August 2007
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Green Eyes In Africa — A Spectacular Story

Green Eyes In Africa Home Page

The way I found the site Green Eyes In Africa is a little interesting in itself. Ever since I discovered my old site was on the front page of the Google search for my name I have been curious to see how high I could get my sites. Some call this a vanity / ego search but the point is I found another site that popped up on the same search and decided to check it out. As I read through the site the stories became increasingly interesting to me because of my brief time spent in Mexico at an orphanage which instilled the value of volunteering and had a lot to do with my deciding to join the Peace Corps later in life. For a reasonable donation Green Eyes In Africa will send you one or both of the DVD documentaries An Orphan’s Gift and Green Eyes In Africa.

Reading more about this person who shares two of my names, it turns out Ryan Oliver Hansen is quite an amazing young man. As an art student at BYU he decided to make a touching documentary which in his words in an article at The Daily Utah Chronicle he says

Originally, my trip was meant to be a summer-only endeavor-a fun, feel-good experience that would look smashing on my ever-improving résumé.

That documentary An Orphan’s Gift took place as he spent 7 months at an orphanage in Esmeraldas, Ecuador which would change his life forever. On his journey he found the importance of loving and giving attention to every child in the orphanage. He learns that he is not only there to make a movie but to help the children and learn much about himself. You discover in the next movie that he decides while still in Ecuador that he is going to Africa.

Green Eyes In Africa the documentary shows the creation of the organization after volunteering at what he found to be a terrifying orphanage. He cries to the camera in his room as children are being beaten because he knows if he tries to intervene he will be forced to leave, but seeing their misery is tormenting him on the inside. Children with obvious health problems are left alone, their illness blamed on witchcraft, while the money he gives to the owner of the orphanage mysteriously doesn’t help the children. Finally he decides to start his own orphanage and bring all the children with him. What he faces on this challenge is more than enough to show his tenacity and commitment to the children.

As it says on the front page of their site, when you donate to Green Eyes In Africa, all your money goes to the children. 100 percent. No, I don’t have any proof of this but after watching the documentary I don’t doubt it at all. So go ahead and donate some money to the children — at least you get a great documentary or two so you can know what your money is going to! And by the way, Ryan has talent as a filmmaker and these titles show it.

2 comments to Green Eyes In Africa — A Spectacular Story

  • Ryan Oliver Hansen

    Dear Oliver,

    Goodness gracious, what an amazing surprise and gift your blog was! I am so honored that you found your name likeness in me and were inspired by what I do with my life. Isn’t it crazy what I’ve been through? Always an adventure! We’re still going strong. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to share your feelings on what we do. And you’re right–you can trust us, and we take great pride in that at Green Eyes in Africa. Feel free to email me, I’d like to hear more about your peace corps times.

    Take care, and thank you so much. What an honor!

    Ryan Oliver Hansen

  • Hi Ryan,

    It is an honor for me that you read this article. I hope maybe it has helped show a few more people of the good work you are doing over in Africa. It’s also very nice to read your blog since you started one recently. I hadn’t been keeping up with it but I caught up on many of them today. I know you’ll keep up the wonderful work and I hope you gain more support in the future.