Ashanafe is a 9 year old boy living in Yetebon, Ethiopia. He lives on the Project Mercy compound after being dropped off and abandoned by his loved ones. Upon Ashanafe's arrival to Project Mercy, he had a horrible foot infection. This infection needed immediate medical attention. After appropriately caring for the infection, Ashanafe was left to recover in an unfamiliar place surrounded by unfamiliar faces. He was new. Social behaviors in Yetebon are not vastly different as some people may think. He was the new kid. Due to his infection, Ashanafe was forced to sit out on sports activities.
Shortly after his infection started to heal, his other foot became infected with the same bacteria as the other. It had seemed that Ashanafe just couldn't catch a break. Despite the language barrier, I had become very attached to this little boy. I sat out with him and just enjoyed the little things in life. He says nothing of his infection, and lives his life as if nothing is wrong. He inspired me to do great things, and truly put a new meaning to the word gratitude. This is what gives me hope.