As children, my brothers and I were big fans of a cartoon movie about a brachiosaurus—a “long-neck” named Little Foot. In the 1988 film, The Land Before Time, Little Foot and his dinosaur friends spend the bulk of a delightful 69 minutes searching for a land of plenty known as The Great Valley. Here’s a clip (and if you’re impatient, just jump to the 1:20 mark).
Now, I always thought The Great Valley represented a magical garden of Eden—and that may have been the writer’s intention. The illustrator, however, certainly took its inspiration from start of the Blue Nile River in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia—as shown here:
If you recall from elementary school, the Nile River is more than a river in Egypt. It flows from the south to the north, and is the culmination of two tributaries—the White Nile which flows from Kenya to Sudan and the Blue Nile which originates in Ethiopia.
Don’t worry. I know what you are thinking: <<Wow, Ethiopia is not a desert!>> That’s right, most of the country is incredibly lush and fertile and exquisitely beautiful. I can hear you again: << But I thought Ethiopia needed water? >> Well, I think it is better to say that Ethiopia is in need of plumbing. The natural resource exists, but the modern infrastructure is still being implemented. That’s an overly simple to answer, but should suffice for our quick, little introduction.
Here’s a picture of us following our (somewhat) long journey: Cera, Spike, Ducky, Petry and Little Foot.