Lucia has something to say

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Think about this. You live in a small village in Africa or Asia or Latin America. You have never seen airplanes anywhere but flying high overhead. What would you know about airplanes?

I once heard a story about a small plane landing in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The plane landed, and at the end of the runway spun around 365 degrees. The passengers, who had never flown before, thought this was normal.

And this week I was reading Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Mali. Her friend Monique worried about a trip to the U.S. because she wasn’t sure she could hang on for so many hours. She was surprised to learn that you don’t fly outside the plane, like you would ride a motorcycle, but you fly on the inside, like a car. She also, never having seen a plane take off and land, believed the plane shot up like a rocket and then dropped back to earth like a rock.

Today was the last day for my two interns. I wish I could keep them on projects. They were great. Both from the University of Wisconsin. One had worked in the Kibera slum in Nairobi and spoke Swahili. The other is from Peru and did some work in Lima when he went home to visit his family. I'm sad to see them go.


Blogger meno said...

Think of all the things that we give no thought to, such as flying in an airplane. And think of what we would do if presented with a goat and some beans and told to cook dinner.
I love the different perspective.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Girlplustwo said...

girlfriend always makes me think. i like that about you.

it makes the world filled that much more with wonder, don't you think?

ps. bribe the interns into staying.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

Your posts are always so thought provoking! There are so many things we take fore granted because we were raised "knowing." Sometimes it makes us critical of the people who don't. I think everyone should take a walk in those shoes once in their lifetime.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's sad when I have to say goodbye to my inters as, I know where you're coming from.

Of course, by "interns" I mean, the people i have locked in my basement.

And by "let go" I mean, kill. ;)


12:05 PM  
Blogger Susan as Herself said...

OK, still laughing at Steven's comment.

Lucia: that is funny too, but in a less sick and twisted way. ;)
I recall a foreign exchange student at our school who had never been in a grocery store---and almost had an attack of shock at seeing rows and rows of food like that. Amazing to learn how others see the world.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Lynnea said...

My only encounter of this kind that I recall happened in my youth when two foreign exchange girls came over from asia and about jumped out of their skin when the grocery store doors opened automatically. Of course, that's just western witchcraft for ya!

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucia: How did you come across Monique and the Mango Rains? It's a new and extraordinary book about an amazing woman. This book deserves the widest possible audience because the midwives of Africa are unsong heroes. And the story of the deep friendship between two young women (Kris and Monique)is stunning angd soul-stirring.
Have you seen the website:

4:14 PM  

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