I Fell in the Mud


A friend’s father once told me that our school colors originate in an old union of two places. One color represents the city of Greensburg, the other Salem Township. Two generations back, when they merged into one strange gerrymandering of a school district, they merged colors, too: brown and golden yellow. Separately, brown and gold, they are fine. Together, they are nauseating.

I felt nauseated looking at the crinkly, brown wind-pants meant to warm my legs. Beneath them, loudly yellow shorts barely covered my upper thighs. Which color represents me as someone from the township, the flimsy brown or the discordant yellow? Also yellow, a sleeveless jersey probably as old as the district itself draped over my thin torso, and each time a breeze blew in through an open school bus window I shivered. I shivered in part from cold air and in part from anxiety.

Good Hygiene


8_Okahandja (2)

After a few days of being at the training site and shaking off the fog of jetlag, we’ve been able to communicate like real human beings again. Recently, some volunteers and I ate lunch with two of the Namibian trainers. My plate overflowed with game meat, butternut squash, and potatoes. We also drank some mango juice, and this prompted one of the trainers–a self-described “mixed chakalaka” who represents all of Namibia’s vast diversity in one person–to admit something to us.