Monday, June 26, 2006

The Talk

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sometimes adults will look at me, not necessarily inquisitively, but out of a bored interest. They paste on a smile that doesn’t usually look happy, and they slightly cock their head to one side.

“So, Samra, you’re leaving soon, right?” Why do they ask me when they already know the answer?

“Yep…” I reply, my voice trailing into an awkward silence. We twiddle our thumbs for a moment until (lightbulb pops over their head!) they ask me, “So, are you excited to be going home?”

I think to myself, Ugh, not this question again, but out loud I say: “Yes and no,” I put on a half smile and tilt my head from side to side, “I mean… I’m happy to go home and see my friends again, but it’ll be really sad to leave Ethiopia.”

I don’t know if they’re now actually interested, or if they just have nothing better to do, so they ask, “So you’re happy that you came to Ethiopia? If you could do it all over again you would?”

“Of course, without a doubt,” I answer. They raise their eyebrows and nod their head. “Really?”

They are surprised.

“Really,” I say, nodding my head along with them.

“Well, that’s nice.” And they go back to sipping their drink, or looking about the room, or they begin chatting with someone else.

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