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Come Fly With Me

Submitted by on April 20, 2011 – 7:45 pm2 Comments


Imagine, for a moment, if the only airplane you had ever seen in your life was way above your head in the sky. Imagine if you had never even ridden in a car, and your family was too poor to pay the 13 cents needed for a bus ride. Imagine the excitement of going to the airport and not only being able to see a gigantic commercial plane up close, but being able to board one?

Thanks to some generous volunteers, and a bighearted effort on the part of Ethiopian Airlines, we were able to provide this first-time magical experience for the First, Second and Third graders at Fresh and Green Academy on April 4, 2011.

Captain Zenay Bizu, an international pilot, Ethiopian national and long-time benefactor of Fresh and Green Academy, helped pull together this magnificent experience for our kids. Upon arrival at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, we were taken “behind the scenes” at the Ethiopian Airlines headquarters at Bole. We were met by Public Relations Officer Mr. Getachew Tesfay, who showed us the first DC-3 ever commissioned by EA in 1945. Here is a video of Captain Zenay talking with the students:

We then went to the pilot training area, where Mr. Getachew explained the rigorous training demanded of commercial pilots, while at the same time stressing that the job of an airline professional was within reach of each and every one of our students if they applied themselves to their studies.

After that,  went to the maintenance hangar and the students were able to board and explore a Boeing 767, including the cockpit. Wide-eyed and  spellbound, each student went up the gangway and down the aisles to the cockpit.

As if that wasn’t enough, Captain Zenay provided soft drinks and cookies for the kids afterwards, and each student received a wonderful commemorative gift.

Friends of Fresh and Green wishes to express our profound gratitude to all who made this wonderful day happen. Special thanks to Ethiopian Airlines, Captain Zenay, Mr. Getachew, and volunteers Todd Jarvis, Nikki Patrick, Eva Cherry, Jenny Tuggle, and Steve and Kathleen Vilicich.  Lighting the fire of imagination, defining the future as what can be, is a gift that cannot be measured. All we can say is “Amasaganallo” – thank you in Amharic.


  • Paul Brandt says:

    What you do for these children is truly amazing. Great work!

  • Mark Walker says:

    I love the idea of field trips for children, having been one myself….

    Getting out and seeing how the world works is always a learning experience.

    I noticed the site was overloaded yesterday, was that because too many people were
    looking and donating on the site?

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