As if there is anyone who does not know, I sponsor a Compassion kid. His name is Tamirat, and he lives in Ethiopia. He is about my age (just 3 months younger). The cool thing about Compassion is they do not just ask for your money and leave you in the dark. They want you to know about their programs, to know about the child you sponsor, and about his/her culture. I wanted to know about Ethiopian culture and have a reference of things to talk about. In reading Compassion's info about Ethiopia, and with a quick visit to Wikipedia, I learned some new things about Ethiopia:
- Their new year is September 11, my birthday :)
- Amharic, a semitic language, is the official language
- Addis Ababa is the capital
- Ethiopian cuisine does not have pork because of religious influence
- Ethiopian cities are largely at high elevations, many higher than Colorado Springs (>6000ft), where Compassion's headquarters are.
- Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world
All of these are off the top of my head.
I learned about Africa in 7th grade--a full 9 years ago. Of course, I remember very little, even about the Congo, which I wrote a report on. But Compassion, by way of their blog and other media, has really helped to get me out of my American box. In 7th grade, Mrs. Whitmire was teaching us geography and history, but a middle school World History class does not teach the true state of the world. I am so much more educated in reality by Compassion. I love knowledge; I love information--I have been called a walking concordance, a walking dictionary, and a walking encyclopedia. And yet, I do not watch the news (seriously, I do not have TV, and only read news on Facebook). I believe I know more about the state of the world than your average American. The world is getting smaller, and it would seem we would be more aware of what is going on, yet I am astounded by the level of ignorance my peers have (and that I used to have).
I would be interested to see what other people learned about their kid's country--comment below if you have anything cool that you learned