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Pinch Me

June 25, 2012

These painted cuties showed up at just the right moment. I’ll put down my work and come outside for that!


This has been the week of miracles.  Right after I returned from Monrovia I received an email that eight of my students were being interviewed by EARTH.  I literally ran around the dark house screaming, almost knocking and spoiling my computer.  And they got the good ones!  They took George and Festus, Emmanuel and Fredrick, Prince and Romeo, Junaitor and Philicia. 

George will finally see Monrovia!

Peace Corps is helping me figure out transportation and lodging for everyone and, man, it’s a dream even if no one wins the whole thing.  …the only problem is we’re missing graduation.  I think I’m more upset than they are, though.  “You can’t sacrifice the uncertain for the certain,” George said solemnly when I said I was vexed, “We must go, Ms. S, we must.”  He is our WAEC deuce and also the deuce for our class so it’s a huge deal for him to miss it.  It’s like being the valedictorian and acing the SAT in America.  He makes a speech and the guest speaker might give him money.

Have I mentioned just how much I love him lately?  It is my personal mission to help that kid find the future he deserves, whether that’s in Costa Rica or somewhere closer to home.

WAEC results finally arrived Friday and that was a dream inside a dream.  Sixty-seven out of eighty-seven passed and only one person in the entire class failed math.  It can’t be true!  I still hardly believe it.  Unfortunately this is Liberia and there isn’t exactly a computer print-out I can check.  The bad always sneaks in with the good, though, and the one failure in math was Romeo.  He’s our student council president so the entire class is shocked and devastated.  I immediately contacted EARTH to see if he could still interview.  Thankfully they said yes, although I doubt he has a real shot now.  At least he won’t have to be devastated twice in one week.

The sixty-seven students who passed have swarmed me, coming to the house with their results, calling, texting, and hugging me on the street.  They’re all convinced it was me.  I shake my head and try to convince them there is no secret ingredient.  They didn’t need a white woman to chase them around; they needed something to believe in.  They needed confidence in themselves and my presence just happened to give them the hope they needed to succeed.  I’m grateful and humbled to have played any part at all. 

Patricia was just here, sneaking up on me as I lit my coal pot in the half light.  “I came to say thank you,” she said with a big smile, “I am graduating because of you.  I was never able to come to your house before because I support myself on the farm before school, but you made math possible for me.”  I could have hugged her.  “No, Patricia,” I said, “You were always able.  You did all the work.”  She smiled in the dark, “I know…”  Again, I could have hugged her.  She continued, “Now that I’m graduating I can take next year off to build my house.  They tell me you will still be here.  I will feel so happy if you visit me when it is finished.”

I couldn’t help grinning, “I would feel so happy to, Patricia.”  I loaned her a book about gems and precious metals and she promised to visit as often as she could.

Dreams are catching in Sanni.  I can’t wait to see some start coming true.


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