Friday, October 24, 2008

without any reminders

...a little before seven AM. i dey for vatican taxi-park... waiting to go to Wum. drinking cocoa at that man’s make-shift omelette-stand on the side. actually forgot to pay him last time. remembered in Wum. he thanked me for reminding him now.

kinda tired. stayed up a bit yesterday with the gang here in Bamenda. we ate pasta for dinner. then had a house meeting. i’m the new environmental education (EE) rep, Kay gender & youth development (GYD), and Nat VAC (volunteer advisory council). Kay and Kerri (w/Mike as liaison) are the new volunteer house managers. sorry the new agroforestry PCVs couldn’t be there!

...yesterday morning a few of us (including Adam, Kay and Nat) sat and listened to Garrison Keillor do The News from Lake Wobegon. you know... on NPR, A Prairie Home Companion. it was great. nostalgia. made me think of long rides homes on 66 East at night. that’s when it came on.

why i listened to that show, i don’t know? to Adam, Kay and a few others it reminds them of home... small-town America. their parents listen. NO ONE i know listens to that show! why did i? he can tell a story. he’s got quite a voice. peace-invoking. homey.

his stories hit home. no matter where that is. they’re so human... often touching and moving. and he’s funny. interesting sense of humor, but funny. i like the show. it reminds me of home. not small-town America, but home nonetheless. Lord! do i straddle two cultures or what?!

b/w listening to Abdelhalim Hafez and Fairouz, to A Prairie Home Companion... it takes a trip to Africa to show me that i’m more of an American than i ever thought, and that’s sooo ironic. but i’m also Muslim and Arab... and i’m reminded of that here constantly, as well. or do i remind myself of that? or am i just that without any reminders? i am.

anywho... i listened to Garrison Keillor’s voice and it took me home. and i was happy to share that with the people i did. now i’ll go back – hear him on NPR – and think of Africa... my friends in Africa. the trip that’s teaching me what i am. ironically. surprisingly. but it’s welcome. it’s all welcome.


  1. sounds like in africa you learned that all these facets of identity are not mutually exclusive despite what people may have told you (explicitly or implicitly) or made you feel growing up. ??

    i think many people secretly listen to prairie home companion. when i got over my embarassment and confessed to people that i like that show, most admitted they listened to it secretly too. the skits are clever. and "all the children are above-average."

  2. all the children are above-average, indeed.

    ...thanks for making me laugh a little this morning, ellen! :)