It has often been said that our eyes are the windows to our souls. Children, unmarked by life’s complexities and overlay of reason, count on their intuition to navigate new experiences and the people they encounter. We all start life at the same place before we assimilate our values and adhere to cultural norms and expectations. All of these young people live in Ethiopia, where daily life can be difficult and a meal is sometimes hard to come by. I don’t speak their verbal language nor do they speak mine. But their eyes speak to me in ways words cannot express. Relinquishing my own need to speak and setting my camera aside for a while before I capture their image, a deep human connection occurs as we seek to understand one another through gesture and eye contact. Dignity, joy, desperation, poise, seduction and love: all expressed readily, with no attempts to keep emotions hidden. As I interact with children in Africa, they teach me tender ways of communicating that have been repressed by many years of distractions. Perhaps we can, if we dare to linger a bit longer when looking into the eyes of another human being, view the soul through our eyes. These portraits were made over a span of three years, during four stays in various villages within rural Ethiopia. Prints are on display and are for sale at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon in their 2012 Drawers program.  Images are included in the series The Youth Of Africa. This series was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Portraiture/Family category in the Px3 2011 competition. The image, "Abera" was awarded a Bronze medal in the 2012 Px3 Competition in Paris, France. See more extensive portraiture and editorial images on my Photoshelter account.