I spent the other day with Ashenafi, an 18 year old whose name means winner in amharic. Ashenafi spends his school breaks as a qor-yalew, travelling from Min Alesh to neighborhoods throughout the city buying scraps of metal, plastics, and anything else reusable.
He gets up early every morning, before the market starts up, to get about 20 birr from his boss and then off he goes into the different neighborhoods, house-to-house, announcing his presence with an abridged version of "qorqoro-yalew, qorqoro-yalew" (do you have metal scraps?) Everyday he does this until he gets his fill and then travels back to Min Alesh terra to sell them. Although we walked for several hours with him carrying a heavy load, Ashenafi didn't utter one word of complaint, despite his exhaustion. I on the other hand... He has such a humble spirit and perspective. I'm thankful that he shared his experience with me.
After a long day, I realize we are moving forward.