Saturday, December 02, 2006

Severin was on the phone last night when I got home from teaching Catechism. "Can Samuel sleep over tomorrow?" "Yes! Wonderful" I replied with alacrity. This was the fist sign of a school friend since the year began. Severin is somewhat of a loner. Not the gun-in-the-belltower kind (I think!!!!), but more of a reading/contemplating/creating kind of guy. And I think he finds it hard to fit in with other boys at school. And he's certainly influenced by the presence of no less than three sisters....
Samuel, a little French boy, came over yesterday. I stress the "little" - he's Severin's age, but comes up to about mid-bicep on Severin heightwise. They had dinner, worked on their school project and then decided to watch a dvd. "Let's watch "Star Wars!!! Severin put on the disk and asked his guest: "So, which princess do you like better: Padmé or Leia?"
Samuel's face took on the blankest expression I have ever seen on a human face.
"Huh?" (subtext: what the HECK are you talking about?)
"Which princess? Anakin's wife or Luke's sister?"
"Who?" Samuel said coldly. Any colder and he could have given the Titanic a hard knock and drowned Leonardo Dicaprio.
No! I wanted to shout to Severin, Just LET IT GO !
"You know, in the movies." he continued. "I like Padmé"
"Whatever. Are you going to play it, or what?"
Severin gets along much better with his few American friends. They are all missionary kids, very sweet and polite. Even if they might be suprised to be asked which princess they like, they could at least summon a coherent answer.

Seen shopping: A plastic sack full of balloons and party hats. All the writing on it was in Chinese, except for the main label, which read: "Mao's Party Fun Pack". Wow! Nothing says "fun" like the name "Mao"! What a clever marketing strategy. My kids have a Playstation 2 game called "Dance Dance Revolution". Why shouldn't there be Mao Zedong's "Great Proletarian Cultural Cultural Revolution" ? For a Great Leap Forward, just press X and export all your food.

We're selling at the VAO!! December IS magic! The tour buses are coming through daily. Dazed, dusty people stumble out of the big white behemoths, ready for precisely 1.5 hours of "shopping: local crafts". Then, it's back on the bus and on to Niger, or Ghana, or wherever. I do feel sorry for them. The Americans seem to suffer the most from the language barrier. If you don't speak any French, West Africa can be tough, even with a tour guide.

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