Eric Lafforgue is an inveterate traveler. He has visited many countries, and it is hard to surprise him now. But a recent visit to Ethiopia is a lasting memory for him.
Near one of the pubs Eric met an unusual boy. At first glance, the boy did not differ much from his peers, but when the man approached closer, he was hypnotized by the child’s eyes. The black boy had eyes of a sky-blue color completely atypical for representatives of that race!
The traveler decided to find out more about the child and talked to him. It turned out that the boy’s name was Abash, and he lived in a shack near the restaurant where Eric Lafforgue later stopped by.
The unusual sky-blue color of a child’s eyes is the result of a congenital genetic disorder called «Waardenburg syndrome. The anomaly is extremely rare: about one per 300,000 people.
When Abash was born, his parents were frightened, thinking that their son had been born blind. Because of poverty, they could not afford to see a doctor. So they had to wait many months until it was clear that the baby could see well.
Then Mom and Dad came to the conclusion that blue eyes were not a curse, as they thought at first, but a gift from God! However, the boy himself had a lot of trouble with his peculiarity.
Other children often make fun of Abash because of the color of his eyes. The kids call him «plastic eyes,» and the boy can’t stand the incessant taunting.
When Abash was eight years old, his parents decided to give him to his grandmother to live closer to the town where the school was located. One night there was a fire in the cabin. All the property together with all the textbooks turned into ashes… Fortunately, the grandmother and the boy managed to jump out in time and were not hurt.
After this incident, the boy moved to the city. After all, the fire had destroyed his already small savings, and he could not afford to buy a bus ticket from his grandmother’s village every day.
Bringing Eric to his new home, Abash was very embarrassed.
«It’s filthy in here…» — he whispered, pointing to the cardboard box that replaced his bed.
The boy’s sustenance depended on the kindness of the owners of the restaurant across from his dwelling.
Abash considers his most prized possession to be his red ball. For him it is a real treasure, which he never parted with for a minute. The boy is crazy about soccer and doesn’t miss a single Barcelona game. He watches the games in the neighborhood restaurant or nearby bars.
The boy’s idol is Lionel Messi, whom Abash adores!
«He and I are very similar. We’re both different!» said the child.
The boy dreams of becoming a great soccer player and plays soccer with the other kids all his free time.
Eric Lafforge’s story about the unusual boy touched readers and spread around the world. Kind people began to help Abash with whatever they could: things, food, and textbooks. Thousands of people wish Abash’s dream would come true!