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January 14

Dear Diary,
These days between seasons, this quiet time without rain or harvest—it is a good time to think and wonder what life will be. I dream as I stand watching the cows and Kassa drink from the river: of me walking the halls of university, studying important matters, learning how to be a good doctor for Ethiopia. I will take care of my mother and father as they grow old. I can give Merzeneb advice on the health of her children. I will heal the scrapes and coughs of my brothers. I am a grown up woman, walking with big strides and carrying my stethoscope, my medicine bag.

People in the villages smile and call out when they see me, because they know I care about their problems. Word spreads to the women in the hills that here is a doctor who will not turn them out for the troubles they suffer in childbirth. Mosquitoes will fly away when they hear my name, and take their malaria with them!

Maybe I will have my own children to take care of, and they will be respectful, proud of their doctor mother. Even when I am very old, like Mr. Bogale who carves wood and is bent over and white-haired with age; they will still come to me for healing.

It is exciting to dream of being grown up and powerful, Diary. But then I worry about how much I have to do and whether I can really become this thing. So it is also good when Mother gives me a hug and tells me not to hurry about growing up.

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