I want to take a moment to wish my dear Papa a very Happy Birthday on this fine spring day of March 30, 2010. I am thinking about you Papa, and I will talk to you tonight. Thanks be to the wonders of the internet, for such a conversation between my Papa and his Papa during the Peace Corps in Chad in the '60s was not possible. (Are we in the future yet, with videochatting capabilities in some people's pockets? Maybe, but that doesnt mean Im going to buy a blueberry or an iPad.)
The importance of family cannot be understated, and I have gained a renewed perspective on this while living here. Isn't it unfortunate that we value things more (or sometimes for the first time) once they are gone. I wonder how many people picked up A People's History for the first time because they heard about Howard Zinn's death? I wonder about how living in Moroccan has fostered a strong desire to revisit my family's history, and that of my Parents and their parents and all the stories that I have heard at one time or another. Stories must be retold, that is for sure. I want to read (and reread) Mommy's essays about our year in Burkina Faso, and listen to her stories of college and life in Brazil and Japan. I want to hear Papa's stories about being a consultant in northern Nigeria in the '70s, riding Gunther in Chad, promoting literacy and publication of texts in mother tongues, and all the other amazing work he has done and the experiences he has had.
At the same time I have amassed an extensive list of books that I want to read, as well as a long list of ideas that have been prompted by my experiences and thoughts here, including reading amazing books like Brave New World, The Omnivore's Dilemma, and Cunt. Also The English Patient. And others. I am extremely thirsty for thoughts and ideas, I want to gobble up everything. I want to read and read and debate and write and take all of the wonderful geography and envrionment classes at BU. But there is not enough time in the day to do all of this, especially when there is so much good food to eat! There are also preparations to be made for saying goodbye to Mommy on thursday, for my trip to climb Jebel Toubkal this weekend (inchallah, 2nd highest mountain in North Africa), and for the arrival of the sweet and dear Jillian in a week and a half!
There is so much to be thankful for in this great life and world of ours, so much to love and to learn, and also so much to be done. I guess my only problem is not getting overwhelmed by all the things I want to do. I feel blessed to have an excess of meaningful pursuits and interests at my disposal, I really do.
Happy Birthday Papa!