Here I am in the most developed country I’ve visited in quite a while and for once I NEED to stand out so that i can arrange formal/informal talks as part of my obligations as a rotary scholar. But here, in the midst of English speaking zed, I am the least “interesting” I’ve been in a country. In southern Africa the novelty of an American was pretty high…in china it was a combination of my americanness and my blackness that made me standout. Ditto for sri lanka…and if I really think about it, pretty much everywhere I’ve been.

Funny that I didn’t think that would be true here. But apparently it is. Not in the same, “take a picture with me” kind of way I’ve seen in some countries but it is still there.

I’ve been lamenting that although I have met some amazing folks since I’ve gotten here, very few of them are actually from zed. I’ve been on a mission to change that so I can actually experience zed from a zed’s point of view. Today opened up that opportunity for me.

I went up to campus just to see what was going on…it is the first week of classes and so as on most campuses madness abounds with clubs and foods and music. I was intermittently reading and observing when a woman came up to me to ask me to fill out a survey.

Once she heard my accent we started to talk and it turns out she is tongan/zed. I started telling her about my planned studies for this year regarding pacific island health and my own observations of the closeness of issues in that population with that of black and native americans.

Her interest and mine piqued, we dove into thoughts about health and tradition and she began to tell me about tongan life.

Step in half a million folks…she is in her fifth year and knows a BUNCH of people. And then it came… “are you a black American? For real, a full black American?” oh my god that is so cool?”

Yep, I’m cool. And it didn’t stop. Then I was introduced as the black American and others were enticed to speak to me because I was a black American. Anywhere else I think it would have made more sense to me but here I figured it would have less pop. But when I asked if one of my new friends had met many black Americans she could only think of one…I guess the scarcity makes for the novelty.

That’s cool…I’ll ride this wave and hopefully crash on some interesting shores in the process.

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1 Comment on a real one…

  1. AJ says:

    they have met a SISTAH!!!! a real sistah, and she IS intellegent, beautiful, and funnay as hell!!!

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