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An Adopted Boy's Immigrant Dream: To Sail Home To Ethiopia

In Italy, an otherwise happy 13-year-old Ethiopian boy set out last week from his adoptive home with perilous plans to journey by land and sea back to Africa. He headed south, adrift for five days in southern Italy, but ultimately didn't get too

Habtamu, 13, was a happy boy, but with a perilous dream.
Habtamu, 13, was a happy boy, but with a perilous dream.
Marcello Giordani

PETTENASCO - For many Africans, Italy has become the dreamed-about destination for a better life in Europe. But for Habtamu, a 13-year-old adopted Ethiopian boy living near Milan, the dream was to return to Africa.

On January 4, the boy ran away from his adoptive family's home, in Paderno Dugnano, 10 miles outside of Milan. With some money he had received as a Christmas gift, Habtamu bought a train ticket to Naples, from where he hoped to embark for Ethiopia. But he got lost. On January 9, police found him and brought him back to his Italian home.

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May 21-22

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