Speechless in Ethiopia

I make it clear on the very first sentence of my bio: I tend to talk a lot. I digress, I go off on tangents and I ramble on a regular basis. My friends, when bored, throw a random topic at me just to see how long I can talk for.

But as soon as I landed to Addis Ababa, something strange had happened: I didn’t have words anymore. It was not my first time in Africa – I had spent quite a few months in Ghana, back in the days, but Ethiopia was something else. We followed an incredibly dedicated doctor, Aldo Morrone, on a journey through Ethiopia: Addis, Aksum, Mekelle and Sheraro.

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Dr. Morrone, an Italian dermatologist, established a hospital in Sheraro, a remote Ethiopian village, seven years ago to intercept migrants on their long – and more often than ever, deadly – journey to Europe.

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With a team of highly skilled GPs, he takes care of these people who check-in in poor condition, often sick, dehydrated, affected by all sorts of diseases and he’s about to establish a ward with a group of psychologists to support migrants and their families.

What I saw – baby miners, underage steel workers and Madonna-like mothers who kissed my hands when walking down the bumpy road to Sheraro – completely changed my view on modern-days priorities and shed a light on these migrants’ daily lives.

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Before getting to our Mediterranean shores, before trying to sneak in the English Channel (and getting killed) these fathers and mothers, these sons and daughters, walk from Eritrea to Ethiopia, Sudan and Lybia, restlessly. They walk barefoot or with over-sized shoes, they cry in group, they eat what people feed them. And they always smile. That’s probably what struck me the most: no matter where they are and what they’ve been through, they always have a broad smile to give.

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As usual, follow the good old Andrea Pasquali for more pictures – he gave his heart and soul for this reportage.