Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Working For The Weekend

I'm been helping to settle in our new group of 20 African students. Hooo-eeee, they can be tough. But awesome. Tough and awesome....that pretty much sums it up. But doesn't even begin to, really. What a group of people. You want a harsh mirror held up to you, your culture, and your experience? Then spend some time with some Nigerians. One told me today that they have an average life expectancy of 36 years. You've got to be tough when you're struggling to survive.

But they're just some of the people I'm trying to assist every single day.

(This is not a story about an African student)

The worst excuse I've heard yet when we've told a smoker student that there is absolutely no smoking inside their apartments: "But I was constipated. I have to smoke when that happens."

Deep breath, Alannah. Have some patience. They're out of their elements. You have to tell them what their new element is. They don't know.

I took another group of students to the city council meeting last night. I love taking them to the meetings. It's a jolt of appreciative reality. They marvel at the whole process. They can't believe that people can just walk in and sit down and watch it all happen. We are lucky to have (relatively) transparent government. We're lucky that we can openly discuss public policies with our elected representatives.

But goddamn, I can't wait to lay in a raft in the Kings River on Friday, beer in hand. I love you, America.

1 comment:

step right up said...

After last weekend, I thought my life expectancy was spot-on with that of the Nigerians.

Hmmm, smoking for constipation. I wonder if it works? If so, someone light mama a Pall Mall!