happening, a little boy grabbed me by the hand and pulled me, running away from the now screaming crowd.

This boy, who later showed me where to drink a tremendous local sweetened soda, became my guardian in this roadside village, accompanying me everywhere and announcing to everyone in his language, "He's with me!"

Before we parted, I gave him my phone number in Israel (Although there were no telephones or internet in his village at the time).

Today, to my joy, every so often (every time he reaches a point of communication), Oita sends me some distant giggles, and I send him back some longing words. Not long ago, we greeted each other on video for the first time since we parted in the same village. I sent him a copy of my book - in which he appears - and I have little hope that he will be able to find his way to it...


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