Monday, June 18, 2007

In Memory of my dear friend Danny

I received terribly sad news this morning. My dear friend Danny from Addis Ababa died last week. He collapsed while jogging and died. He was 26 and very healthy, a former soccer player. Probably nobody will ever know what happened to him. Danny was our hired driver last August when my Mom and I were in Ethiopia to bring baby guy home. Danny was far more than a driver to us. He was a tour guide, a translator, a body guard of sorts, and most of all a friend. He answered endless questions for me. I learned so much from him about the city of Addis, the history of the country, the feelings of the Ethiopian people. Danny was only 25 years old when we met him but he was already a great man. He gave freely of his money to the beggars on the street. He especially had a heart for those that were old or crippled. He sponsored children in the city to go to school. He said his pastor and church really encouraged Ethiopians to help one another and that is what he did. Danny was an extremely hard worker. When we inquired about the cost of hiring him for the day I asked him, "what hours does the day cover?". He replied, "the whole day, 24 hours". He wasn't kidding. Anytime we wanted to be picked up or dropped off he was ready to go. His car was the cleanest thing you have ever seen. He washed and cleaned it out daily which included spraying the seats with Fabreeze! He had a great business sense and was well on his way. We spent the week with Danny taking us to appointments, shopping (he was thrilled to hold the baby while I looked at items or paid), and sight seeing. He took us to the Merkato where his father owns a shop. We had the pleasure of seeing Danny's home too. We met his sister and niece and had sodas with him and his family. While at his house he was thrilled to show us photos of many of the families he has driven for. He knew all the kids names and where they live in the states. After I was home Danny and I kept in touch by email. He was thrilled to see pictures of the baby guy and commented on how big he was getting. We planned to see Danny again on our next adoption trip to Addis. I was looking forward to hubby meeting him. I knew my family would be in good hands with Danny driving them. I will miss him dearly. I pray for his family during this difficult time. May his memory be eternal.


  1. Becky--What a wonderful tribute to my wonderful brother and friend, Danny. Thank you.
    Debbie Solomon
    PS--he was actually closer to 31 years old, who knows for sure, no birth records........simply based on siblings, school completion, playing for the Ethiopian soccer team, etc.....
    No matter--he was TOO YOUNG to die and leaves HUGE hole in many of our lives.
    Thank you!

  2. I am so sad not to be able to meet Danny in person as I feel like I know him from listening to you talk about the wonderful he treated you and protected you on your trip to pick up baby guy. May God comfort his dear family. May the Lord shine his face upon him...

  3. Hi Becky. Debbie sent me your tribute. Danny helped us to find birthfamily and although we never met him in person, he was such a dear in his communication, etc. We are also and Orthodox family with five children, two adopted from Ethiopia. Would love to learn more about your family if you have a chance. Mary Senter, Walla Walla WA

  4. The world will be a poorer place without Danny. May God raise up another man of great compassion and love for children to fill the big shoes he leaves behind.

  5. Becky,
    I am so sorry to hear about this tremendous loss. I know from my husband's account of our driver, Selamneh, that he was (as you stated) so much more than a driver to them while in Addis. We will be praying for him and his family. May he rest in peace.


  6. Becky~
    This is so incredibly sad! I am so sorry. Though I never was honored with meeting Danny he sounds like a wonderful person. I too will be praying for his family and you through this tragic loss....

  7. I'm deeply saddened at the news about Danny's passing. He was everything you said Becky ...he was caring, charitable, giving, kind to all, young, and an extremely devote Christian. I will pray for his family and friends. All that knew him will genuinely miss him.



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