Thursday, March 29, 2012

I met a woman named Modest on Tuesday, less funny than Hilarious (oh! a pun!) but still, funny.

Hi Mom!

I was thinking. You know what would be lovely, season tickets to the opera. J So, I was, uh, wondering, if, uh, maybe they’re available you could check it out. You and dad and I could go, eh? As of now, of course, I have no fall plans so, I’m game for anything. Just something to check out because the cheap ones get snapped up quickly. So, yes.

Were you able to print the pictures?

Today Lemuel had a headache and was feeling sickly. I said I could bring him some Advil, “An American medicine” and, swear to god, he looked at me a bit skeptically and asked, “Are you sure it will work on a strong African like me?”

Which leads me to the next part of my email (also, the Advil worked, he was visibly shocked):


1.       We have weak bones. Legitimately there is agreement that our bones are not strong and flexible.

2.       From that they believe that we are incapable of lifting heavy things. If given the choice of asking an 8-year- old African child to help lift something or me, the child is always summoned.

3.       Additionally, we do not have strong blood. They’re always encouraging me to drink/eat different things to help strengthen my blood.

4.       We can’t ride bicycles. Whenever my students see me do it they roar with applause.

5.       We can weed. Can’t wash clothing. Can’t wash dishes. I spoke to Lemuel about this and he said he thinks they think so because they assume we have machines to do all these things so that we are no longer able to perform the tasks.

6.       For some reason they don’t entirely understand, our skin turns red in the sunshine. There is little comprehension of why this happens or what it means, but I am often encouraged to leave the sun so I don’t turn red.

7.       Another mystery to them is how my hair strangely turns brown after I bath. Then changes again to blonde after a while. They don’t understand this.

8.       We are all the same. I swear, every week I get at least one person who says, “Whoah, you and Dima are not alike at all!” I smile, unsure of how to respond and they look at me expectantly. Awkwardly I say something like, “Oh! Okay!” Of course we’re different, by golly, we’re from entirely different countries (continents even), we’re different ages, different socio-economic backgrounds, etc. We’re different, solidly.

In other major news, Precious left the school. She’s taken a temp job doing voter registration because apparently the pay was too good to pass up. Now the students have no teacher for two of their classes though. It’s a bit sad to see her go, but I’m not terribly affected to be honest. If Josephine left too it would be weirder. I need to have African girlfriends…or, at least one. I hang out with too many men.

After a solid 7-9 days without water, it came last night at 11. I mopped and cleaned like a crazy lady in the night. God, it’s good to have it back.

In other dramatic events, Nicholas (who’s currently obsessed with Britney Spears…a benefit only in that his obsession with Amy Winehouse has been muted) and Naomi lost my iPod. I was really disappointed in them. I didn’t yell though, didn’t raise my voice. Told them they needed to get it back to me and that I was upset and disappointed. I learned later that they both cried after, as well as two other students in commiseration. Then, they skipped school to search for it. And consulted a fetish priest. Turns out Godwin found it on the table and gave it back to me later. Still, days later, complete stranger children are coming up to me to ask about it. They are all very relieved about it.

On that note, I was thinking, if I were to write a novel about my times here I would call it something like:



That said, my kids have actually been really good lately. Like, really good. I don’t know what happened, but I believe we’ve come to an understanding. Finals are next week and a little the week after. Then, Dima and I will go on a boat trip (hopefully) and I on to BF.

Hooray! Also, I just learned that Easter is this weekend. Is that true? If so, Happy Easter! I hope you eat cake. Mmm.

Anyhow, how are you? Why have you not emailed me? What’s up? How’s school? How are the taxes going? I liked your Ghana emails.

Well, love you.


  1. I like your book title a lot. I also like that you're referring to Burkina Faso as BF, like you're BFFs. You're so hip to the scene.
    Also, when is your return date? Just curious. Two people have asked me in the last two days when you're coming home, coincidentally, and I did not know. I guessed some time in May.

    1. Psh. A real friend would know without having to ask! Leave here the 16th of May, arrive there the 17th. :)

      Also, ain't a scene around that I'm not hip to.