Whenever I feel guilty or ashamed about liking something, my coping strategy goes like this: casually mention it in a way disassociated from myself. Bring it up again, with a little humor added. Talk about it ALL THE TIME ALWAYS until people beg me to shut up. Write a blog post about it.
Although I have grown in self-confidence and I don’t quite care as much what people think about me or my opinions, my guilty pleasures are still pleasures that make me feel guilty, as though I am too old, too mature, too whatever to like the things that I like. I will probably always have the spectre of Other People’s Judgments hanging over my head, but today I’m saying “I don’t care!” by fangirling real hard about the dumb things that I love. Continue reading
Fatick, Senegal – March 2010
One of the most powerful bonds between people is formed when people who feel like outsiders find solace in each other. This is especially fun when there is nothing connecting these people other than the fact that they are outsiders.
While I lived in Fatick, there were fourteen people in the city who were “toubabs,” and eight of them were on our mission team. There were three other Americans in Fatick doing work with the PeaceCorps. There was one Korean girl who worked at the hospital and two Japanese girls who taught at one of the schools. “Toubabs” are people whose light skin obviously differentiates them from the local Senegalese. Any further national divisions were often hilariously wrong. I was usually recognized as being from the United States, but only because I am tall. My housemate Liz, also from the United States, was usually assumed to be from Japan, because she is short and has dark hair. But no matter what, whether from Asia or America, we fourteen were all “toubabs.” Continue reading